Ayu Mountain 阿玉山
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3763
Dan and Thomas waiting for Bruce at the bottom of the NGC road, 6AM

Bruce and Philip planned to start on the Xikeng trail 西坑林道 starting in Xiaoyi 孝義 hiking south up to Ayu mountain 阿玉山 or Lumen mountain 露門山 then down toward the Fushan Botanical Gardens 福山植物園 or to the Hapen trail 哈盆越嶺古道 then west out to Fushan village 福山村. Dan and Thomas joined us, planning not to go through but up and back to the first peak.

Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3764
Bruce at the head of the Xikeng trail, 7AM
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 IMG_9963
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 IMG_9964
Taiwan Macaque 台灣獼猴 Macaca cyclopis
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3766
Calanthe formosana 台灣根節蘭
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3769
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3771
Dan and Thomas crossing the first major stream
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3775
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3778
road structure visible

The Xikeng trail 西坑林道 follows the abandoned road bed of highway 9A 9甲 along the west side of the Ayu river 阿玉溪. Highway 9A once connected Shuangshikou 雙溪口 near the current entrance of Fushan Botanical Gardens 福山植物園 going mostly north almost twenty kilometers to XiaoYi 孝義 just east of Wulai 烏來 in southern Taipei county. The road was in use at the close of the Japanese era for military trucks carrying people and material through Yuanshan 員山 to Ilan 宜蘭, where the Japanese operated an airfield during the second world war. Over the years we have watched the forest road slowly disappear, gradually covered by landslides and its bridges washed away by typhoon downpours, then limited traffic keeps the road used an ever shorter distance. Today highway 9A runs only from QingTan 青潭 to XiaoYi 孝義 via Wulai 烏來.

Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3784
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3785
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3786
Thomas follows the old road bed cut through the mountan side
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3787
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3790
a barrier constructed on the path
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3793
campsite
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3794
cooking fire
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3799
waterfall over road embankment
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3802
Thomas
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3803
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 IMG_9967
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3804
mushroom
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3807
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3808
獅坑橋
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3810
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3814
Shikeng Bridge 獅坑橋, 2 hours in
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3817
tiny yellow bug
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3819
Dan and Thomas leaving the road 阿玉山登山口
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3820
200 minutes to Lumen mtn 露門山
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3821
120 mins to Xiaoyi 孝義 and 150 mins to Ayu mtn 阿玉山
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 IMG_9970
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 IMG_9972
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3825
bird for lunch
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 IMG_9974
Philip
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3831
Dan in the rainforest
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3832
Thomas coming through the fog
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 IMG_9979
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 IMG_9981
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 IMG_9982
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 IMG_9984

Bruce spots a Reeves' Muntjac 山羌 (Shān qiāng) Muntiacus reevesi on the trail ahead of us. As we approach the peak of Ayu we climb into foggy and soaked forest where we are walking in the clouds. The top of the mountain is a grassland of thick chest-high wet arrow bamboo 箭竹 Fargesia spathacea and vetiver, thatch grass or sogon grass 茅草 Vetiveria zizanoides or Chrysopogon zizanioides. The name of the mountain "A-yu" 阿玉 comes from the Atayal pronunciation of their word for thatch grass. The trails down to the south and east are impossible to find. At the peak there is a small cement building, where we take a break before deciding to come down the way we came leaving the cold wet mountain top behind. We are back out to Xiaoyi 孝義 before 7PM, an hour after sunset.

Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3833
Bruce in the cement hut at the peak of Ayu Mtn 阿玉山, 1420m, noon
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 IMG_9988
Dan at Ayu Mtn 阿玉山
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 IMG_9993
Thomas
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3835
back down to Shikeng Bridge 獅坑橋, 4PM
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3838
Bruce
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3840
upstream
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3843
downstream
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3846
old railway section
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3848
looking back south toward Ayu mtn
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3849
looking east
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 DSC_3855
flower
Ayu Mountain 阿玉山 wulai
area map
Keywords: flower, hike, mushroom
Date: 2010:12:04
Locations: New Garden City, 花園新城, Xiaoyi, 孝義
People: Bruce, Dan, Philip, Thomas