Q. Am I fit enough?
A. You need to be reasonably fit,
with preferably some recent hiking experience in Taiwan’s
mountains. This is a proper hike, there are no shortcut
escape routes, and hikers must have a ‘sensible’
attitude to what they will have to do to make it a safe
and fun experience.
Q.What does Barking Deer provide?
A. Meals (western-style) on Days
1-3, trail snacks, electrolyte (sports) drinks, class
A permits, transport to/from Tainan/Hsiang-yang trailhead,
accident insurance ($1,000,000), cooking gear/utensils,
gloves, tents/sleeping mats, accommodation in hostel
on first night if weather foul, emergency first-aid/rations/communications
equipment (carried by leader), Barking Deer guide, photo/video
record of trip.
Q. What is not included?
A. Dinner on evening prior to hike,
Q. How much does it cost?
A. $4600 NT. ($2000 deposit payable
in advance, $2600 at meet up.) Application for permits,
accommodation and insurance can not be started until
we have received the deposit and a copy of your ARC/passport
(note deadline). Should the trip be cancelled by Barking
Deer (due to permit problems, typhoons etc) we will
refund the deposit minus costs (approx $500) beyond
our control, but offer this as credit for future activities.
Deposit not refunded should you – the customer,
cancel for any reason. Big discounts for mid-week/non-holiday
ascents, contact us if you have a group ready.
Q. What do I need to prepare?
A. Most importantly your body,
get in shape and do a bit of hiking in your boots. Read
about altitude sickness here,
anyone can get it, no matter how fit. Diamox is available
in Tainan, ensure in advance it is suitable for you.
Good walking shoes, ideally comfortable broken-in hiking
boots. Hat for sun, warm cap/ski mask for cold, light
hiking pants, breathable stay-dry inner shirt (not cotton),
at least 2 warm layers (fleece best), outer rain/wind
jacket/pants (ideally Gore-tex type), medium-large size
back-pack (60-80 L, should have waist belt), waterproof
pack cover, warm sleeping bag, spare socks/underwear,
waterproof bags for clothes, flashlight (headlight better),
ID, health insurance card such as Taiwan’s NHI’s.
If you are having problems securing any of these things
contact us, we may be able to lend/rent you it.
Other things you may want are your camera, mp3 player
(for those private anti-social moments, fully charged
of course!), and lip balm.
Q. What else do Barking Deer need to know?
A. In addition to giving us a copy
of your ARC/passport, tell us if you have any particular
dietary (vegetarian, food allergies) or medical issues
(confidentiality assured). On the trail do not hesitate
to tell us if you are (or see others) feeling unwell/blisters
Q. Will you carry my stuff?
A. No, not unless it is an emergency.
Each hiker is responsible for carrying their own gear
(let us have a look at it before leaving the car to
ensure you are not carrying unneeded kitchen sinks),
and a proportion of the group’s food.
Q. Do you guarantee to get me to the lake?
A. No guarantees – anyone
who suggested so would be lying and/or irresponsible.
We give you a very good chance of doing it.
Q. Is the mountain hut nice? Hot showers, TV,
A. Err...practical, with good views…nice...not
sure that’s the right word. Everything there has
been carried up on porters’ backs. It consists
of a couple bunker-like dorm rooms, of double level
sleeping platforms. Everyone gets to know each other
well, the good –sharing food, and the bad –
snoring. Basic solar-powered lighting, no heating, TV,
internet, massage chairs etc.
Q. Is the wildlife dangerous?
A. No. We will be looking for wildlife
not avoiding it.
Q. Can I bring my dog along?
A. No, the national park will never
allow poor Fido/Fifi.
Q. Will there be crowds of people to deal with?
A. No. It’s possible not
to meet anyone if hiking during the week, never will
it seem crowded.
Q. Will this really be fun?
A. Yes. We’re just getting
all this serious info out of the way now.
Disclaimer to be signed before trip.