Climbing Into the Clouds

Climbing Into the Clouds

Rapha Cycling Club Climber's Camp

31 August 2017

The island of Taiwan is home to some of the highest mountains on earth, with 275 summits above 3000m. Winding its way through these goliaths sits the Central Cross-Island Highway, which was completed in 1960. The highway rises up through Tarako Gorge, climbing to 3,275m above sea level at the summit of Wuling. As with the famous climbs of the Alps and the Pyrenees, Wuling has become a must-do for cyclists, featuring as the centre piece of the Taiwan KOM challenge (which Vincenzo Nibali and Cadel Evans will contest this year), and the setting for this year’s Rapha Cycling Club Climber’s Camp.

Our second Climber’s Camp took on three ascents of Wuling, back-to-back over three days. Thirty-three members set out to test themselves and each other, their abilities varying from mountain novices to hardened climbers and all pitting their wits against the continually changing conditions.

Below, along with some images, Rapha Cycling Club members share their experiences:

"I've come to expect confronting rides on the Rapha Prestiges but the Wuling Climber’s camp certainly sprung a deceptive challenge on me. The combination of constant climbing, breathtaking vistas, wind, rain, chin-shuddering temperatures and altitude changed my outlook on road biking. It was transformative and the Rapha team's experience was essential in making all the right calls to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the RCC. Thank you. A return is on the cards!"

Alexander Choo - RCCITL #14517

"As someone who loves climbing, the infamously challenging Wuling was on top of my bucket list. I expected three days of suffering and the course with the treacherous weather did not fail to deliver. I was pushed to my limit but the remarkable beauty of the terrain and the good fellowship between all members of Rapha offered mutual support that made the journey one to remember."

Pezhman Hedvat - RCCSGP #4392

"My eyes were opened, my lungs were cleared and my heart sang like never before, at the top of Wu Ling Shan, twice to boot, over three days of sheer climbing joy in characteristic RCC style ... a truly unforgettable, life changing experience for any avid cyclist."

Ryan Loh - RCCSGP #500

"To ride is to believe. 55kms of non-stop climbing. Totally relentless, totally amazing. The climb up Wuling is an absolute must. The Rapha Climber’s Camp was the perfect way to enjoy this unique cycling experience, and the Rapha team certainly organised everything with style. Superb event."

Richard Heyes - RCCHKG #1580

"So with apprehension and excitement, I took on Wuling for the very first time on 1st September 2017 with a bunch of like-minded cyclists from Asia. I summited via the west route after 4 hours 37 min in the saddle on what seemed like a never ending climb. Cold, exhausted and a little delirious, I unclipped and parked my bike. A Rapha support staff member passed me a cup of warm ginger tea, ahhhhhhh, I made it!"

Bryan Chan - RCCHKG #5909

"The harsh wind and rain caught up with my exhaustion in Wuling. On the other hand, my mind was extraordinarily clear at that moment. We’ve shared a unique and unforgettable adventure in nature with other passionate cyclists."

Guan-Shiung Jian - RCCTPE #3713

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