Climbing Yushan (Jade Mountain). Is it worth the bureaucracy?

Hi guys.
I am applying for the Yushan trail. I want to go there with some friends and reach the peak in a couple of days.
Initally everything started pretty smoothly, the diea was to find a couple of days free in June and then go with the proper equipment.

But actually it’s such a 麻煩 :noway: procedure: ask the permission, fill the form, there’s a lottery for the assignment of the beddings in the lodge and we have to prepare everything weeks in advance. Still, my friends (and I) want to be free to change our mind before going there…depending if they feel able to do it or not.

Well, my questions are:

  1. Is the hiking worth all this annoying process?
  2. Is the hike to the top (almost 4000 mtrs) physically demanding in such a way that we require special training?
  3. Is anyone interested in joining us? I have good experience in hiking (not sure about my friends), and we plan to go there on the 2013/06/29. Still I have time until the 29th of this month to change the number of people in the group.

Let me know.

It’s a great hike but I don’t think it’s worth the hassle. It’s not a difficult hike either.

Snow Mountain is a great hike that you should be able to get permits for. If not Snow Mountain then Dabajianshan is another great hike although it requires an extra day. Jiaming Lake is another great 3 day hike although it isn’t a peak.

Agree with Abacus. Yushan is good but it is not that difficult and there are other more beautiful peaks out there. Going to Yushan is meaningful for Taiwanese so a lot go. Snow Mountain is better. Also, consider Nenggao in Nantou.

Jade Mountain

The last one is a poor picture of Yushan’s shadow at dawn. It’s shadow extends well into the Taiwan straight at the right time.

I’m Taiwanese, and it is indeed meaningful to me. Though if the weather is nice, like the time I went, I don’t think it’s all hype. The hike is pretty easy (that’s if you don’t get altitude sickness). I started to develop symptoms the night at Pai-Yun lodge, so going up to the peak the second day felt tasking.

Though, Yu-shan is generally packed with people (i mean at the lodge, usually after a while on the trail you’d find yourself on your own). And it doesn’t really feel like a weekend hike for the most part.

Shue-Shan (Snow Mountain/Sekoan/Babo Hagai) is pretty good. Along the way you get full view of the central mountain range on one side, and 聖稜線 (Sheng Ling Xian/Holy ridgeline) on the other.

The black forest was very memorable for me. My photos don’t do it justice. And I saw Mikado Pheasant for the first time in the black forest. But once you get to the top of Shue-shan, I am not sure if the view is superior than Yu-shan. I would say Cui-Chi (翠池, Emerald Pond) is a must if you hike Shue-shan.

There are other hikes worth going to either for scenery or for wild life. The hike to Jia-Ming Hu (嘉明湖/aka Angel’s Tear) would probably feel more like an adventure and the rewards is great. If you really want to feel like you are exploring and off the beaten path, then 南湖大山 (Nan-Hu Da Shan) and other central mountain range peaks would probably give you that thrill.

Also, the 八通關 (Ba Tong Guan/Pattonkuan) trail in the Yushan national park, which used to be the way to go from the west to the east coast, is pretty awesome. If you can’t do the whole way, you can do the 瓦拉米 (Wa La Mi/Walami) section in Hualian, which is where I saw Formosan Pheasant and Formosan yellow-throated marten for the first time.


Grave dig here to note this crazy accomplishment on Jade Mountain: scaling the north side!

Here’s what this looks like:

This for me is conclusive proof that anyone who claims Taiwan is “boring” is not hanging out in the right places! :grin: