Climbing Yushan?


I want to experience more of Taiwan’s nature, not just Taipei.
What’s the nicest places you have been to here, naturewise? I was thinking of the mountain range maybe, has anyone here climbed the Yushan or Snow Mountain? And if so, was it difficult?

Tigerman, are you planning on going only with adults or with children as well? It can make a big difference.

Yu shan is ok to climb, however you need to join a group with an authorized guide in order to get a mountain permit. Go to “deng Shan You” on Zhongshan N rd near the main station in order toask.

The yak trail is as follows:

You spend a day getting to Shang Dongpu, which is a hut at the Tatajia saddle, this is as close as you can get by bus or car. You set out at the crack of dawn and walk from Tatajia to the Paiyun hut. It’s a 5-6 hr walk depending on the weather and your fitness level.

Teh wise thing would be to spend the rest of the day at the Paiyun hut, you will be at 3500 meters altitude and as you have another 450 altitude meters to climb the morning after, you’ll need the rest you can get.

Set off before dawn and take to 2-3 hours to the summit, so you reach it at sunrise. Walk down, get your stuff together at Paiyun and walk back to Tatajia/ Shang Dongpu in order to get the bus back to Taipei.

I saw 60-year olds on the track, but no kids.

It’s a bit tough. I took the hike from Tatajia saddle to the summit in one day - I was completely exhausted the day after.

Some taiwanese friends helped me with the arrangements, but I think that most mountaineering clubs would be able to help you out.


It sounds great. My girlfriend and I are in pretty good shape so I think it will be fine. We’re going to do a little car vacation, explore taiwan a bit. I’ve never been on the east coast either so that’s on the list too.

The hard part is not the hike, it’s getting the permits and book the cabins. If it’s a car vacation, I would suggest driving down the East coast, explore Ilan, see Taroko, and take a soak in the Zhiben hot springs near Taidong. You could end up down in Kenting for a few days of beach r&r. Getting back to Taipei on the freeway would take you six hours if lucky.

Give us (ideally) a bit over a month, or (not ideal at all) a week, and we may be able to secure permits for Yushan. See the blog for details

Of course weekdays are best, less people etc, but a weekend hiking Yushan is still an amazing experience - do not deny yourself!
Adventures in Southern Taiwan

I did Yushan with my wife (Taiwanese) back in April. I concur with the first day just getting to the hut below the peak (plenty of tents to sleep outdoors that are already set-up). We did it with a tour guide (who handled all the permits and lodgings). Total group was a small-tour busload. I had altitude sickness at the hut, as I had no desire to eat anything. Tried to take a nap during that afternoon, and then immediately ran out down the trail (thank God no one coming up) and blew chunks. After I threw up, I was 100% completely better. So, don’t worry if you get altitude sickness right away. My wife didn’t get anything, lucky her.

On the nest morning of your ascent, EVERYONE (like a hundred or more) will get up at like 2:30am for the climb up. Pretty cool, trail lit by bobbing headlghts.

We had a good local guide. He did NOT take us to the main peak (highest point) right away, as there will be a traffic jam that morning for the last 200m up rock face (with plenty of chain-licked rails to hold onto, very safe). Everyone wants the sunrise view, but don’t realize the traffic involved.

He instead took us off on a separate trek about 40mins one way to the weather station on the North Face (Yushan has a couple “peaks” apart from the top one). Beautiful views there (and big flat ground to walk around) and was able to rest indoors at the weather station. I’d highly recommend it, if you’re up to the extra 90-120mins of walking round-trip.

We then trekked back to the final climb up the peak, and voi’la, NO ONE was on the last 200m trail to the main peak at around 8:40am in the morning. It was great. No one pushing us off the little mound where you take pictures. There were like 9 of us.

So, be aware. If you go for the sunrise view, it’ll be like Hsin-Yi District traffic on Hsin-Hai Road during 6pm rush hour. Not worth it.

The main summit can be a bit crowded (not always bad - better atmosphere there than at any MRT/Xinyi department store) at the magical ‘Ah…Oh…Wah’ moment. As well as having the North peak to escape to, consider the ridge near Yuan-feng shelter on the way to the South Peak, or East Little South Peak/Lu Mountain (a lot further away) for the sunrise. If you are restricted to the main summit (really should follow what’s written on your permit!) clamber a couple minutes along the ridge to the East for extra-stunning, crowd-free views.

Anyone can suffer from altitude sickness, whether fit or unfit. The popular solution nowadays in Taiwanese hiking circle is Viagra. If you’re saving that for something else consider Diamox (Acetazolamide), it has been a favorite of climbers for years and is available over the counter in Taiwan (ask at drugstores next to eye clinics, also used to treat glaucoma,). READ UP ON IT BEFORE TRYING IT and try it out well in advance of heading up a remote mountain just in case you have a bad reaction to it.

We can help getting permits, and have a few hikes coming up soon

Diamox is great. I used it in Tibet on several occassions. they one time I decided not to use it, assuming I was acclimatized, I suffered terribly. Nothing like trying to make your way up a 5600m pass when you want to vomit the whole time.