Serious hiking-questions

Hi all,

I want to do some hiking in the end of July, particulary Yishan. I know you need a permit to stay in the park or something like that. I’ve also heard that you have to hike with a group. Is this true? Is there a way to do it on one’s own? We’re experienced, fit hikers–it’s not like we’ll keel over on the trail. Any info?

Thanks!

As I am - I have been organising, leading and instructing hiking, rock climbing and I have some experience in mountaineering in various parts of the world, and I cannot get a permit to hike YuShan.

I signed up with a local professional guide who has lead teams to Patagonia and Denali, and they pulled his permit a week before we were to go. I have been trying for over a year - it is not straightforward.

Another time, I organised a group to Mt Snow, and got up there ready for a weekend of hiking and they decided to close the park and sent us back. I spoke to some local guides when I got back and they were not aware it was closed but sometimes they do these things.

There is an option to enter from the northern route without permit and take your chances with the moutain police…

Taiwan has rules, and that is that.

Best to contact a hiking club or mountain guide and hope you are lucky. FreshTreks (http://www.freshtreks.com) sometimes go, but not in the next month.

I don’t know, my experience climbing Snow Mountain was that it is very straightforward getting a permit. Just apply and if there is space in the cabins you get it. Yushan can be crowded which may be why you can’t get a permit but I have not heard of others having a problem. I even know of one fellow who just went up by himself and managed to get in with a group that had a cancelled member. I think you are just having bad luck.

Have you tried applying for a mid-week hike? Much better chance of getting a bed.

BTW, neither mountain requires a guide anymore. And I did Snow Mountain with only one other person so you don’t need a big group. But I wouldn’t plan for a Yushan hike in summer. The chance of a typhoon spoiling your plans is great.

Freshtreks doesn’t have any planned hikes in July but they do custome hikes. You would need at least 10 people to make it worthwhile. But again, few local hikers want to do Yushan in summer.

Last point, do not go on a weekend unless you enjoy sleeping up against strangers. The cabins really pack them in.

You can also contact trail_hacker as he is a leader of a local hiking club.

Getting permits is simple. I just hiked Snow Mountain again two weeks ago with one other foreign friend. I applied about 2 weeks in advance online. It was very straightforward though you will need some help if you don’t read Chinese

Snow Mountain
Yushan

Also, check park announcements for trail conditions and trail closings which can happen often in typhoon season. It is not a good idea to sneak into the National Parks on less-used trails. These are less used for good reason and you can encounter very difficult conditions. There is a long history of seasoned hikers from other countries getting themselves in serious trouble in Taiwan’s high country. Don’t join them.

As Mucha Man said, go during the week. It is really tough to get permits on the weekend because there is such demand. And it can get unpleasantly crowded on the main routes on the weekends. Lots of Taiwanese go to have fun with lots of their friends, so you can expect pretty boisterous company that bothers some people looking for solitude.

Yushan is easy for any one in moderately good shape. Snow Mountain is definitely harder (but still doable) but I think more beautiful in terms of the panoramic views from the top and the micro climates. Flowers everywhere when I was up at the end of June.

Might I suggest that rather than climbing one of the big peaks, you try the National Trail System? Far fewer hassles with permits and way less people. Just in Taipei’s backyard, for example, you can do a wonderful hike from Fushan in Wulai over the mountains to Lalashan on the North Cross highway. Cypress forests and hot springs in Lalashan await! Or slightly further afield, there are many more great trails in Hsinchu.

In Nantou try the Nenggao trail and hike along the central mountain range over the Hehuanshan.

Let us know if you need more information.

Agree with ferein and MM, easy to get a permit for both Snow Mountain and Yu Shan. I did Snow Mountain last November with MM and I didn’t have any trouble at all to get a permit for the both of us. Just apply. I was told a lot of things like (you can’t go by yourself, need permit, need experience, need to be in a group etc…) NOT TRUE!!
Definitly apply for a week day not during the week end, it’s too packed and instead of hearing nature on your hike you’ll be improving your taiwanese.
Good Luck to you and good hiking.
here’s a link of my last hike to Snow Mountain last November.
homepage.mac.com/igorveni/PhotoAlbum25.html

Thank you, thank you for the advice. To the poster who mentioned applying online, what’s the website? I’m not normally an idiot about this kind of stuff, but my computer’s being balky today and I can’t turn anything up. Where should I go to apply?

Thanks again

Thank you, thank you for the advice. To the poster who mentioned applying online, what’s the website? I’m not normally an idiot about this kind of stuff, but my computer’s being balky today and I can’t turn anything up. Where should I go to apply?

Thanks again

Make sure you are using IE and then use the links I provided. Tell me if they aren’t working or you can’t find what you want. There are many other great places to hike in YSNP besides the summit. Mawalami [sp?]Trail near Yuli is one.

This is the link to apply for snow mountain online,

spnp.gov.tw/online/oneloine.html

Yu Shan

ysnp.gov.tw/tc/index.asp

it’s in Chinese, so better have someone who speak the linguo if you can’t. Also beware that in order to apply online you need to have your dates and itinary ready, it’s part of the application, you won’t be able to apply without putting in the dates you wish to hike, it must be at least 3 weeks prior to your hike, meaning you won’t get a permit if you want to go next week, must be 3 weeks in advance.
let us know if you have any questions.

I’m going to Taipingshan at the endof the month with a group of my wife’s old workmates. A lot of hikers but also non-hikers and kids, so I don’t know what we’ll be doing. Anyone know of good trails I can bugger off to by myself if it turns out to be a weekend of KTV and BBQ?
(I know what I’m doing in the hills.)

I’ve been going over the applications. Got a few questions as Igorveni handled the permits last time we went up (thanks, Igor).

Now one needs both a mountain entry permit and a park permit. The one online and pdf applications seem to cover both, or do they? I remember when we were in Wuling Park we had to go to the police station. Igor, did we have two seperate permits or just the one? What exactly did we show the police? Memory is failing me.

The application asks you to fill out your itinerary? AFAIK, this is just ranger station to Chika, chika to 369. Did we have to give times or just dates?

Don’t know why but the online application form is not on the English website. Last year you could apply in English online. Sure would be a lot easier.

If anyone would be so kind as so fill in the forms for Yushan and Snow Mountain (for a tentative hike) and maybe others and then take a snapshot of it and post it that would be very helpful and we could make this a sticky. Yes, people can ask their Taiwanese friends for help but if they don’t understand the form it will be more confusing.

Thanks.

I know these regulations are for our own safety, and helps cut down costs of government rescues of stranded foreigners etc but sometimes it is dissapointing and a bit annoying. I was enjoying a roam around Yang Ming shan by myself when i came across a sign and a fence blocking my path. The landscape behind the sign was particularly good looking and I was very keen on going in. Anyways the sign said the reason for no entry was because there were sometimes wild cattle in the area. Well i have hiked in other countries before where there has been plenty of wild boar and bears but was never stopped by signs prohibiting entry (just warned).

Is this because in Taiwan people don’t know how to act around wild animals, may be they would try to feed them etc or throw sticks at them ? Or is the government over protective of the wild cattle or its local city dwelling residents. Is this right or wrong to ban people from entering. Taipei has a lack of green places; but outside Taipei there are plenty but they often seem to be off limits or regulated, it can be dissapointing. Don’t ask me if I went in anyway!!!

[quote=“fenlander”]I know these regulations are for our own safety, and helps cut down costs of government rescues of stranded foreigners etc but sometimes it is dissapointing and a bit annoying. I was enjoying a roam around Yang Ming shan by myself when i came across a sign and a fence blocking my path. The landscape behind the sign was particularly good looking and I was very keen on going in. Anyways the sign said the reason for no entry was because there were sometimes wild cattle in the area. Well i have hiked in other countries before where there has been plenty of wild boar and bears but was never stopped by signs prohibiting entry (just warned).

Is this because in Taiwan people don’t know how to act around wild animals, may be they would try to feed them etc or throw sticks at them ? Or is the government over protective of the wild cattle or its local city dwelling residents. Is this right or wrong to ban people from entering. Taipei has a lack of green places; but outside Taipei there are plenty but they often seem to be off limits or regulated, it can be dissapointing. Don’t ask me if I went in anyway!!![/quote]

Many areas of YMS are off-limits military zones. I’d be careful stepping over any fence.