🥾 ⛰ Yushan | Climbing Yushan (Jade Mountain)

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:



As this is the last place with talk about Yushan - anyone knows about how strictly they take the days on the permit?

It’s the ridiculous situation you need to apply 7 days or more for any ntnl park permit even if numbers are low (during the week in winter) which makes me think of what’s the best strategy to climb Yushan in good weather.
Say you have a 3 day permit just put down the max amount of peaks per day - then don’t go to those which are too much. No-one will care.
What about a 3 day permit and exititing 1 day early? I guess again no-one will care.
But what about a 3 day permit and entering on day 2 or day 3 only because of previously bad weather? Will someone say something?
As far as I know apart from very rare random police checks - any check is anyhow only done if you sleep at a cabin like Paiyun. Don’t go in so some crazy rules like no more summiting after 10:00 (which aren’t even stated anywhere as far as I know) won’t apply. And anyhow if you put Yuanfeng on your permit they have to let you pass.
I don’t mind a permit system where you tell your route - and they have a daily max too (better would be timeslots with daily max) - but it should be possible to book anything schedule wise last minute - and people needing to confirm 24hours before - so spots open up again.

Anyhow as a foreigner I would strongly say - those national park permits will not uphold a court ruling if they put a fine on you (police (but no one else) could turn you back but not fine you). Say Qilai Bei Shan - no sign saying anything from where you will need a permit onwards (Xiao Qilai Shan seemingly not). There is a single sign that says something about needing a permit - that is 5m away from the trail - with a small script saying something about a permit. Meanwhile the big signs just warn of danger. Clearly hard to know that there is a need for a permit - with no signs indicating so that are placed in a way that you would read them. Hehuanshan peaks - those signs are identical more or less - no permit needed (confirmed that in the visitor center - rules seem to have improved a bit but only for Hehuanshan peaks - also no police permit necessary). So how are you supposed to know the difference?

Mountains with checkpoints (Yushan and Dabajianshan only?) clearly a bit different. But it’s a bit ridiculous. Then those checkpoints are not open early morning when most people depart…

Well I now got a 3 day permit - which I plan to use for 2 days only - having the 3rd day as backup in case of bad weather. If weather is bad on day 1 and 2 - then just go to Yushan in one day and return on day 3 of permit… (yeah in winter no 1 day permits - which is even more stupid if no snow like right now)

Oh yeah someone knows about the fines if you get caught without a permit? Do they just tell you to walk back? Heard from fines ranging from 1000ntd to 30.000ntd per person…

Couldn’t they simply arrest you for trespassing? because it technically is…

For that it would need to be reasonably clear from where on you enter restricted territory, but in most cases this is not obvious. Trespassing is only if it’s obvious you’re entering someone’s property who does not want you to do so.
Those laws are usually based on the concept that you can only own what you can defend somehow/claim. E.g. state laws that state that a state only exists it it can defend it’s territory against intruders/other states military. A state can of course outsource this like the Vatican.

And no some sign that is 10 meters away amongst other signs talking about history or plants or animals without any clear indication that you need to read it before entering isn’t doing so.

I just figure if you need a permit to go somewhere then it’s restricted territory.

Hello! I am looking to climb Yushan with two friends in July (all of us are foreign passport holders). Last night, I applied for three slots at Paiyun Lodge for 6/18, not realizing that the allotted 24 foreigner spots had already been filled. We are 26th-28th to apply for the foreigner slots. I was wondering if anyone could help me with these questions:

  1. What are the odds that we will get permits? Is it likely that a few people ahead of us will back out?

  2. Can I submit an application for another date and still have a chance at getting off the wait list for the 18th?

Thank you!

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Odds not good. Climb during the week to have a better chance of getting a slot.

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I’d love to climb Yushan. Sadly, my doctor has told me my constitution is not up to the rigorous paperwork involved.


There very likely is place - but people will not cancel early enough. Try to apply for a camping spot or apply for the 1 day out and return permit. Yushan in a single day isn’t too hard.

With a single night you can easily do all Yushan peaks (main, west, east, south, north).
Oh yeah and as an answer to my question above, no worries to apply for 3 days and just walk 2 instead. At least if you cancel out the last day. Not a nice thing to do in summer however when any kind of permits are rare.

Then - the only place they check for permits is inside Paiyun (except should there be police officers on the way). As you litterally have to walk through Paiyun hut on the way up, this one with Qilaishan is like the worst choice of a mountain to attack without permit where it’s required. Qilaishan as it seems there are policemen from time to time (but then it misses any signs telling you about needing a permit close to the way - the only sign is hidden 10m besides the main way and several side entrances miss any signs).

And yeah you can apply for several dates. If they are booked out already the chances are low - people tend to cancel within the last 2-3 days only once the weather outlook is not perfect (during the week) or not good (on the weekends), but then it’s too late to apply.

I don’t think this is what “guides” are suppose to do . . . :thinking:


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Awesome and detailed response. Thank you.

I would’ve expected the monetary fine to be higher…but being banned from guiding in any of the 3 National Parks (Shui-Pa, Jade, Taroko) is a pretty big hit too.

This story doesn’t make much sense. Why did he abandon them? There must be some reasons…

Some more info here. Still would be interesting to here the view from the guide. Best he should have not gone to summit and turned around if the participants are unfit to do it.

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I’m surprised it isn’t bigger news given that the recent announcing of the punishment is supposedly the max and the first time it’s been issued since the new rules/conventions this year. In the Chinese article here it says halfway down the mountain he just went off by himself.

EDIT: Found a news segment about it from early May.

Given the somewhat recent death of the guide and the American a month or so ago I figured this would be a major story, especially since the news are freaking out about some hiker climbing the big Jade Mountain entrance rock and this incident happened end of April so similar time. I figured this would be a lot more important given just how badly this could’ve gone.

It’s just a really bizarre story…

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The thing is, what to do as a guide with people clearly unfit to walk to the summit? He basically would have needed to abort much earlier. But that will get a lot of complaints too by the customers.

If walking down from Paiyun to Dongpu needs over 7 hours they are clearly super unfit.
I think he should have aborted so early to make it back to Dongpu in daylight first day. Or camp around Paiyun (if no empty beds) and walk back from there next day.

Isn’t there evene a rule that you are not allowed to summit from Paiyun after 11:00? It’s a stupid rule for fast people (some people can easily make it to the summit and back in 2 hours trailrunning) but for such slow groups it clearly makes sense. The campsite they booked is about as far from the summit as Paiyun.

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