Yushan in one day?

#1

I’m supposed to climb Yushan next weekend with a friend’s graduating class. I just received the itinerary and it seems they want to do the climb in one day! We’d be getting up at 2:30 and reaching the summit by 10. That in itself will be a challenge but then they want to then return to tatajia by 3pm.

This strikes me as insane. I’m in really good shape but at 39 I doubt I can hike at 3,000 meters for 11 hours with no sleep. And more importantly, I don’t want to. This isn’t an endurance test so what the hell is the point?

I am really worried that we are going to have people (mostly middle aged business types) dropping from exhaustion along the way. Most people can’t recognize their limits and say “I have gone about half of what I can do. I should return now.” Instead we will have people turning back when they feel exhausted. If they’ve already been hiking for 5-6 hours what are the chances they will be able to make it back to the start?

I am also concerned with the lack of professionalism among the guides. They should have insisted that the group does the hike in two days like normal.

Any comments. I really am reconsidering going on this hike. It sounds like there is going to be a lot of trouble and I hate trouble.

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#2

Tatajia is on the new x-island highway, back side of Alishan, IIRC at close to 3,000m. It’s a fair distance to the peak of Yushan, but little height gain. In and out in a day isn’t too hard.
Those of us who hiked up from Dongpu might tend to sneer a bit at these day-trippers however. :wink:
The last time I was up there I was still a heavy smoker and far from being uber-fit. Go for it, the scenery and clean air is worth a little pain.

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#3

I think you are right to be concerned. From your description of your fitness level, I think you can make it. But there will be people in your group who will not enjoy it. This is a function of the limited number of spots to get to the top. Why not enjoy a lower altitude hike without the crowds and on a reasonable time schedule? I’d suggest getting someone to drive youand the other sane people down into the Nanxi valley below and doing some pleasamt hiking down there. Lots of wildlife and beautiful scenery.

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#4

Honestly, it’s fairly common, and I think that a 39 year old person in decent shape can do it, as long as the weather holds up OK.

I gather that people are in at least semi-decent shape?

In 2001, I went to Yushan for the first time, and then we set off at 7 AM from from the Tungpu cottage, and hade it to Tatajia around 7:45. We were at the Paiyun hut right before noon. Due to poor weather forecasts, our guide made us start climbing the main peak right after lunch, IE around 1:30

We made it to the top around 3 PM. The guide thought that things were well enough to go for the east (or north or whatever) peak as well, but as I had a bit of altitude sickness, I opted out.

We made it down to Paiyun right before 6PM.

If we had set out 2-3 hours earlier and had spent the money on getting a VW caravelle to take us to the Tatajia saddle, we could have done it in one day, with the only really tough piece being from Paiyun to the top (2km only). Going down is not so tough, as the increased tiredness is ofsett by the fact that you are descending, and that there’s a big difference in the oxygene level at 3950 and 2800 meters.

The age of the group members was from 25-45, and people were in general in decent, but not superhuman shape.

If the other members of the climbing party are in poor shape, they will turn around early, annyou will have to help them down. If I were you, I would tell them to turn around, once they started to conk out, and then pick them up when returning from the peak. No real dangers lurk on the tatajia to Paiyun piece.

Perhaps bring 2-3 oxygen bottles in your daypack, for the weaker members.

Also, 2 weeks ago we went again, however due to torrential rains, we had to turn around. (It also helped that they had booked us into TENTS at paiyun - tents cold and rainstorms don’t go well together).

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#5

Thanks for all the feedback.

My main concerns are doing such a long day’s hike at a high altitude on no sleep. If we could start at seven I wouldn’t be so concerned, at least not for myself. But I’ll likely get absolutely no sleep that night (we’re starting at 2:30am!) and I’m the type of person who just can’t function well without a good night’s sleep.

If it wasn’t for the fact that it’s one of my best Taiwanese friends who invited me, I’d drop this is a second.

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#6

With all this rain the trail will be very slippery and dangerous. Up & down in a day… not going to happen imho.

You must also have registered for the climb well in advance as the police now check all hiker groups before they are allowed to climb up.

You friend wants to go at 2:30am in pitch black, with rolling fog and rain. The trails are in some places no more than your one foot at a time width. You also have may places that you need to pull yourself up. Very slippery in the rain. But falling is easy, and a quck death is assured as some places you won’t hit anything for several hundred feet.

You may find that the trail walks get cancelled because the guides may not risk climbing if they think it’s too dangerous. :astonished:

Most people are stuffed doing it in 2 days, you travel agent wants to do it in one day with a bunch of office workers. :loco: :loco:

Hope they all get extra life isurance before they go. :blush:

I would climb only if I knew the people were capable of doing so if you’re thinking of a one dayer. Madness if you ask me. I only climbed it last June again in fine sunny weather, so I’d love to do it again, but not in the current wet conditions.

I took 10 litres of water for myself and my son, premade sandwiches, and german sausages. You can’t cook up there and you have to bring back all your own garbage, so bring a garbage bag.

Hot food is cooked for you at the top lodge if your agent has arranged it.

Personally I would not like to climb this place at night. It’s hard enough in nice weather. Also it’s very cold at night and most people’s jackets in Taiwan are not designed for that type of damp, moist cold. Bring your wet weather gear.

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#7

If they’ve been hiking for 5 or 6 hours how do you think they’ll manage to make it back if they decide not to continue? They’d a couple hours of rest first. Then their whole experience would have been a dissapointment for not making it to the top.

Going down is a lot harder on the knees than going up.

I hope they weren’t thinking of driving from Taipei with a group of tired people, then getting out of the vehice at 2:30am and starting that climb. Tell me it’s not so.

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#8

[quote=“Satellite TV”][quote=“Muzha Man”]
I hope they weren’t thinking of driving from Taipei with a group of tired people, then getting out of the vehice at 2:30am and starting that climb. Tell me it’s not so.[/quote][/quote]

It isn’t so. These are a bunch of well-off businessmen and have had everything arranged including guides and permits. We have a karaoke bus to take us down and pick us up. We will book into a hotel in Dongpu for a few hours before getting up at 2 to drive to Tatajia and begin the hike.

We have water and food arranged for us at Paiyan cabin and a pick up at the end when it’s all (mercifully over).

The more I consider this the stupider it gets. I received several emails explaining what exactly I had to bring and the exact itinerary we would follow. One the one hand, everything is organized very carefully. On the other hand, everything has been organized without a single thought about the people who are going to do it.

Mr He, no these people are not in good shape. They work long hours during the day and then go to their MBA program on the weekend. For the last 6 months most have been spending their free time writign their thesis. I doubt many, if any, of them have done any exercise in months if not years.

I’ve been talking to a few other hikers and most agree that the trip sounds unpleasant and potentially dangerous. I suspect the Taiwanese in the group haven’t complained because of face.

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#9

I think not. It’s really because they don’t understand what it is they are going to attempt. :loco: :loco:

If you are going to hike all the way upto the cabin without water then you’re really going to be in bad shape. :noway: You need fluids along the way. :help:

Still, it could be a worthwile adventure. Pace yourself, and take care. :smiley: :smiley:

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#10

[quote=“Muzha Man”][quote=“Satellite TV”][quote=“Muzha Man”]
I hope they weren’t thinking of driving from Taipei with a group of tired people, then getting out of the vehice at 2:30am and starting that climb. Tell me it’s not so.[/quote]

It isn’t so. These are a bunch of well-off businessmen and have had everything arranged including guides and permits. We have a karaoke bus to take us down and pick us up. .[/quote][/quote]

Even better, you can sing yourselve hoarse before the climb. Don’t forget Mr Hennesy XO and Macho Man Energy Bars and Super Woman Sports drinks.

OK don;t take me too seriously. A relaxed group may have the patience to take the climb slowy. Not that you can go that fast anyways. :smiley: :smiley:

Not unless you take that free flight to the bottom of the canyon. You should have time to count to about 15 before you go splat. :blush:

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#11

[quote=“Muzha Man”] One the one hand, everything is organized very carefully. On the other hand, everything has been organized without a single thought about the people who are going to do it.

I doubt many, if any, of them have done any exercise in months if not years.[/quote]

Sounds like some people going to be very sore. I did it in 2 days and had a frozen overnight sleep. That was last June.

It’s damned cold up at that height in the dark. But when the sun comes up strip off and you can warm up quicker than shivering.

Last year my son and I did just that. The bewildered hikers all stood there under the shadows of the trees ( can’t get that lovely white skin dark you know ) freezing their arses off lol.

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#12

Come on, they’re not that retarded. Every has to bring their own water to last until Paiyan. There will also be sherpa’s carrying super supao six-packs, energy bars and massage tables. :sunglasses:

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#13

By the way, why do you keep refering to foot wide paths and drop offs? I’ve talked to many people who’ve done the route and they’ve all suggested that while a long haul, the path up to Paiyan is not at all dangerous.

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#14

Not all of the climb is paved. Many parts have slippery areas and after a weeks rain I’m sure that a lot of slippery crap is there. Not all areas but in some places yes. It’s also easy to trip on a tree root or other loose rocks and stuff.

And some of the wooden bridges have gaps where you could come a cropper. Anyway you’ll see what I mean when you get up there.

I guess danger is all relative. A real long haul in a day. I’m not saying it cant be done, just that I wouldnt recommend it for a bunch of paper pushers.

I regulary carry 40kg 1.8m dishes up 20 flights of stairs with a partner, sometimes twice for one job. Just climb 20 flights of stairs at a slow pace and imagine doing 2000 footsteps at the steeper parts of the climb. :smiley: :smiley:

If you haven’t done that for a long time it gets ya pretty knackered.

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#15

2 weeks ago all the 70 something small footbridges between Tatajia and Paiyun looked OK to me. The trail is narrow in places, but it’s not the worst trail I have been on - at least up to Paiyun, and they will be doing the tough part from Paiyun and to the summit in broad daylight.

Walk slowly up to to Paiyun, at least until the sun comes up, and you should be fine.

The trail can be slippery, I was at it while it was raining cats and dogs, and we had white water foaming its way down it in places - did not feel unsafe on it, though.

I only recall one tough spot (landslide) before Paiyun, and if they set out at 2:30, they should reach that place in daylight.

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#16

Concur with Mr. He. The trail from Tatajia is cake compared to that up from Dongpu.

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