Yushan, I heard about it from researching for a trip to Taiwan 3 years ago. It is about 13,000, one of the highest
peak in South East Asia. The mountain is included into Yushan National Park, and therefore, climbing it requires
a permit. Every year, the national park make it more difficult to apply for the permit, as to reduce the no. of visitors
to the peak, to preserve the trail erosion caused by the overwhelming usage, and tropical rain.
I went through a local trekking camping to enter the permit lottery, and got a spot of the team. The trail itself is not
difficult, about 8.5 km to climb 500m. And then another 2.5km to climb the last section of 400m. What makes it
difficult is the weather, at any given time, tropical terrestial rainfall can hit the trail, make the trail running
like a river.
Luckily rain wasn't that bad when we were climbing up. Up till we arrived at the Paiyun Lodge at 3400m, rain became a
big problem. At 8pm, rain started to fall and temperature started to drop near freezing. Rain didn't stop at all
and eventually became flurries as temperature drop below freezing.
Conditions were not in our favour to climb. With fresh flurries and icy rock, the lead guide canceled the final summit.
It was just too risky to go up without a safe path to come down. But instead of disappointment, I observed
one of the weird thing. Local Taiwanese people are estatic when they saw snow. I could understand that snow in tropical
countries was like seeing gold falling from the sky. I totally enjoyed seeing the joy coming out of the snowing scene.
They played with it as if a labrador sees water.
First stop after bus leaving Taipei at 8pm
This is our breakfast
A village located near Alishan, 2000m elevation.
This village is a famour staging spot for tourists.
Used to have train some up the mountain.
Yushan National Park Map
This is a very typial Taiwan thingy. All service counters provide reading glasses. Just in case you need to read the disclaimer.
Observation Deck for Yushan main peak.
A classic 'Before' picture
A compass in chinese characters.
Wrming up ...
A train going uphill.
The trail maintenance crew did a very good job building bridges.
Bridge no. 11
More bridges ...
We hiked 3.5km, 5km to reach Paiyun Lodge.
.. at 3000m (9750 ft)
Clouds were rolling it, ...
It is very hard to believe it is that lushy above 9700ft elevation.
More bridges ... we need to pass a total of 82 foot bridges to get to Paiyun Lodge.
Last 0.5km to Paiyun.
Welcome, .. we reached Paiyun Lodge.
No... it's not like a refugee camp.
2.4km to the main peak.
This is a postal signage. You can send letters up here !!!
Cooking is a big thing at the Lodge ... chinese people and food !
The bunk beds were luxuries here.
The water thank for the lodge.
The lavatories ....
Dinner time ....
Rain / Freezing Rain / Slush .... were falling ..
Coming down the mountain, we had the unstoppable rain ...
Near the trailhead ....
When we got down to the parking lot, ... look, blue sky and sunny.