Guide in Climbing Yushan Peak or Jade Mountain in Taiwan
Never in my wildest imagination did I consider doing an international climb because I know it will cost me arm and leg and the hassle in preparing for the climb itself is already tiring. I only have little to almost no knowledge about Yushan Mountain. All I know Jade or Yushan along with Mt. Kinabalu in Malaysia and Mt. Fuji in Japan comprises the infamous Asian Trilogy.
When AirAsia offered cheap flight to Taipei, I immediately book a flight and included Yushan Peak on my itinerary. Did my own little research to prepare for my first international climb. I've read through blogs that temperature at the peak could drop below zero degrees and altitude sickness is not uncommon. This post a significant threat to me due to the coldest I have been was at Mt. Pulag where I experienced a 4°C, and the highest I've been was Mt. Apo at 2,954 masl compare to Yushan which is 3, 952 masl. I am skeptical if these experiences would be enough for me to survive the mighty Yushan Mountain.
We were lucky when our first attempt to get a permit was approved by Yushan National Park. Getting a permit is really tricky because decision is made by lottery. May the luck be in your favor! After securing our permit, we also need to book our stay at Dongpu Lodge. Day 1 of your Yushan Climb starts at Dongpu Lodge. They also offer van that can take you directly to Yushan National Park office as well as to Tataka Saddle which is the jump off point. Trail from Tataka Saddle to Paiyun Lodge is over 8 km. The trek usually takes 5-8 hrs depending on the weather and physical condition. Once you have reached Paiyun Lodge, they will be asking for the permit then you will be given bunk assignement. They serve food, but we brought our own to save money. After dinner, we sleep early to prepare ourselves for the final two hours ascent. Our Day 2 starts as early as two in the morning. We only had hot noodles and some crackers for breakfast just enough prepare our bodies for the cold and dark path going to Yushan Peak. The trail is narrow and steep, but I am more concern of the cold weather which is almost unbearable. Once at the peak, enjoy the view and fresh air. There is a stone marker where everyone poses to show their evidence of the ascent.
Congratulations you made it!!! East Asia's highest peak.
Itinerary in Climbing Yushan/Jade Mountain.
Day 1: Taipei to Dongpu Lodge. Ride a high-speed train at Taipei bound for Chiayi. Then since there no more buses bound for Alishan when we arrived at Chiayi, we were left with no choice but to get a taxi. The trip was fast but quite expensive. The taxi driver drop us at Dongpu Lodge where we stay our first night.
Day 2: Get our permit at Yushan National Park offise and Police Permit at the police station then Go to trailhead plus another 8.5km to Paiyun Lodge. Spent the night at the lodge to prepare for the final ascent.
Day 3: Early morning climb to Jade Mountain MAIN PEAK then back to Paiyun then back down to trailhead. A local mountaineer gave us a ride and drop us off at Chiayi.