Ascent of Yushan on 2006-06-26

Climber: Yu-Pu Wang

Date:Monday, June 26, 2006
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
    Elevation:12963 ft / 3951 m

Ascent Trip Report

Yushan (lit. "Jade Mountain") is the highest mountain in Taiwan, and among the most prominent peaks in the world.

Day 0 (June 25):

Stayed at Upper Dongpu Hostel (elev. 2,500m) for altitude adaptation.

Day 1 (June 26):

We took a shuttle bus to the trailhead at Tataka Saddle (elev. 2,630m). We started hiking at 7:50 am. The trail generally followed the south slope of the west ridge of Yushan. The slope was gentle, and the ridge and forest blocked the sun on the north so it was a nice and shady hike. At 5 km mark there was a big shelter. We took a major rest there for half an hour.

After the shelter the weather became increasingly cloudy and the trail became a bit steeper. We proceeded with a faster pace and arrived at Paiyun Cabin at noon, 8.5 km from the trailhead.

The cabin had very limited space for sleeping and we had to prepare our own food. The experienced captain said there would be a heavy T-storm in the afternoon, but 4 people out of our group decided to climb the West Peak (elev. 3,518m) anyway. They got soaked.

We cooked a big dinner at 4 pm in the cabin and went to bed at 7 pm. The cabin had limited supply of diesel fuel, so the power generator only operated from 5 to 8 pm. There were about 100 people staying in the cabin this night, and maybe 20-30 more camping outside the cabin.

As the sleeping space was very crowded and ventilation was not good, I woke up at 10:30 pm and couldn't sleep anymore. There was a gorgeously starry sky outside. To the extent that I couldn't even distinguish the constellations. Lots of people went out to enjoy the view too.

Day 2 (June 27):

We had breakfast at 2 am and headed for the summit at 2:30 am. This section was 2.4 km long. We left heavy supplies in the cabin and carried only small backpacks to the top. A woman in our group had AMS so we split into two groups, one big group continuing to the top and one small group taking care of her. After a while the trail climbed to the southwest face of the main peak. The trail zigzagged about a dozen times on the bare, rocky face. Morning twilight kicked in around 4 am.

After the zigzag the trail became so steep that extensive scrambling was needed. There were fixed steel chains so the climbing was not too tricky. I arrived at the summit at 5 am sharp. Sunrise came 3 minutes later. It was about 5 °C at the top with nearly calm wind -- pretty unusual for such a high peak. Usually it is extremely windy at the top. The skies were very clear with excellent visibility. Even Kelaye Shan (115 km away) could be seen.

There was an upright piece of rock with bilingual signs at the summit. Also the summit hosts two triangulation points. As the summit got crowded with people, we started to head back after 30 min.

The first ~250m was the hardest to descend, requiring scrambling as well. This portion took me 40 minutes. I arrived at Paiyun Cabin at 7:10 am. The way back from this point was very easy with almost exclusive downhill slopes. It became increasingly cloudy from 11 am, and when I arrived at the trailhead at 12:30 pm it just started raining.

We took the shuttle bus back to Upper Dongpu Hostel, and it started pouring rain short after. 6 people in our group had slower pace and got soaked.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4334 ft / 1321 m
    Round-Trip Distance:13.5 mi / 21.8 km
    Route:Tataka (west) Route
    Trailhead:Tataka Saddle  8629 ft / 2630 m
    Grade/Class:Class 2 Grade V
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Hut Camp
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
    Weather:Raining, Cool, Breezy, Clear
clear and nice AM, T-storms PM.
Ascent Statistics
    Time:0 Days 6 Hours 40 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:0 Days 7 Hours 0 Minutes

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