Jade Mountain Summit

Jade Mtn. is the highest peak in Taiwan & NE Asia at 3,952 m (12,966′)

In Yushan National Park is Yùshān 玉山. Yushan literally translates to Jade Mountain: 玉 (Yu = jade) 山 (Shan = mountain). It’s the premier mountain to summit in Taiwan and we finally got the chance on July 21, 2018 with a gaggle of Taiwan-based Nike colleagues.

(Back): Scott, Sarah, Mark, Ben, Mike, Leon, David, Ray, Charlie, Ann   (Front): David, Jade, Aiwen, Andy

The most popular way to do this hike is in 2 days. There are two lodges on the mountain: Dongpu Villa Hostel (2,500 m) and Paiyun Lodge (3,402 m). Most spend the first night at the base Hostel then hike to the upper Lodge where a second night is spent. People wake early to reach the summit by sunrise.

We, however, did it in 1-day because it’s nearly impossible to get a booking at the upper Paiyun Lodge and a good bun burner challenge never hurts, right? So that ended up being…

13 Hrs. Hiking 26.5 k

We spent the night at the lower Dongpu Villa Hostel ($9 lodging + $6 dinner USD). This place is rustic with the thinnest of mattresses (those are not sheets). This is traditional hostel here where you sleep right next to each other. Cozy town!

Lights out at 8:00 pm

Rise ‘n Shine at 1:00 am

Because we opted for the 1-day hike, we needed to pay close attention to our timing as they don’t let people past the second lodge after 10 am. This is how we rolled time wise:

1:00 am – Woke, ate, strapped on headlamps/packs
2:00 am – Start hiking towards trailhead
2:30 am – Reach trailhead
5:00 am – Saw sun rise
6:40 am – Reached Paiyun Lodge at 3,402 m
8:30 am – Reached the summit!
2:40 pm – Back at trailhead
3:00 pm – Back at carpark (via shuttle before 5 pm)

And in pictures…

Reached the official trial head at 2:35 am

Sunrise 5:00 am

Steeps parts going down and…

steep parts going up!

Paiyun Lodge (3,402 m) at 6:40 am

Hiking poles very handy on the loose shale

Cardio rest stop

This walkway was built to protect hikers from falling rocks. Safety first!

Summit at 8:40 am. Weather was perfecto! It’s often windy up here, but not today.

Summit selfie

Wait, something is missing in this photo…

Scott, Mike, Mark, Ben, Charlie, Sarah & Jade.

Yes, the Nike schwag!

Technically we Just Did It!

The upper mountain is fully equipped with chains to hold on to. It’s very well maintained.

Vistas Forever

Big smiles as we start the descent

What we missed earlier

As we hiked in to the lower elevation we got to see everything we missed hiking up in the dark. We were surrounded by massive Chinese Hemlocks and Yushan bamboo. The silhouettes and cool misty air reminded us of San Francisco evenings. Good memories.

Chinese Hemlocks in the mist

2:30 pm a convenient resting rock greets us. Legs are so very tired at this point.

Back at the Trailhead at 2:40 pm (12 hours on the nose from trailhead to trailhead)

Success. Everyone made it down safely!

Wondering what happened to the other 7 in our group? Due to pace, our original group of 14 split up. The others summited 4 hours after us at 12:30 pm. Unfortunately that meant they had a long day of hiking and ended up hiking home in the dark with headlamps on, again. We stayed in contact via texting and heard the last of our group finished the hike at 9:30 pm. That was a very long day. A big shout out to the Nike drivers – 2 drivers stayed behind and made sure that everyone got off the mountain and got home safely.  These guys are always looking out for us.

Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean. – John Muir

pp

Pickles & Passionfruit


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One thought on “Jade Mountain Summit

  1. Amazing. Love the John Muir quote! All of you are so physically fit, healthy and happy! Refreshing to see the climb & your smiling faces! Congratulations on a superior endeavor. Beautiful photos too!

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