The idea to climb the highest peak of Taiwan came to my mind during my first stay here in Taiwan. My plan to ride a scooter under the Mt. Yushan  (302 km from Taipei), to climb the mountain and then continue to Kaohsiung (another 188 km) seemed pretty naive. Basically, 500km on a motorbike and 10 km long trek to submit, and all this in 2 or 3 days? A challenge or a pure foolery?

After pretty short sleep, because of catching a rat in our apartment, I finally head off to Chiayi City. A sunny weather and a long way in front of me. It took me long six hours of a boring driving to Chiayi. After short rest there and a meeting with my friends, we continued from there to freezing weather and dark night in mountains under the Jade Mountain which is another name for this legendary peak.

At 4 am alarm started our hike from begging of the trail to the top. Turn on our headlights and let’s go. The trek is not that difficult as I expected, but it is long, in high latitude and still sloping. We didn’t meet any hikers at the beginning, just some porters and workers which were repairing the trek.

The weather was amazing and I’ve got plenty of opportunities to take out my camera from the bag. We were heading to Paiyun Lodge, which is only one cottage on the way. There is a guard who checks your permits and as well whether the groups have enough time to make it to the top and return. So in the case of one day permit, you have to be there before 11 am.

The Paiyun Lodge was our last stop. We were not allowed to continue and we had to turn around there and go back to the parking lot. I was pretty disappointed that time because we were really close to the summit but on the other hand, it was a great hike with even better weather. And yes after 12 hours of the hiking I rode another 4 hours to my second home to Kaohsiung. :-)



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