Sunday, October 11, 2009

Yushan (Jade Mountain) reopening...?

It is very likely that Yushan's trails will not start reopening until March 2010. Nothing has been officially confirmed yet, but this was one of the main conclusions at a recent meeting between the National Park and local hiking groups.

Repairs to approach roads are still at an early stage. Both highways No 21 from Nantou, and No 18 via Alishan, to Tataka (Tatajia) are in a very bad shape. It inadvisable to approach the area without a very good reason and a 4-wheel drive vehicle. The standard Tataka trail to the main peak of Yushan (Jade Mountain) will probably be the first reopened. The entry points to the longer trekking trails, such as via Dungpu/Batongguan and the Southern Cross Highway, will remain closed for a longer time.

One bit of good news. Competition for permits has been, and will continue to be, stiff. It has been suggested that foreign hikers be allowed to apply 3 months in advance for the required spaces at Paiyun Cabin. Should this become official policy (hope so!) it will be reflected in our spring schedule.