The latest on Yushan.
The much rumored has now been officially announced: The main peak of Yushan (Jade Mountain) will be closed from the start of September 2010 to allow for reconstruction of Paiyun Lodge (排雲山莊). One surprise was the announcement that the mountain will be closed for 8 months - and not the 1 month that many people had be predicting, especially as much of the new Paiyun building will be pre-fabricated off the mountain and transported by helicopter for installation. The design is still being argued over earnestly by the great and the good. Will update this post as I know more (shocking how little is really known by anyone).
For ordinary hikers the mountain will be closed. For those with exceptional (I mean really, really exceptional) circumstances I suspect there may be very special allowances made. In the meantime I predict there may be as many as 50 people applying for each single permit for the last few days of August.
Remember good permit-free views of Yushan are still possible, not far from Alishan, in the Tataka (Tatajia) area (we can help you with transport around here). The hundreds of other superb 3,000+ meter ( around 10,000 feet) peaks elsewhere in Taiwan are looking for your hiking boots’ attention - think of Snow, Dabajian, etc. I am hopeful, if the next couple months are not too typhoon-rich, that there will be good news to report on access to the epic Batongguan Trail (a longer, harder way to Yushan’s summit): beyond Walami: and Xinkang (Sinkang) Mountain.
Or take it easy - learn more about Taiwan’s incredible biodiversity - buy a book (or video/map/poster/postcard) from Books from Taiwan http://booksfromtaiwan.com/