Some end of year notes on hiking in Taiwan.
There is progress being made in the rebuilding/renovating of Paiyun Lodge. Most people still predict it will be completed and reopened by May or June 2011.This I don’t believe, my best guess is September or October 2011. [Update June 2011: my best guess now is maybe the end of the year]
The inside has been gutted and building materials are being helicoptered up from Tataka. The contractors estimate 50 days-worth of airlifting will be required. Can only do about 20 trips each day in the mornings before warm air currents make flight tricky. Each load is between 250 and 350kg.
Sensors and cameras are being installed at various locations along the main Tataka-Paiyu route to more easily monitor the location of (lost) hikers. More info when I know more.
Yushan Single Day Ascent.
I can assist qualified people in arranging permits and other logistics for single-day ascents of Yushan’s Main Peak. This tough option is only suitable for those with more than average experience and hiking fitness. You will need to convince me of experience on some of the top international most prominent summits, or relevant trails in Taiwan. Repeat: only suitable for the fit and experienced hiker. The National Park needs photographic proof.
Note also, Yushan will be closed to all hikers for the month of February plus (depending on actual weather conditions) some of January and March probably. There are icy patches near the summit, the National Park is enforcing the requirement for hikers to carry crampons and ice axes.
North Dawu Mountain.
The Forestry Bureau have completed repairs to the trail and Kuaigu Cabin. The campsites have been rebuilt and the lighting upgraded.
What has NOT improved is access to the original trailhead. The 7.5 km ‘public’ road from upper Taiwu Village is still very bad condition and then ends abruptly near the ‘new’ trailhead. This adds at least an extra 1.5 hours rough hiking to the normal ascent. The land in this area belongs to the local community, they do not have the resources or interest in doing large-scale reconstruction and would prefer to let the mountain ‘rest’ for some years.
Wuling Cabin (武陵山莊) - the accommodation at the north end of Wuling Farm has been renovated, and now managed by the Hoya Hotel...which means it is not the cheap option it was in the past!
The Western Section of the Nengao Trail to the central ridge and the summits of Cilai South and Nanhua are a top recommendation for people wanting an excellent 2-3-day hike - but without the time to arrange permits for peaks in the national parks. I can arrange accommodation and transport from Puli/Wushe to the trailhead for those wanting to do this trip. Note the Tienchr Cabin has already been demolished, the new structure should be completed in the next few months. Porter-supplied food and tents can be arranged.
Get in touch if looking for escorted tours anywhere in Taiwan - we do some very tame hikes too! Richard at firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy New Year!