Taiwan – Twin Peaks Yushan + Xueshan Trek
We combined both the Yushan (Jade) and Xueshan (Snow) treks into 1 trip since both Yushan and Xueshan are relatively short trek that can be done within 2 to 3 days each. We will first climb Yushan then followed by Xueshan.
Jade Mountain / Yushan
Yushan has 5 peaks, namely North, South, East, West and Main, and can be accessed from Tatajia or Dongpu. Most trekkers head for the shorter and quick 2-day trek from Tatajia to the Main Peak and back to Tatajia, skipping the rest of the peaks and Dongpu. For the super fit and fast, it is possible to attempt a 1-day ascend. Then, there are those who opt for a 3-day trek for a more leisurely and comfortable pace, spending an extra night in Paiyun after the summit, and, if time permits, to explore the West Peak. From the start point at Tatajia Saddle (2610m) to the Main Peak (3952m), it covers a distance of 10.2km. Trekkers spend one night at Paiyun Hut (3460m/8.5km), at pre-dawn climb another 2.6km from the hut to the Main Peak to catch the sunrise view the next morning. This last 2.6km to the Main Peak can be a bit of a scramble on rocks with strong wind, especially at the last stretch, famously known as the wind tunnel. After catching the sunrise and descend to Paiyun for a quick brunch, trekkers will retrace the route back to the start point of the trek at Tatajia Saddle.
Snow Mountain / Xueshan
Xueshan is a little lower than Yushan but considered a tougher peak to climb. There are two cabins on the trail. The first, Qika Cabin, is located at the 2.0km mark and the second, 369 Cabin, is at the 7.2km mark. Both cabins are more basic and bare than the newly renovated Paiyun in Yushan. There’s only one trailhead (2140m) where your permits are inspected. Other than the two cabins, Xueshan is known for three prominent spots – the “Crying Hill” at the 4km mark with steep ascent to the ridge; the “Black Forest” where tall alpine trees provide a shield against sun light to the forest; and finally the cirque valley above the treeline that opens to an alpine environment. In May and June, the alpine slopes are covered with red and white flowers. Snow can be seen in the winter months between December and February making the climb harder.
About the Climb
Our journey will take us from Taipei Taoyuan airport to FenChiHu or in the Alishan region before the start of 2D/1N Yushan trek. After a 1 day rest, we will travel to Wuling region to start our 3D/2N Xueshan trek.
We will approach Yushan using the Tatajia route. From the start point at Tatajia Saddle (2610m) to the Main Peak (3952m), it covers a distance of 10.9km. We will spend one night at Paiyun Cabin (3460m/8.5km), at pre-dawn climb another 2.4km from the Cabin to the Main Peak to catch the sunrise view. This last 2.4km to the Main Peak can be a bit of a scramble on rocks with strong wind, especially at the last stretch, famously known as the wind tunnel. After catching the sunrise, we descend to Paiyun Cabin for a quick brunch, we will retrace the route back to the start point of the trek at Tatajia Saddle. We will transfer to Dongpu to rest, the following day, we will transfer to Wuling farm region to prepare for our trek to Xueshan.
From the trailhead of Xueshan, we will trek to 369 Cabin. Before arriving at the 369 Cabin, we will trek to the summit of Xueshan East Peak (if weather permit), then trek another 2km to 369 Cabin. From 369 Cabin, it is another 4km to the Main Peak. On the return journey from the Main peak, you will have a chance to experience the “Black Forest” (黑森林) in daylight. This ancient forest of tall arrow-like firs is stunningly beautiful, especially in winter when snow often covers the forest floor. We will stay another night in 369 Cabin. The following day, we retrace the route back to the trailhead, then transfer to Taipei.
It is possible to trek in Taiwan all year round, though preparation for ice/snow should be taken in winter (January/February) in the northern region and on higher mountains.
The popular trekking seasons are:
- Spring (March-May)
- Autumn (October-November) and
- Winter (December)
Participants must be of an above average level of fitness, physically and mentally fit, with the ability to trek with a 6-10kg backpack load for long hours (i.e. 8 – 13hrs). Though hiring of porters is possible, the cost is high (about S$200/day); therefore it is more realistic to train and prepare to carry your own load. No previous experience of climbing is required but previous experience with trekking is desirable. The trek will be using established hiking routes that may include moderate to steep slopes, with the approach to the summit on steep narrow sections of rock scrambles or scree with snow expected during the winter months till early spring.
Equipment and Gear
Between October and March, the climate is cooler in the mountain, trekking attire you will need are thermal base layer, fleece jacket, outershell jacket and down jacket. It is warmer from April to September, down jacket will not be essential.
A packing list will be provided for all our participants. Please refer to our Resource Centre page to read more about the layering system to better prepare you for your climbing & attire needs as well as for choosing the right equipment for your climb.
- Group size: 8 - 15 people
- Permits need to be applied 4 months in advance. Register by 5 Sep 2017
- The Twin Peaks trip is part of our annual Mountain Climbing Challenges event. To promote mountain climbing and to encourage people to challenge themselves physically and mentally, we have initiated and introduced a few mountain climbing challenges into our calendar each year. These Mountain Climbing Challenges trips are accompanied by a team leader. To read more, click on this link: Mountain Climbing Challenges
- You can also form a private group for this trek. For enquiry, send an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Day||Desctiption||Meals||Altitude At Rest Point|
|D1||Meet in Taipei. Flight arrival before 12pm.|
Transfer to Nanshan
|D2||Transfer to Xueshan trail head. Trek to 369 Cabin.||B/L/D||3100m|
|D3||Summit trek - Xueshan Main Peak (3886m). Descend to 369 Cabin||B/L/D||3100m|
|D4||Descend to trail head. Transfer to Lishan||B/L/D||1900m|
|D5||Transfer to Dongpu (Rest day)||B/L/D||1200m|
|D6||Transfer to Tatajia Visitors’ Center (2610m). Trek to Paiyun Cabin.||B/L/D||3402m|
|D7||Summit trek (Yushan Main Peak, 3952m). Descend to Tatajia Visitors’ Center (2610m).Transfer to Taipei||B/L/D||10m|
|D8||Depart Taipei. (Programme ends here. Next day arrival on flight, if any, not reflected in itinerary )||B/-/-|
* Itinerary is dependent on the trekking permit approval. We may make slight adjustment to the itinerary e.g. trek to Yushan first then followed by Xueshan.
- Return airport transfers in Taipei
- All land transfers as in itinerary
- Meals as indicated in itinerary
- Twin/Triple sharing accommodation in city
- Mountain hut - dormitory beds
- Camping equipment: Sleeping bag; snow-cleats (if needed)
- Trek support: Trekking guide (s)
- Permits & Fees: Conservation, National Park fees and permit
- 1 x Ace Adventure Expeditions trek leader
- International air tickets, airline taxes and fuel surcharge
- Visa Fee (if any).
- Single Supplement
- Meals not indicated in itinerary
- All tipping
- Personal porters
- Personal travel insurance (mandatory to cover trekking up to 4000m)
- Personal expenses like shopping, laundry etc
- Personal travel & trekking gear – warm clothing, shoes, backpacks etc
- Emergency evacuation and medical expenses
- Compensation for damaged or lost of personal items (eg: climbing/trekking gear and equipment, cameras and any valuable items etc)
- Any expenses including accommodation, meals & transfer outside the stipulated trek/climb itinerary – i.e. any person leaving the group for personal travel, illness/injury or any form of extension of stay
Support from Ace Adventure Expeditions
We provide pre-trip support to prepare you for the climb:
1. Trip briefing and information kit
2. Gear list and gear discount from selected Singapore outdoor outfitters
3. Training guideline kit
4. Rope skill workshop (For climbs that require rope up and/or fixed rope skill)
We carefully select and establish strong working relationship with our local trek operator to ensure safe participation by everyone. Our local climbing guides have extensive experience in guiding treks in Taiwan, possess intimate knowledge of the local surroundings, conditions and culture and are trained in wilderness 1st aid and emergency rescue.
Good basic fitness is necessary. Have the ability to carry personal backpack load of between 8kg and 10kg to hike for 8hrs daily; and up to 14hrs or more on summit day.
Training: Regardless of your level of fitness and physical conditions, it is advisable to train prior to embarking on a climb or trek. A training recommendation specific to the climb or trek will be given upon signing up. A good four to five months of training would be a good preparation for the trek. Refer to our Grading chart for an overview on the technical difficulty and fitness required for this trip.