I should have written about the Part 2 ages ago. It’s already June & I may have forgotten some details.
Day 2 of our trip involved a long, 5 hours driving from Taipei to Dongpu Lodge. We left our hostel at about 7:15AM and reached Dongpu Lodge at about 1PM. That afternoon we went to Yushan Visitor Centre to get some info about the trip. Me & Todd explored the trek further up. It was a nice experience.
Day 3, the D day! We woke up early. Packed our things. But as usual and the never ending issue is what things to pack & what to be left behind to make our backpack as light as possible. And the end none of us bring any tripod. I just carry my D3 & 17-35 using ThinkTank belt system.
The walked about 1 KM from Donpu Lodge to Paiyun Mountaineering Centre to get the mountain & police permits. Communication is a problem here & actually everywhere in Taiwan for the non Mandarin speaking tourist like us. And to make the matter worse, the rangers can’t find our approval letter. Fortunately they were really helpful & it was obvious that they really want to allow us to climb Yushan. Oh btw, the permit is free. Hear that any Taman Negara or Taman Laut or whatever national park authority in Malaysia!! The service was great!! There were only few people allowed to trek Yushan in one day. Our 5-men group, another 25-men Taiwanese & 1-solo traveler. We then hired a van to transport us to Tataka Anbu. Tataka Anbu is actually just the trailhead to many mountains. No guard, no ranger & no building there.
So we started the journey maybe around 8AM. The scenery at the trailhead was already beautiful. There was mark at every 0.5 KM. And we know we need to walk 8.5KM to reach Paiyun Lodge latest by 2PM or else we could not proceed.
The first 0.5KM was an easy walk by the side of the mountain. And the weather was great! Then there was this zig zag uphill climbing for about 0.5KM followed by another 0.5KM downhill walk just before Dr. Monroe’s shelter. A shelter built because Dr. Monroe felt here before. Must be someone very influential here! This gonna be the first from only two shelters available along the trail. No water supply here. But there is this eco-friendly toilet about 100M ahead of the shelter. I never try the toilet but my friend said it stink.
Then for few KMs they trail was easy but gradually uphill climb. The bridges & steps were really user friendly. I didn’t feel pain usinh the stairs. The steps were well spaced. Another pointer to those building stairs in Malaysian taman negara.
Our group soon became separated but we met again at second shelter which was located about 3.5KM before Paiyun Lodge. Again another eco friendly toilet nearby which was dedicated to Johnny Depp. I can’t simply understand the reason for that.
This shelter is bigger. A group which was traveling with us had their lunch here. We should have done the same but we did not, expecting the track to Paiyun is easy & we want to be there early.
The next 3.5KM was pretty tough especially with little energy left & the winding steep uphill climb. We left in a group but it soon split into three. Arey & Todd infront. Me in the midle, while Remi & Ali at the back. I can’t recall when we left second shelter. Arey & Todd reached Paiyun at 1:15PM, me slightly after 2PM. But Remi & Ali at 3:15PM. The ranger allowed Arey, Todd & me to proceed to Yuanfong Lodge but not Remi & Ali. I will not going to tell you what we did but suffice to say, we stayed together, still following the rule not going to Yuanfong. Ranger told us that two of us were not allowed to stay at Paiyun or Yuanfong but never say we can climb to the peak! *wink*