A 1 Day Hike up Jade Mountain Front Peak 爬玉山前峰
by Robert Minor
LINKS ABOUT CLIMBING JADE MOUNTAIN
OTHER TAIWAN 100 MOUNTAIN PEAKS:
FRONT PEAK: 3239 meters DISTANCE: 12km round trip TIME: ABOUT 5-6 hours ELEVATION: Just over 1,000 meters total
CHINESE: Yu Shan Qian Feng 玉山前峰
Some friends and I decided to get out of Kaohsiung City for the weekend and bag a quick peak. The Front Peak of Jade Mountain was a perfect choice for a 6 hour low maintenance trip up #69 on Taiwan’s 100 Peak List.
The winter weather (January) had been clear and cold but not much snow had fallen so we took advantage of the low crowds before Chinese New Year to make our way to the Dong Pu Lodge next to the Tatajia Saddle and bunk for the night. The Dongpu Lodge is just several rooms of wooden bunks, a common area, and a kitchen in the back for cooking your food. It provides a pillow and comforter and bathroom facilities. Cost is 300NT a night per person. It’s best to call and reserve a space. Click HERE for the Dong Pu Lodge information page.
On Sunday morning, we were up at 5:00am and out the door by 6:00. We had gotten our permits for Yushan National Park berforehand. Click HERE for an article on how to get permits. We made our way up to the police checkpoint in 0 degree celcius weather. It had been 25 degrees in Kaohsiung the day before, so this was a nice, wintry environment to be in.
Blue Skies Adventures organizes hiking and outdoor trips for those living or visiting Taiwan.
Our check-in at the police station and park ranger station went quickly and we started the 1.8 km road walk up to the Jade Mountain Trailhead.
If you have never been to the Tatajia Saddle, there is no need to worry. It is very clear where to go and the signs are in both English and Chinese.
At the 2.8 km marker, there is a trail marker and an entrance that starts the ascent to the peak. Along the way are small marker arrows and sometimes directional signs.
The distance to the peak is only 800 meters. But you are climbing about 1,000 meters! The trail starts steep and continues straight up through a dirt trail. About 30 minutes into the climb, the trail becomes rocky. Be prepared to climb and jump over rocks to scramble your way up . There is no definitive trail here, but there are many trail marker flags left by previous hiking groups. The rock climbing continues for about 15 minutes.
Pictured below, the dirt trail turns into rocks and boulders. It’s a good idea to strap your pack on tightly and get ready to scramble up the mountainside.
Pictured below, a view of the rocky slope from above.
Our group of 3 separted a bit here. We all made our ways around the rocks in our own timely fashion. The clear weather gave us fabulous views of other peaks, dead trees, and cool rock formations.
About an hour later, we arrived at the peak of Jade Mountain Front Peak. It was a clear day and we could see Jade Mountain and her two north peaks. Also, this peak is surrounded by high grass, so it’s easy to sit down and be sheltered from the wind.
We brewed tea, took photos, enjoyed the fresh air and sun, and checked off another 100 peak on our lists.
Pictured below, the main peak and two north peaks of Jade Mt and a close up of the two north peaks.