Christmas Climbing at Yuanzui Mountain

Sunday, December 24, 2017
In Taipei we had shortly met up with a Taiwanese friend from our travels in India; Jay. He introduced us to some of his friends and as it always happens, new connections were being made. New friends.

The summit point of Yuanzui Mountain, Taiwan
On Christmas day our new friends invited us to a hike in the Taiwanese mountain range. An offer we could not refuse. As this was my first Christmas without my family I was happy to do any activity really.

Alex looking back as the climb gets steeper on Yuanzui Mountain, Taiwan
Alex, Daniel and Tina took us to one of the most beautiful places in Taiwan; Yuanzui Mountain. You haven't really been in Taiwan before you've done hiking. And so we did. After driving for more than two hours the hiking round-trip took us about seven hours to complete.

Tina doing the last part of the climb towards the summit of Yuanzui Mountain, Taiwan
The climb to the summit of Yuanzui is not for the faint-hearted. The first part seems easy, a stroll in the forrest really, but suddenly the mountain begins fighting back. Rocky steps and loose ground is just the first of many obstacles. Some places are only possible to climb with the help of robes and metal steps placed in the rocky mountain side. And the very last climb you'll just have to cling yourself to the mountain and hope you've got some Spider-Man skills left from your childhood.

Summit Selfie at Yuanzui Mountain, Taiwan.
The view at summit is worth the struggle. On a clear day you fell like you can see all of Taiwan and on this particular day we felt indestructible standing on the top of this giant. I sent a thought to my family from the summit and somehow I just knew it would reach them from this very point.

Lasse and me holding flags at the summit of Yuanzui, Taiwan
But even though the climb to the summit only took us about two and half hours we still had a long way to go. The descend from the summit point is more difficult than the ascend. Downhill climb goes slower and we struggled to reach more even grounds.

Daniel on the descend from Yuanzui Mountain, Taiwan
After another two hours or so we finally reached flat spaces and we decided to have lunch. This hike is not possible without supplies and we had brought plenty. There just something rewarded about having lunch after a physical challenge, which make it so much tastier.

Lasse, Tina and Alex enjoying lunch at Yuanzui, Taiwan
Our lunch provided us with newfound energy, which was much needed as we had to pass another summit point before descending to the main road.

Shaolai Mountain was an easier climb compared to Yuanzui, but our tired legs made it feel difficult anyway. At the summit an observatory has been built to provide an even greater view down the hilly valley.

Autumn leafs near Yuanzui, Taiwan
The descend from Shaolai was quite pleasant and we even had energy to stop and enjoy the autumn colors of the forrest before we hit the road for another two hour drive back. What a way to spent Christmas.

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