More and more people are taking on the challenge of climbing Yushan. Over 45,000 applications to enter the park area were approved this year, but Yushan National Park Headquarters recorded 40 rescue missions this year through the end of November.
This past January, "Bikini Hiker" Gigi Wu climbed up Yushan's Mabolasi Trail by herself to take photos and died of hypothermia after falling into a ravine.
With the number of hikers climbing up Yushan rising in recent years, the number of hiking accidents has also risen. According to Yushan National Park Headquarters, the number of rescue missions sent out has doubled in the last decade. The park recorded 40 rescue missions in the first 11 months of this year, compared to 42 last year and 37 in 2017.
The number of accidents caused by falls is relatively higher. Before you head up the mountain, you must do your homework and be prepared for all eventualities. This includes physical training, equipment, preventive measures against altitude sickness, and researching relevant information online.
Falls and slips account for 12, or 30 percent, of the accidents reported this year, followed by altitude sickness or hypothermia and then illness or injury. There were eight deaths this year, including four caused by falls into ravines. The mountaineering association says Yushan has become a popular hiking destination in recent years but there remains an inherent amount of risk with it being East Asia's highest peak.
If you cross paths on a ledge, my personal opinion is you should take off your backpack and let one person pass first. Mountainous areas are opening up to the public, so more and more hikers are taking on the challenge of climbing Yushan. This makes it very simple. Before you embark on a hike, visit a travel clinic at a hospital and get a proper physical assessment done by professionals.
Park officials say summiting Yushan's primary peak is no longer difficult, but hikers should do their homework and make sure they are physically capable of climbing the peak. Lack of experience or conditioning are the main causes of accidents, so everyone should pick the trail that is right for them.