Saturday, January 12, 2013

Pre-Trip Report: Xueshan (Snow Mountain), Taiwan

Xueshan (Snow Mountain), Taiwan. (photo from AMCI Mountaineering Club, Inc)

"Somewhere between the bottom of the climb and the summit
 is the answer to the mystery why we climb." 
- Greg Child

Instead of muttering "Because i want to", I should have probably said something as cool as that when my mom asked me "why do you need to go climb that mountain in Taiwan??"

It is almost 4 weeks more to a long awaited trek to Xueshan or Snow Mountain in Taiwan. It is only the  second-highest peak in Taiwan after Yushan or Jade Mountain, but because of its relatively more accessible routes and more picturesque qualities, Xueshan is one the must-climb mountains in Asia.

With a height of 3886m, it will be the highest summit for me. The only other trek I have done before is to the Crater Rim of Gunung Rinjani at 2639m. And because I will be trekking in winter, it will be my first ever winter mountain trek. This will also be my first totally self-supported trek (i.e. no porters), which is something i have always wanted to do.

An idea that spawned from wedding banquet table talk, I am stoked that this is actually happening. I am going with 2 good mates, both of whom were part of that same conversation 7 months ago. One of them is CW, who has done this route twice before and a bunch of other crazy routes in Taiwan. He just got back from a 10 day solo trek on the Holy Ridge Trail, so he is probably the fittest of the three of us. I am also grateful to my supportive wife who has let me go on this trip with the boys (thanks baby!).

I will be journalling our experiences on the journey, which we will embark on in February 2013. I will also be reviewing gear and kit used during the trip.

Stay tune, and happy trails!

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