While Mount Qixing at Yangmingshan has an impressive view of Taipei, what impresses me more was how they’ve managed to make the hike accessible. It’s stairs unlimited up until the summit but the climb is doable for any age and fitness level.
The Asian Trilogy is being able to summit the highest summits of Malaysia (Mount Kinabalu, 4095 MASL), Japan (Mount Fuji, 3,766 MASL and Taiwan (Jade Mountain 3,950 MASL). With the first two ticked off the bucket list, the next one was Jade Mountain but as fate would do, we’d miss the chance via lottery. Snow Mountain was the next highest mountain at 3,866 MASL so that was our consolation. I hope that the additional 1,120 MASL of Mount Qixing would make up for the less than 100 meters difference between the top 2 mountains.
After a successful climb at Xueshan / Snow Mountain, our quads were aching for a little bit of suffering so we decided to do an easy hike the next day. Yangmingshan National Park has a lot of mountain ranges and I was able to visit the park at least twice in my previous trips to Taipei. It’s just a bus ride away from Shilin MRT. Since we are a group, we just decided to take a cab heading to the jump off point at Yangmishan via the Miaopu Entrance at about 560 MASL.
Starting at around 11 am, we headed to the trail head and it’s a lot of stairs, in fact, it’s a stairs unlimited up until the summit. That’s about 2.5 kilometers of distance climbing about 660 meters. We went at an easy consistent climbing pace and since we had a high climbing threshold from the Xueshan Climb, climbing felt easy. I have to admit the quads were stinging.
The first kilometers of climbing were on more defined steps and shifts to rocky steps towards the last kilometer to the summit. There were also a lot of flora and fauna and even saw a majestic looking lizard along the route. I have to admit because of the defined steps, climbing was easier. It still requires a lot of effort though because of the 660 meters of climbing you have to cover.
When we were about to reach the upper part, it started to go cold and foggy. That’s what you get with high mountains, they have their own micro weather. The higher part was more of an effort with some of the rocky steps being a bit slippery. I just continued the climb counting down the remaining meters until we reached the summit.
The summit was really foggy with no clearing. Too bad for us as it would have been a wonderful view of the city at such a vantage point. The climb was still impressive as you can see that people of all ages and fitness level were able to summit. I hope we have peaks like this where people can have better accessibility at some peaks.
After a while at the main peak, we took the east peak where we headed down to the park. It was a steep descent on steps but it was tolerable. It was totally foggy and felt like a walk in the clouds. It would have been a lot more awesome seeing the cityscape and mountain ranges from this vantage point. We exited to the park and tried to find our way back to the main trail. We eventually went back to the main trail and went down to Miaopu entrance to wrap up the hike.
It was a painful hike from the overused quads the previous days but it was a good work out. We had street foods at the bus stop before heading back to Xilin MRT to catch our dinner at Din Tai Fung at Taipei 101. I would definitely do this hike again, hopefully on a clear day so I can appreciate the summit.