Jade Mountain (1-day): April 2020
At 3,952 meters, Jade (玉山) is the highest mountain in North-East Asia
- 300 US dollarsUS$300
- Kaohsiung, Chiayi
This is the more challenging single-day ascent of Jade Mountain. The first night is spent near the trailhead, with the entire trail being covered up and back on the second day. Jade Mountain was first observed by westerners in 1857 by W. Morrison, the captain of US freighter SS Alexander. They spotted the mountain as they were leaving from Anping Fort in Tainan and from that time the mountain was known as Mt. Morrison in western literature. The views atop the mountain are spectacular, and it would be worthwhile to take a pair of binoculars with you and a decent camera. The first recorded ascent of the mountain was in 1900 by two Japanese anthropologists, Torii Ryuzo and Mori Ushinosuke, after the annexation of Taiwan by the Japanese in 1895. They named the mountain Niitakayama or Mount Niitaka (New High Mountain) on account of the fact that Jade Mountain, at 3,952m, is higher than Mt. Fuji, which is 3,776m high. Under this name, the mountain was used as the secret code to signal the Japanese Imperial Navy to begin its attack on Pearl Harbor. The code was Niitakayama Nobore (Climb Mount Niitaka) and the rest, as they say, is history. The Chinese restored the original name after retrocession in 1945. It’s difficult to get a definitive reason for the name of Jade Mountain. One explanation is that it looks like stainless jade when capped with snow, though a more likely reason is the green hue of the mountain in summertime.