The Holy Ridge

Difficulty5+ (out of 5)       Duration – 5 days and 5 nights (more can be arranged)

Holy Ridge is an absolutely stunning hike that takes you along the dragon’s spine, a ridge over 3000m above sea-level in the Sheipa National Park.  It is an epic hike and not one for the faint-heated with a number of cliffs to be negotiated and razor like ridges to be crossed.

The Holy Ridge connects Snow Mountain at its southern end to Buxiulan Mountain in the north.  There are a number of ways to hike the ridge, including the circular O route which encompasses the Wuling Sixiu, the I-route which is a straight north to south hike that connects with Dabajianshan and the Y-route which is almost a combination of the O- and I- routes.

Please note that this is a very tough hike and not suitable for everyone.  We will only take people on this hike who have been on a high mountain hike with us before, or who can prove that they’ve done many high mountain/alpine hikes on their own and have the rock climbing skills needed to navigate the cliffs.  Bear in mind we will spend at least 4 days above 3000m.  There are a number of fixed ropes and cliff faces to negotiate.   We do other hikes in the Sheipa National Park that offer excellent views of the ridge without having to traverse the most dangerous sections, see Snow Mountain and The Sixiu for more details.

TYPICAL ITINERARY – The O-route

Day 0

Head to Wuling Farm where we spend the night.  There’s the option of either camping or staying in a hotel depending upon your requrements.

Day 1

The Wuling Sixiu hike starts at Wuling Farm.  From the farm we hike to the peak of Taoshan and stay at the cabin just over the top.  This day involves a long, steep climb with very rewarding views of the Yilan Plain.  If there’s time we can drop packs and head over to Kelayeshan.  Dinner is eaten at the cabin and if the weather’s good, we’ll hopefully get to see the sun set over the rest of the Sixiu Mountains.

Day 2

On this day we cross the ridge that connects Taoshan to Chiyoushan.  This is a gorgeous hike through a forest of Chinese Hemlock.  The views are stunning.  Once at the bottom of Chiyoushan, we climb up a huge scree slope before exiting the forest and arriving at the peak.   From there, we continue on towards the Xinda Cabin, passing by the famous Pintian Tree which can be seen in the Taiwan Adventures logo.   We spend the night at the Xinda Cabin.

Day 3

On this day we summit Pintianshan before climbing down the Pintian Cliffs, the highest is some 20m.  This is an especially difficult day in terms of terrain, but we’ll start early to give us plenty of time to get over the more techincal sections.  We finally end the day at the Sumida Cabin.

Day 4

Day 4 is more a relaxed day.  We wake up and climb to the peak of Sumidashan directly behind the cabin.  After that we then continue to make our way along the dragon’s spine towards the Xuebei Cabin where we spend the night.

Day 5

We continue along the ridge passing by forests of gnarly twisted junipers before summitng Taiwan’s second highest mountain, Snow Mountain.  From the peak we head down through the Black Forest, an ancient forest of arrow like firs and arrivea at 369 Cabin in the evening.

Day 6

We pack up and hike back down to Wuling Farm at a gentle pace.

GRADING AND FITNESS

The Holy Ridge  a very tough hike.  We will cross many exposed sections at high altitude.  A high level of fitness and experience is required.  There are a number of cliffs and fixed rope sections on the hike.

TRANSPORT

Typically pick up and drop off is from Taipei, but other locations can be arranged, including Taoyuan International Airport. We will travel by car or small van depending upon numbers.  All of our vehicles are insured and all drivers have local licenses.

FOOD

All meals are provided for.  If you have any special dietary requests, allergies or needs, let us know and we’ll be happy to accommodate you. 

ACCOMMODATION

The first night’s accommodation is at Wuling Farm.  We can camp at the farm or stay in one of the many hotels depending upon your requirements.  Please note that during the cherry blossom season it can be very difficult to get accommodation in Wuling Farm and we may have to stay outside of the farm on the first night.

Once on the mountain, we stay in cabins maintained by the national park.  The cabins are very basic.  We need to carry sleeping bags, cooking gear and food in.

GUIDES AND SAFETY

All of our guides are wilderness first responder certified and carry first aid kits.  They have all spent a lot of time hiking in Taiwan and are very experienced in the high mountains.  All of our guides are native speakers of English, but also speak Mandarin and are very knowledgeable about the local mountains, flora/fauna, and culture.

INSURANCE

Taiwan Adventures will provide you with $2 million NTD accident insurance.  However, you must have your own travel and medical insurance.  Our partners at World Nomads Insurance can provide you with travel insurance that covers you for high mountain hiking.

PRICES

Prices for a 5 day hike to the Holy Ridge start from $69,000NT for groups of up to 3 people.  This includes guiding, transport, pick up and drop off from Taipei (other locations can be arranged), all meals, accommodation, accident insurance and permits.  All of our trips can be customised.  If you have any additional requests, please let us know.

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