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Yushan (mountain)

yushan mountain permit, yushan mountain taiwan
Yushan Chinese: 玉山; pinyin: Yù Shān; literally: "Jade Mountain", also Mount Jade or Mount Yu, is the highest mountain in Taiwan at 3,952 metres 12,966 ft above sea level, giving Taiwan the fourth highest maximum elevation of any island in the world The obsolete name of Mount Morrison1 is thought to have been named in honor of the 19th century missionary Robert Morrison Today, the mountain is generally referred to as Yushan or Mt Jade

In the winter, Yushan is often capped with thick snow which makes the entire peak shine like stainless jade, hence its name On July 21, 2009, Yushan was elected one of 28 finalists in the New7Wonders of Nature voting campaign It even had held the top position in the “Mountains and Volcanoes” category on the list of first round voting of the 77 nominees ended on July 7, 2009

Yushan and surrounding mountains belong to Yushan Range, which is part of Yushan National Park The national park is Taiwan's largest, highest and least accessible national park It contains the largest tract of wilderness remaining in Taiwan and is also valued for its pristine forests and faunal diversity, including many endemic species

The highest point of Yushan Range, Yushan, is 3,952 metres 12,966 ft above sea level, and is the highest point in the western Pacific region outside of the Kamchatka Peninsula Yushan was once in the ocean and raised to the current height because the Eurasian Plate slid over the neighboring Philippine Sea Plate

The ocean waters off Taiwan's east coast are deep; in fact, submarine slopes plunge down to the Pacific Ocean at a grade of 1:10 and the ocean reaches a depth of more than 4,000 metres 13,100 ft about 50 kilometres 30 mi from the coast2

Contents

  • 1 Geography and geology
  • 2 Hiking
  • 3 Flora and fauna
  • 4 History
  • 5 Climate
  • 6 Gallery
  • 7 See also
  • 8 Sources
  • 9 External links

Geography and geologyedit

The island of Taiwan is situated at the intersection of two tectonic plates – the Eurasian Plate and the Philippine Sea Plate Even as “recently” as the late Paleozoic some 250 million years ago, the land here was still but a sedimentary seabed layered with silt and sand As the two plates began pressing against each other, the land buckled, bent, and created the landscape – 165 mountains higher than 3,000 m 9,800 ft above sea level on a small island 38th in the world

Yushan is also notable in containing the highest point on the Tropic of Cancer and the only point on that circle of latitude where there is any evidence of Quaternary glaciation3 As recently as seventeen thousand years ago, permanent ice caps existed throughout Taiwan’s highest mountains and extended owing to the wet climate down to 2,800 metres 9,190 ft; whereas currently the nearest glaciers to the Tropic of Cancer are in Mexico on the Iztaccíhuatl volcano

Hikingedit

With panoramic views, overlapping mountains, and deep, plunging valleys, Yushan National Park is well known for its scenery, sunrises, sunsets, geological features, and views of the clouds from above Sea of clouds Traditional Chinese: 雲海, Pinyin: yúnhǎi often fill the valleys Indisputably, Yushan itself is the focal point of the park

Yushan is one of the favorites among Taiwanese mountain climbers International peak baggers often combine a trip to Yushan along with trips to Gunung Kinabalu and Fuji to form an "Asian Trilogy" hiking experience4

Yushan has five main peaks with the Main Peak being the most popular:

  • Yushan Main Peak 玉山主峰, 3,952 m 12,966 ft
  • Yushan Eastern Peak 玉山東峰, 3,869 m 12,694 ft – 12 kilometres 07 mi from Main Peak
  • Yushan Northern Peak 玉山北峰, 3,858 m 12,657 ft – 22 kilometres 14 mi from Wind Tunnel 風口
  • Yushan Southern Peak 玉山南峰, 3,844 m 12,612 ft – 31 kilometres 19 mi from Paiyun Lodge 排雲山莊
  • Yushan Western Peak 玉山西峰, 3,467 m 11,375 ft – 4 kilometres 25 mi from Paiyun Lodge 排雲山莊

East, west, north, and south peaks surround the main summit The east peak rises to a height of 3,869 m 12,694 ft and is considered one of Taiwan's Ten Major Summits 十峻 The south peak is a sharp pinnacle of black shale The relatively accessible west side of Yushan is covered with thick forests The north peak is part of a long, gently-rising ridge; this peak consists of two high points that resemble a camel's humps The North Peak is also home to Taiwan's highest permanently occupied building, the Yushan Weather Station, where the occasional visitors are given a warm welcome

Flora and faunaedit

"Husband and Wife Trees", or "Fuci Trees" 夫妻樹 These are two surviving Chamaecyparis formosensis trees from a 1963 forest fire

Taiwan, with the tropic of Cancer across the center of the island, has a climate between tropical and subtropical The average temperature is 235 °C 743 °F Here low elevation areas support evergreen broadleaved forests As elevation increases, evergreen broadleaved forests are gradually replaced by deciduous forests and coniferous forests At mountain peaks with alpine conditions, only mosses, liverworts and occasionally grasses can be found on the ground5

All of the above vegetation variations can be seen in the Yushan area from low foothills to high summits with an elevation difference of 36 kilometres 22 mi Because of this wide climatic and vegetation variations, this environment nurtures the richest and most diversified wildlife in Taiwan Preliminary investigations reveal that there are 130 species of birds, 28 species of mammals, 17 species of reptiles, 12 species of amphibians and 186 species of butterflies in Yushan National Park In fact, Yushan is nicknamed "the ark" by academics who see it as a repository of Taiwan's rare species It is almost an encyclopedia of Taiwan's ecological systems, a geological museum and an important habitat of one-third of Taiwan's endemic species, such as:

  • Formosan serow 台灣長鬃山羊
  • Reeves's muntjac 台灣山羌
  • Formosan black bear 台灣黑熊
  • Formosan blue magpie 台灣藍鵲
  • Formosan rock macaque 台灣獼猴
  • Hemimyzon taitungensis 台東間爬岩鰍 and Varicorhinus tamusuiensis Oshima – Two unique fish species living in the Lekuleku River area

Historyedit

Jade Mountain was first observed by westerners in 1857 W Morrison, captain of the American freighter SS Alexander, sighted this mountain while departing from Anping Harbor, in what is now Anping, Tainan He recorded this sighting in his naval log, and the mountain gained the name Mount Morrison in western literature

In 1900, during Japanese rule, two Japanese anthropologists, Torii Ryūzō and Ushinosuke Mori, became the first people to have been recorded ascending the mountain They gave the mountain the name Niitakayama 新高山 or Mount Niitaka, literally the "New High Mountain", because it was even higher than Mount Fuji1 by 176 metres 577 ft In 1937, Niitakayama was designated part of the Niitaka New Highest Arisan National Park 新高阿里山国立公園

Under its Japanese name, the mountain was used as the secret code to signal the carrier fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy to begin its attack against Pearl Harbor The code was Niitakayama Nobore literally "Climb the New High Mountain"6

In 1966, under Republic of China rule and before democratization, a large bronze statue of Yu Youren was placed at the summit The statue remained there until 1996 when it was cut down and thrown into a ravine by Taiwan independence activists7

In recent years, Yushan has played an important role in a new focus on Taiwan's identity Because of its iconic status, Yushan has been chosen to be the background of the newly issued NT $1,000 dollar bills on July 20, 20058 Similarly, a newly found asteroid by Lulin Observatory of National Central University was named after Yushan on December 28, 20079

Climateedit

Yushan has an alpine climate Köppen ET The tip of Yushan is usually covered with frost from November to March Elevations above 2,000 m may sometimes see snow during the winter months, and there are four consecutive months of snow accumulation at places with elevations higher than 3,000 m The first snow may appear in October and completely melts by May Snow falls 243 days per year on average on Yushan, and the number is gradually decreasing Yushan receives around 3,600 mm 140 in of precipitation annually It rains an average of 140 days per year, mostly between May and August From May until the first part of June is plum rain season or monsoon season Taiwan's typhoon season roughly falls between July and September The peak month is in August, which sees 520 mm 20 in of precipitation on average, compared to 70 mm 28 in in December, the driest month

Climate data for Yushan 1981–2010
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C °F 37
387
37
387
54
417
78
46
106
511
121
538
138
568
136
565
130
554
132
558
102
504
62
432
94
489
Daily mean °C °F −11
30
−05
311
11
34
34
381
57
423
71
448
79
462
78
46
71
448
65
437
40
392
08
334
42
396
Average low °C °F −45
239
−37
253
−19
286
04
327
26
367
42
396
44
399
44
399
38
388
26
367
03
325
−27
271
08
334
Average precipitation mm inches 831
3272
1205
4744
1391
5476
2444
9622
4140
16299
4882
1922
4456
17543
5193
20445
3252
12803
1443
5681
776
3055
700
2756
3,0713
120917
Average precipitation days ≥ 01 mm 72 71 86 146 185 186 172 184 160 110 77 56 1505
Average relative humidity % 642 738 785 820 809 821 770 810 799 700 655 612 747
Mean monthly sunshine hours 2024 1468 1500 1321 1397 1325 1772 1604 1523 2072 2039 2035 2,008
Source: Central Weather Bureau10

Galleryedit

See alsoedit

  • Taiwan portal
  • 100 Peaks of Taiwan
  • List of mountains in Taiwan
  • List of islands by highest point
  • Yushan National Park
  • Yushan Range

Sourcesedit

  1. ^ a b Chamberlain, B; Mason, WB 1903 A Handbook for Travellers in Japan 7th ed London: J Murray p 554 OL 25302448M 
  2. ^ Central Geological Survey, MOEA Archived May 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Late Pleistocene to Early Holocen Glacial Landforms of Yushan Area, Taiwan
  4. ^ Yushan
  5. ^ Flora of China
  6. ^ MacDonald, Scot October 1962 Evolution of Aircraft Carriers – the Japanese Developments PDF Naval Historical Center, Washington Navy Yard, DC Retrieved August 10, 2006 
  7. ^ http://wwwyaojuichungcom/pdf/en/recovering_the_mainland_and_liberating_taiwanpdf
  8. ^ Bulletin Board of Central Bank of the Republic of China
  9. ^ Yushan Asteroid Archived September 1, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Climate Statistics–Monthly Mean" Central Weather Bureau Retrieved March 1, 2015 

External linksedit

  • Taiwan Review
  • Yushan Scenic Beauty
  • 2007 trip report and climbing information
  • Book on the first ascent German

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