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Routes in Dabajianshan

South face route (and alternatives) T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
South west face route (and alternatives) T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Traditional Route (the South East Ridge) T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b A1
West face route T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Elevation: 11,457 ft
GPS: 24.458, 121.258 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 1,719 total · 20/month
Shared By: Anmin Deng on Jan 6, 2011
Admins: Nate Ball
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Mt. Dabajian, 3492 meter high above the sea level, the Saisiyat and Atayal peoples' sacred mountain where the peoples' origin took place in the legend, is a fearsome triangular tower summit with vertical walls on all the 3 sides about 150 meter high and 100 meter wide in the Snow Mt Range, at the northern end of the "Holy Ridge".
People called it "The Wonder Summit of the Century" (when Japanese first saw this mountain in the beginning of 20th century).

Rock quality is steel-solid in some sections (only a couple of holes can be drilled in one hard working day before the drill was blunt in a big wall siege tactic attemp in early report), fair in some sections, but poor to desperate in other sections of the walls. Climbers are advised to choose their routes wisely.

Reports on rock climbing technical routes are on the south face, the south west face, the north east face, the north west face and the west face. Routes on the south face are technically easier but poorer rock quality and protections on the top sections.

There is no report found on ice or snow or mixed climbing technical routes, but there would be a huge ice fall frozen on the north west face in very cold and wet alpine seasons (water dripping from the north west wall in summers).

While it is possible people could have climbed the summit in prehistorical times, the modern FA of Mt Dabajian was by Kisaburo Seko (an instructor of Taipei 1st high school, where I was a student of Taipei 1st high school in 1980's) as a dare devil soloist leading climber of a climbing team of Taiwan Alpine Club via south east ridge (the traditional route) on Aug 4, 1927.

Some of the technical routes in the area could have been climbed in 1930's the years of Japanese ruling before the end of WWII 1945. However, during the time of Taiwanese government transition after the war, all the Taiwan Alpine Club records were destroyed in 1947 after the infamous 228 holocaust. Today we can only find some very brief reports like "had rock climbed Mt Dabajian this year".

Many of the modern FA of the routes in the area (that we can find formal reports, excluding the destroyed reports in Japanese ruling years) were achieved in about 1980's.

There is not yet successful report of the climbs on the north ridge (north west and north east faces) and east faces, due to either too poor rock quality for free climbing (repeatedly falling due to foothold crumbled), or too steel solid rock for featureless wall siege aid climbing (drill blunt very frequently). The north west face would be extremely difficult due to its very tall overhanging wall and very fragile rock quality which you can easily break a hold by bare hands.
Limited by National Park regulations Details

Getting There

Ways to trailheads to Mt Dabajian
. From Hsinchu, drive highway 68 east to the end, and turn right (westward) to highway 3 south bound lane for about 600 meters and turn left (southward) to county road 122 south to the end "Tuchang" (about 65km, 2.5 hour mountain road drive), and drive "Dalu forestry road" south to Guanwu (4WD is advised) and continue 18km hiking along Dalu forestry road to the trailhead of Mt Dabajian, and hiking along the trail to Mt Dabajian: 1.5 days of hiking to the base of Mt Dabajian. Arrange to sleep in 99 hut is advised (NT$220 a night, only for a sleeping place in bed and fresh water, no food, no sleeping bag provided). If you have government official connections, you can drive Dalu forestry road (4WD advised) and save 0.5 day and you can hike to the base camp in one day. You can leave your tent at home.

. From Yilan, Hualian, or Taichong, find the way to highway 7A and drive to the end of the branch to Wuling Ranch. 1~2 hours of hiking the road to Mt Pintian trailhead: 2 hard days of hiking with serious elevation changes to the base of Mt Dabajian. It is advised to sleep in Hsinda hut for one night (free of charge, only for a sleeping place in bed, no food, no sleeping bag provided). You can leave your tent at home.

. From Hsinchu, drive highway 68 east to the end, and turn left (eastward) to highway 3 north bound lane for 6-7km and turn right to county road 120 east. Drive about 6-7km to Jianshi township hall and turn right, it is a long way hill road drive. follow the sign to "Zhenxibao". From Zhenxibao: 2 very hard days of hiking through very heavy jungles with severe elevation changes to the base of Mt Dabajian. There is no hut or shelter on this trail and you have to find water by yourselves by collecting water in the small ponds or downclimbing to the stream gully. This trail is popular amongst advanced hikers in Taiwan but is not very suitable for climbers carrying heavy gears.

The typical climbing style is to carry all your camping and climbing gears to the base camp, and to climb the routes fast and light, typically one route in one day. Some very hard aid routes may take you 2 or even more days and it is needed to bivy on the wall (or rappel down to the base and jumaring back again the next days).

The best base camp for the climbs is the "Zhongba shelter".
The main structures of the shelter are still intact but the door and some wall sheets are broken. (info updated 2018)It is needed to apply national park permission for sleeping in the shelter. The shelter is rebuilt and installed a container collecting raining water. If the collected raining water runs out, there are small ponds nearby the shelter in tea colored and not 100% dependable. To use pond water, filter is strongly advised. To get indigestion before the climbs is not very pleasant. To carry fresh waters from lower hut (such as 99 hut) is impractical for multiple routes in multiple day climbs.
It takes 1 hour of hiking to the base of the routes from "Zhongba shelter".

To the climbs:
From "Zhongba shelter", hike along the trail south to "Zhongba platform", along the north ridge, the north wind gap (protected by steel bars), and along the base of the west and south faces of Mt Dabajian. Do not hike further if trail goes sharp right and down, that will lead to Mt Snow after 2 days of hiking. Here you will find the traditional route (the south east ridge) if look up and left. To access the east face, climbers need to traverse on the rubble slope east at the north wind gap.

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Anmin Deng
Panchiao, Taipei, Taiwan
Anmin Deng   Panchiao, Taipei, Taiwan
Hi Jason,
Please notice that any summit attempt is forbidden by law since 2010.
Despite of legal issues, there is no technical easy all-the-way-up to summit the mountain. It "appears" that south east ridge looked easier and indeed the traditional route is on the south east ridge.
While all the other possible (reported) routes are technical 5.7+ and harder all the ways up in a couples of pitches, the traditional route is class 4 or very low 5 in most parts plus a 1-story-high 5.10+ overhanging crux section. Now and then if lucky you may find people installed fixed ropes (or even ladder made of trees on-site) on the wall at the traditional route, and inexperienced climbers may use the fixed ropes to pass the one-story-high overhanging crux by their own behaves (falling results in serious injuries or certain death). However, the national park rangers will clean up any artificial items on the wall regularly.

Anmin 2018-1-12 Jan 12, 2018
Is there some way to get up the mountain for inexperienced climbers? The sides look steep from all angles, but some photos seem to imply there are some slow gradual grades which would make it more doable. Just curious. Jan 12, 2018

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