TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taroko National Park Headquarters said in a press release on Tuesday (March 23) that it’s planning to reroute part of the Mt. Pingfeng trail after four climbing deaths were reported there in five years.
The park said 17 mountaineering accidents, which included people getting lost, sustaining various injuries, and in four cases perishing from cliff falls, have occurred since 2016. The most recent was a hiker who fell to his death traversing a dangerous section of the trail.
Although fluorescent directional signage, ladders, rock dowels, and ropes have been added to the trail since 2017, in addition to some parts being widened, mountaineering accidents have continued.
To beef up safety, the park is planning to reroute the section of trail between the trailhead and suspension bridge.
Currently, the entrance of the trail is at kilometer mark 110.2 of Provincial Highway 8. The park is taking into account the opinions of mountaineers and moving the trailhead to kilometer mark 111.2 as well as building a new trail along an old road down to the Tacijili River Valley, which will then connect with the suspension bridge.
The new route avoids dangerous cliffs, narrow ridges, and collapsed areas, the park said.
At an elevation of 3,250 meters, Mt. Pingfeng is one of Taiwan’s 100 most-celebrated peaks. The mountain is covered with arrow bamboo and pine trees.
(Taroko National Park Headquarters photo)
(Construction and Planning Agency photos)