Paiyun Lodge, the only accommodation facility available on Yushan (玉山), is to reopen for operations on Saturday.
With its 3,952m high peak, Yushan, or Jade Mountain, is the highest mountain in Taiwan. Mountaineers seeking to conquer Yushan’s main peak usually spend one night at the lodge and continue their expedition the next day.
At 3,402m above sea level, the lodge is an asset for the management of Yushan National Park.
The lodge has been closed for renovation work since November 2010, and renovation was completed last month, the park administration said.
Prior to the official opening, the park administration held a trial operation for two weeks to see if there were any problems, adding that it would start implementing new rules for the renovated accommodation.
Applicants for the accommodation must sign up at least one month in advance.
The lodge can accommodate up to 92 people a day, for a fee of NT$480 per person.
For the moment, people interested in staying at the lodge may have to wait some time because a large number of people started signing up during the trial period, the administration said.
In the past, the lodge only offered overnight accommodation and allowed mountaineers to cook their own meals as there was no food available for purchase.
Aside from a place to sleep, the new lodge also provides warm food, drinking water, ginger tea and sweet red bean soup.
Guests can also borrow sleeping bags at the lodge, at a price of NT$300 each.
However, as meals are now available for the mountaineers, the administration said they will not be allowed to cook their own food inside the lodge anymore.
They are also banned from starting a fire or cooking within a 30m radius of the lodge, which would help reduce the amount garbage produced by guests.
The new policy of barring people from cooking in the lodge has been met with mixed reactions from mountaineers.
The park administration said that it had informed representatives of the nation’s mountaineering clubs of the new policy.
Supporters of the new policy said it would help decrease garbage and food waste on the mountain.
However, those opposed to the policy said that it forces them to consume the food provided by the lodge.
They also said banning people from boiling water in the lodge was too strict.
Park administration officials said that thousands of visitors stay in the lodge every year, and some do not take their rubbish with them when they leave.
Each year, the administration said it has to remove more than 200kg of garbage from the lodge and from hiking trails nearby, adding that the caterer must bring the food waste down the mountain based on the terms of its contract with the agency.