Fifty-one-year-old Chen Tzu-yin and his 78-year-old father Chen Yung-tsai, both residents of Huatan Township in Changhua County, climbed the main peak of Yushan in just under 11 hours, achieving the father’s lifetime dream to scale the nation’s tallest mountain, which they did in a single day’s round trip.
As a young man, Chen Yung-tsai and his wife worked as terrazzo floor installers, which involved back-breaking work. After retiring, Chen worked on his home farm. Five years ago, Chen’s daughter took him to climb several suburban mountains, including Guguan Seven Heros and Mocha mountains. Chen was bitten by the mountain climbing bug and, together with his son, who also enjoys climbing, promised each other they would one day scale Yushan. Chen Yung-tsai says that every Taiwanese should climb Yushan at least once during their lifetimes.
Chen’s son, Chen Tzu-yin, who works at the Huatan Township Farmers’ Association, on hearing of his father’s wish, originally planned to climb Yushan five years ago, together with three generations of the Chen family. However, his father began to suffer from a minor ailment, so the plan had to be scrapped. This year, his father’s health situation improved so that he was able to resume his daily exercise regime of a 4km jog and horizontal bar exercises at the Wunhsiang Elementary School playground. When his father again proposed the idea of climbing Yushan, Chen Tzu-yin thought that his father was not getting any younger and immediately set about making arrangements for an expedition to Yushan. Chen Tzu-yin said to himself, even if we cannot reach the top, at least I will have helped to fulfill my father’s wish.
Photo courtesy of Chen Tzu-yin 照片：陳自寅提供
On Oct. 7, Chen Tzu-yin took his father to climb Yushan. Setting off from Changhua County at midnight, the two reached Yushan’s Tataka Saddle at 6am and Paiyun Lodge by 9:40am. At 11.40am they successfully scaled Yushan’s main summit and, after pausing a while to take a few photos, descended the mountain, completing the 24km single-day assault by 4:50pm.
Chen Yung-tsai said: “I feel delighted to have climbed Yushan’s main peak: mission accomplished!” He added, “I’m really happy I have such a devoted son who took me on this successful challenge. Climbing Yushan has given me a lot of confidence — next time I hope I can try Chilai Mountain’s main peak!”
(Translated by Edward Jones, Taipei Times)
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