Wuzhishan City is a 3 hour bus ride from Sanya and the Mountain Park is a further 2 hour bus ride from Wuzhishan City. If you intend to climb Wuzhishan you should find accomodation as close as possible to the Mountain Park because you have to enter and leave the park during normal opening hours. The park closes at 6pm and unless you are extremely fit it will take you about 4 hours to reach the first summit, a further 30 minutes minimum to reach the second summit and what I believe to be the highest peak. Coming back down is not much quicker because of the steepness and rough nature of the terrain. So, how to do it?
The nearest town to the park entrance is Shuiman and when you descend from the bus you will be greeted by numrous motorcycle taxi drivers who want to whisk you off to the park entrance which is a couple of miles away. Once you have bought your ticket, cost approximately £6, they can take you into the park and the start of the climb.
The first hour of the climb is up a recently constructed staircase which takes you up over the lower slopes, after that you are climbing up a narrow ridge, one of the five fingers of the mountain. The further you climb, the steeper the climb gets and the rougher the path until eventually you get to the first of several ladders which take you over steep rocky sections. During the second half of the climb there are no flatter sections on which to catch your breath, it just seems to get steeper and steeper and the ridge gets narrower. When we climbed the mountain it was covered in clouds and we were unable to enjoy the apparently breathtaking views. A local saying is that if you cannot see the mountain top by 10am you will not see it at all on that day.
Eventually we reached a small, rocky clearing and that was it! Nothing much to see but it was the top of the first and second highest summit. From there you can see the next summit about half a mile away but to get to it you must first descend to a saddle and then climb again to the top. Leave yourself plenty of time to descend because going down is not much quicker than going up and it is so easy to trip over one of the thousands of exposed tree roots which crisscross the footpath.
Take plenty of water and a snack. you won't feel like eating much on the way up but you will need to drink. Food and drink can be purchased in a shop at the start of the climb.
Remember! The last bus out of Shuiman leaves at 6pm. If you miss it you will be staying in the town overnight.
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