The Universiade torch has climbed Taiwan’s highest mountain


TAIPEI, Taiwan — The torch relay bringing the flame for the 2017 Universiade to host city Taipei hit a new high Friday — literally — as a team of the climbers took it to the summit of Taiwan’s tallest peak.

The 3,952-meter mountain, also called Jade Mountain, was the first stop for the torch since it arrived from Italy.

The 10-person team set off from the trailhead on Thursday morning and spent the night at Paiyun Lodge at an elevation of 3,400 meters. It was then an early rise on Friday — 2:30 a.m. — for the final push.

Two and a half kilometers later and about 500 meters higher, they reached the peak at 5:20 a.m.

The torch still has many more stops to make around Taiwan before the Universide kicks off in Taipei. The multidisciplinary sporting event, which is open only to university students, runs from Aug. 19 to 30.

One of the 10 torchbearers, Lin Kuo-hsuan (林國軒), was quoted by the Central News Agency as saying that although the journey up Yushan had taken only two days, it had been a touching experience.

Lin said the torchbearers hadn’t done it all themselves, noting that the climb wouldn’t have been possible with the help of staff members, photographers and mountain guides.