Mt Qilai South Peak Hike (four days over Thanksgiving) spaces available!

In Nantou County by Richard4 Comments

I almost forgot! This Thanksgiving a group (including myself!) will be climbing Mt Qilai South Peak (3,358 meters) and Mt Nanhua (3,184 meters). They’re both on the ‘Hundred peaks’ list, and are regarded as both amongst the easiest to climb AND among the most beautiful. We attempted the climb about eighteen months ago in spring 2009, and after a fine first day, had to abandon the last leg to the summits after being trapped in the mountain hut during more than a day of torrential rain! Hoping for better luck this time. I’ve attached a few photos from last time to give you an idea how beautiful this place is.

   If anyone is interested in coming and is in shape (the climb is about of similar difficulty to the Yushan/Jade Mountain climb, although it’s quite a bit further), please let me know ASAP! The dates are :

Leaving: November 24th (Wednesday) at 3:30

Return: November 27th (Saturday) in the afternoon.


  1. Hi Richard!

    I’m glad to have found your blog. I’m interested in joining one of your hikes. Do you have some lined up for December? Please let me know.


  2. Good Day Sir,

    I currently live on Okinawa and just purchased a flight to Taiwan for a 5 day vacation with three of my close friends. We planned on hiking to the North Peak of Mt. Cilai, However, I am having a hard time finding a map of the trails for that hike. I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction to finding such a thing. Also, We planned on taking a taxi from TaiChung to the trailhead, do you think the locals would know how to get there from the city? Thank you, your help is appreciated!

    1. Author

      Hi Stephen,
      Thanks for writing! The map is easy enough to get in various hiking shops in Taipei – there’s a couple of them on Zhongshan North Road just north of Zhongxiao Road near the Main train station in Taipei, but assuming you’ll want to plan with a map before arriving in Taiwan, you’d best order it. The easiest way is through a website called Books From Taiwan, run by a friendly Irish hiking guide called Richard Foster, as the maps can be annoted into English if you need. The website is:
      One other thing. Assuming you mean Chilai NORTH Peak (which means you’ll climb Chilai main peak as well on the way), just checking you know what you’re letting yourselves in for! It’s apparently a pretty tough one, although I’ve never done it (the one chance I had was cancelled becasue the weather was bad), and a bit notorious for accidents. If you’re experienced you’ll probably be fine, but you may have problems convincing the authorities to give you permits for the climb if you go it along – not sure about this, but it seems likely! If you mean Chilai South peak (the one in the blog) it’s a completely different ball game; pretty straightforward climb, and you can get permits from the police station at Wushe on the way up.
      Transport to the trailheads of the two summits sees the problems reversed. The trailhead for Chilai Main and North Peaks is a big road, and a taxi from Taichung can, physically get you there, although I hear there are buses as well – I’d have to check that though. The trailhead for Chilai South peak, on the other hand, is on a rutted, unsurfaced road, and you’d probably need to specially rent something, although that is easy from nearby Lushan Hot Springs (which is reachable by bus).
      Hope this healps! Let me know if you have any more questions, and I can try to help; alternatively, try asking Stu Dawson (his Blog is at He’s bagged quite a few big peaks in Taiwan now (I’m more of a day-trip hiker, from necessity rather than choice!), and may have more ideas for you.

      Good luck whichever peak you climb!


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