Tag Archives: Chilai South Peak

奇萊南峰 Chilai South Peak & 南華山 Nanhua Mountain

Big weekend just gone YA!  Made the most of Tomb-Sweeping Festival and the long weekend, and off we went for a big expedition to Nantou County in central Taiwan for 3 days on the 能高越嶺古道 Nenggao Cross-Ridge Trail ~ which crosses Taiwan’s central mountain range from west to east…


Like many beautiful places in the world, unfortunately the Nenggao Trail has a tragic history, related to the Wushe Incident


These days the trail is used only for peaceful purposes, and mostly by walkers…. that’s us! We started off on Thursday evening from Tamsui, arriving well past midnight in the village of Wushe 霧社, high up in the mountains of Nantou County, for a night at a wonderful guest house, famous for its flowers…

On Friday a very early start, driving up to the start of the Nenggao Trail.  Fog and drizzle accompanied us for most of the day, which added to the mysterious and almost ghostly atmosphere ~ huge pine trees loomed out of the mist, rockfalls and scree slopes seemed like from another planet, and trees dripped with rain…

Our group was organized by Jasmine, good friend from our neighboring junior-high school, and consisted mostly of members of her extended family, the youngest 13, and most specially her amazing and always-cheerful 74-year old mother ~ the oldest of 7 sisters, 3 of whom came along, plus relatives, friends, and hangers-on like me.  Quite an age range, and quite an achievement!

We walked up and up along the trail for the whole day, stopping at the Yunhai Station to cook noodles and make coffee.  The most dramatic scenery of the day was definitely the rockfalls and landslides that have created huge scree slopes which the trail crosses ~ and that’s the reason why this is the best time of the year to do this walk, before the plum rains and then typhoons make landslides more likely…. in fact, it was good it was foggy, and we couldn’t see too far down!  And the swing bridges crossing the many rivers on the trail really do swing, and motorcycles ride back and forth across them ferrying supplies ~ incredible ~ aaaaarrrggghh!

We spent 2 nights in the Tianchi Mountain Cabin 天池山莊 which is only 2-3 years old, and definitely in the 5-star category.  On Saturday we went up 奇萊南峰 Chilai South Peak (3358m) & 南華山 Nanhua Mountain (3183m) in the fog, but no rain, and a few times the skies cleared and we even had a glimpse of blue sky.  In the afternoon, we also visited the monument marking the completion of the construction of the East-West Power Line, built right on the border between east and west Taiwan…

Then Sunday, we woke up to clear skies, and as the day went on, the sun came out and it was glorious for our descent, back down exactly the way we had come, enjoying every moment!

Thanking Almighty God for a wonderful weekend, great company, excellent guide, sunshine, stunning views, spring flowers, and of course noodles and coffee!

And one of the official group photos….


And if you’re wondering how come one photo taken on the top of Chilai South Peak is of a girl in a Chinese traditional chipao dress, yep, it’s true, we really did meet a girl posing for photos in a chipao – which she had carried up there for the occasion, and changed into on the summit ~ and it was freeeeeeeeeezing – ah, wonders will never cease ha ha!