The Baiyue (Mandarin:台灣百嶽; Pīnyīn: Táiwān bǎiyuè) is a list of one hundred mountains in Taiwan. They were chosen by a group of prominent Taiwanese hikers from mountains known at the time to be over 3,000 meters in height. The selection criteria included uniqueness, danger, height, beauty and prominence. Preference was also given to peaks already named and those with triangulation points. As such, "Top" does not refer strictly to the highest peaks by elevation, but rather peaks most worth hiking. The list was intended to promote enthusiasm for high-altitude hiking in Taiwan. In the resulting list of one hundred peaks, 69 peaks were in the Central Mountain Range, the largest of Taiwan's five principal mountain ranges, while 19 were in the Xueshan Range, and 12 were in the Yushan Range. The Alishan Range and Coastal Mountain Range, being below 3,000m, have no peaks in the list of Baiyue.
Taiwan has one of the highest densities of tall mountains in the world. To promote mountain hiking, the Taiwan Alpine Association began developing a list of top 100 peaks for Taiwan. Wen-An Lin, after a 1971 crossing of the Central Mountain Range, set about drawing up the list. After extensive consultation with Ching-Chang Tsai, Tian-Cheng Hsing, Tung-San Ting and other prominent hikers of the day, the list of Baiyue was finalized.
Upon completion of the list, hiking the Baiyue immediately became one of the primary goals of avid hikers in Taiwan. Finishing the Baiyue is no easy task, however. For aspiring Baiyue hikers, the Five Mountains, Three Peaks, and One Miracle 五嶽三尖一奇, whose unique beauty best represents the grandeur of Taiwan's high mountains, became a popular starting point. Other popular sets of peaks include the Harsh Ten and Four Beauties 十峻四秀. Many begin with the more easily accessible peaks in the Hehuanshan area.
There are actually over 260 mountains over 3,000 meters in Taiwan, many of which were not listed in the Baiyue, but nonetheless impressive. Therefore, some criticism remains over the inclusion of certain mountains on the list, and the exclusion of others, such as Chushan in the Dongjunshan Chain, and Mutelebushan near Xueshan's North Peak. Some have argued that these peaks should be in the Baiyue, while peaks such as Jupenshan, Lushan, Nanhubeishan, Shenmazhenshan, Jianshan, and Bulakesangshan, should be taken off the list. Also, when resurveying was carried out long after the Baiyue list was completed, it was found that Liushunshan and Lushan were under 3,000m. However, as the Baiyue already enjoyed such widespread acceptance, they were not removed from the list and remain there to this day.
^ abcdeThe Five Mountains are the highest in their region, and they include famous mountains such as Yushan and Xueshan. They are a must for all Baiyue hikers.
^ abcDuring the Japanese rule in Taiwan, the three peaks had the character for "high" (高) in their name, which are rarely used today.
^ abcdefghijThe Harsh Ten are prominent, steep peaks not included in the Five Mountains, Three Peaks, and One Miracle.
^ abcdefghThe Eight Beauties were chosen for their beautiful landscapes, gentle slope, meadows of short bamboo and lack of rock scrambling.
^ abcdThe Level Nine are wide, flat peaks without large rocks or trees, only short bamboo. Comfortable, easy walking.
^ abcThe Three Peaks are famous for their beauty and conical shape.
^ abcdefgThe Gentle Ten have an overall smooth profile, with gentle slopes and little climbing or scrambling needed.
^ abcdThe Rocky Ten have rocky peaks that require scrambling or climbing to summit.
^ abcdefghijThe Majestic Ten were chosen for their size and prominence, wide peaks, gentle slope and serene nature.
^Qilaishan North Peak, the Ominous One, is located along the northern end of the Central Mountain Range's central spine. The ascent is steep and difficult in parts, and the dark fragmented slate covering the western face has earned it the nickname "Black Qilai". Some sources spell Qilai "Chilai".
^ abcdefghThe Lofty Nine are tall conspicuous peaks, catching the eye more than neighboring peaks.
^ abcdThe Four Beauties are also known as the Wuling Sixiu due to their proximity to Wuling Farm. Each of these four peaks has its own unique characteristics. The "Four Beauties" initially chosen by Tian-Cheng Hsing were Chiyoushan, Taoshan, Shilunshan and Kalayeshan, while Pintianshan was listed as one of the Harsh Ten. However, since Shilunshan was not a Baiyue, hikers began recognizing Pintianshan as one of the Four Beauties instead.
^ abcdThe Verdant Ten have trails that wind through lush green forests of tall, twisting trees and bamboo.
^ abcdThe Little Eight are small peaks with gentle slopes that can be easily reached as part of a longer trip.
^ abcdefThe Craggy Eight jut out from the surrounding terrain and are surrounded by cliffs and difficult terrain.
^ abcdeThe Narrow Eight have long narrow ridgelines with cliffs or steep slopes on both sides.
^ abcdeThese mountains rise up like a wall, wide and flat, blocking the view of a large area like a screen.
^ abcdThe Simple Six trails are offshoots from another main trail, short in distance and not very strenuous. They are easy side trips when hiking the parent trail.
^ abcdThe Remote Nine are on distant offshoots of their mountain range and are not easily combined with other peaks into a single journey.
^ abcdSteep mountains with cliffs and loose rocks.
^ abcdeThe Contiguous Six are near other high peaks, and can be reached along a ridge that extends down from the higher peak. They have fairly level trails, the peaks are named and there is some sort of survey marker.