Qilai Shan, the haunted mountain
The first incident recounted occurred 62 years after the formation of the Republic (1911+62). A group of 7 climbers from two universities in Taiwan made an attempt on Qilai Shan just as a typhoon was approaching. The group had judged that the typhoon will not hit the mountain and hence did not abort their plans.
The group spent two days finding the path from Song Xue Lou (Taiwan’s highest hotel at 3150m) to Qilai Shan’s north peak. By the time they reached an altitude of about 3440m, they realised that Qilai Shan will not be spared the ravages of the typhoon after all. The group quickly aborted the climb, but when they reached a valley, they encountered flash floods. 3 of them quickly succumbed to hypothermia. The other 4 struggled to find their way back to Song Xue Lou. Only a female member of the group made it there alive. The rest collapsed just 300m from Song Xue Lou. The female climber did not have the strength to bring them further. But the time rescuers reached them, they were dead.
The next group that suffered a tragic end on Qilai Shan was a military expedition. They too faced severe weather. The only soldier who managed to make his way to Song Xue Lou to call for help collapsed and died on the spot. Nobody knows what happened. The bodies of the soldiers left behind were never recovered.
When one of the speakers climbed Qilai Shan in his freshmen days, he was left behind with a bunch of female students. When they took a wrong turn, a senior in a red jacket told them that they had gone the wrong way. When he found the others in the group, he discovered to his horror that that was no senior in a red jacket with them. He later identified the senior in the red jacket in a photo of the university climbers who died a few years ago.
The Taiwanese love ghost stories and Qilai Shan with its many casualties over the years, is full of ghost stories. Hallucination? Altitude issues? Who dares to climb?