The 100 Peaks or Top 100 Mountains is a list of 100 mountain peaks in Taiwan. They were chosen by a group of prominent Taiwanese hikers from among the peaks known at the time to be over 3,000m 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 top peaks by elevation, but rather those high 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 entirely below 3,000m, have no peaks in the Top 100.
Taiwan has one of the highest densities of tall mountains in the world. In order to promote mountain hiking, the 100 Mountain Club of the Taiwan Province Alpine Association began developing a Top 100 list of 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 Top 100 was finalized.
Upon completion of the list, hiking the Top 100 immediately became one of the primary goals of avid hikers in Taiwan. Finishing the Top 100 is no easy task, however. For aspiring Top 100 hikers, the Big Five, Pointy Three and Ominous One set of peaks, whose unique beauty best represents the majestic grandeur of Taiwan's high mountains, became a popular starting point. Other popular sets of peaks include the Precipitous Ten and the Four Beauties. Many begin with the more easily accessible peaks in the Hehuanshan area.
There are actually over 260 mountains over 3,000m in Taiwan, many of which did not make the Top 100 but are nevertheless impressive. Therefore, some criticism remains over the inclusion of certain mountains in the list, or the exclusion of others, such as Chushan in the Dongjunshan Chain, and Mutelebushan near Xueshan's North Peak. It is argued that these and other more remarkable peaks should be in the Top 100, while peaks like Jupenshan, Lushan, Nanhubeishan, Shenmazhenshan, Jianshan, and Bulakesangshan, which can hardly be called "peaks", should be taken off the list. Also, when resurveying was carried out long after the Top 100 list was completed, it was found that Liushunshan and Lushan were actually under 3,000m. However, as the Top 100 already enjoyed such widespread acceptance, they were not removed from the list and remain there to this day.
Complete listing of the Top 100
The following is a complete listing of the 100 Taiwanese mountain peaks commonly known as the Top 100: