Hiker facing ban over damage to Qilai Mountain summit marker

06/27/2022 05:04 PM
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Photo courtesy of Taroko National Park Headquarters
Photo courtesy of Taroko National Park Headquarters

Hualien, June 27 (CNA) A hiker could face a fine and a possible ban from climbing mountains in Hualien's Taroko National Park after apparently uprooting a plaque marking the north peak of Qilai Mountain.

The incident came to light on Sunday after images of the male hiker surfaced on social media showing him waving his middle finger at the camera and holding the plaque aloft after apparently ripping it out of the ground.

Park recreation director Nieh Shih-chao (聶士詔) told CNA in an interview Sunday evening that park authorities had received a tip-off about the matter and had referred it to the National Park Police for investigation.

If the individual is found liable for the damage, he will be ordered to pay compensation and fined NT$3,000 (US$101), and may also be banned from applying for hiking permits for mountains within the park, Nieh said.

On Monday, the man accused of uprooting the plaque denied that he had caused the damage, telling local media he had found the marker lying on the ground and simply wanted to take a photograph with it.

Qilai Mountain's north peak sits at an elevation of 3,607 meters and is one of the "Baiyue," or "100 peaks" favored by Taiwanese mountaineers.

(By Lee Shien-feng and Matthew Mazzetta)


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