China: Cliff-top village builds steel ladder for children to go to school

Published 12:33 AM EDT, Wed October 26, 2016
(CNN) —  

The world’s most terrifying school run is about to get a little less hair raising.

In the mountains of southwest China’s Sichuan province, a group of children must descend an 800-meter (half mile) cliff to reach their school.

Previously they used unsteady vine ladders to make the descent but now a steel ladder is being built to make the treacherous journey from the isolated cliff-top village of Atule’er easier.

Pictures of 15 grade schoolers, some as young as six, making the two-hour odyssey to and from their boarding school went viral earlier this year.

The ladder consists of 1,500 steel pipes and will be completed in early November. The village started to construct the $150,000 steel ladder in August.

With handrails and a more stable structure, it will also make the journey safer for villagers, who descend and climb the cliff each week to buy groceries and trade their products at nearest market several miles away.

In the past, villagers have fallen from rotten vines, the Beijing News reported.

Er Dijiang, the village chief of Atule’er, which is home to 400 people, told the China Daily that he looking forward to the children being able to return home to celebrate the Lunar New Year in a safer way.