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Imagine Scaling A Cliff Anytime You Want To Go Anywhere
April 4, 2013
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We all know the morning commute can be frustrating - traffic is jammed, buses are slow, subways are crowded.

It can be a real pain. But here's something to put it all in perspective.

Incredibly, there's a village in central China that is so remote, people there have to scale a cliff every time they want to go somewhere.

The village is in the mountains in Sangzi, Hunan province. The only way in or out is to use a series of wooden ladders - some of them 70 metres high - along the side of the cliff.

It's scary at the best of times - incredibly steep and when it rains, things get slippery. In fact, one young girl fell recently but her mom was able to catch her.

For the children in the village, it's their only way to get to school - which is more than 30 kilometres away.

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The kids don't come back and forth all the time. They stay at school for a few months at a time, then come home to see their families, before heading back to school.

And of course, every time the children have to make the climb - some of them younger than 10 years of age.

One teacher told the BBC "It makes my legs shiver. I dared not look down when I was climbing up the steps just now because I felt frightened."

Here's a full report from the BBC.

Not everyone can get up and down the ladders. One grandmother says she hasn't been out of the mountains since 1989.

But her husband says they still enjoy life pointing out that "we have clean air and water here."

The villagers make a living by collecting and selling green leaves which are used to make Chinese rice dumplings.

As for the ladders, they've been using them for generations and make new ones every five years or so - although the village's younger people want to change things.

One 14-year old boy says he wants to get a good education and make enough money to build a road.

via BBC

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