Dozens of new steel ladders connecting residents of a remote mountain village to the outside world have drastically shortened their travel time and made their lives a lot safer.


Members of the 72 households living in Atuleer - dubbed the "Cliff Village" - can now climb down the sheer rock face and reach the nearest town in just 50 minutes - about half the amount of time it used to take.


This is especially important for the 20 or so children living in the village in Liangshan Yi Autonomous Region, in south-western China’s Sichuan Province, who make the risky journey a few times a month from their homes to their boarding school.


Locals had to risk it all in the past decade by climbing 17 old iron and rattan ladders, a practice which caused fatalities when the flimsy structures snapped unexpectedly. But that is now no more.


After news broke of their perilous and repeated journeys to reach nearby settlements, funds were finally allocated for new ladders to be built last year.


Having only been completed in November 2016, new footage of the ladders now show them adding much more sturdiness and security to the trek, which is not nearly as risky as before.


Villagers said it used to take them upwards of one and half hours to climb down and then back up the ladders again, but the same journey takes just 50 minutes on the easily manoeuvrable 60-degree incline.


The successful project is the result of global media coverage of the issue, as well as a 1-million RMB (116,185-GBP) investment from the local government, with the new ladders expected to last at least 20 years, with good maintenance.


Author: Scott Feng

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