The Chinese Students Who Have To Scale An 800-Meter Cliff
The next time Grandpa grumbles about having to walk uphill to school every day, whip out this pic and show his ass what "uphill" truly looks like:
How about 90 degrees. And we ain't talking about the temperature, you old fart.
What you're seeing above is the single route to get to Atuler, a clifftop village in southwest China. What you're also seeing is children as young as six years old making the nearly half-mile ascent home via treacherous paths and that rickety-ass wooden ladder. It's as scary as it looks; a reporter dispatched to the village reportedly burst into hysterical tears while attempting the climb (admittedly, tears are one of several liquids we'd burst into, were we to try). Meanwhile, the village's schoolchildren regularly and fearlessly pull off this 90-minute reenactment of Cliffhanger, with heavy book bags in place of Stallone's weighty pecs.
Feature China / Barcroft Images
If ever there were a case for banishing homework, this is it.
Atuler is home to a mere 72 families, most of whom make their living farming chili peppers. Though by the villagers' own tally, they've "only" tragically lost seven or eight of their number to the murderous, greedy hand of gravity, many more have been horrifically injured by falls, and this combined with recent media attention spurred the Chinese government to make the climb safer. They did so by replacing the homemade (and oft-rotted) wooden ladder with a much sturdier (but equally terrifying) metal one, because no one ever said that safety couldn't be accompanied by shitted pants.
"Metal" is an accurate way to describe this in more ways than one.
And believe it or not, that may not even be the most nightmare-inducing way to tackle the cliffs of China ...
China's "Sky Road" Is Not A Road (But Does Feature An Abundance Of Sky)
Remember the gondola lifts you rode at Disney World as a kid? The ones that later disappeared without a trace because the risk of a horrific Tigger-squishing incident was too great? Well, imagine if you lived in a place so high up and so remote that those were your only connection to the outside world. Now imagine that, rather than droves of corndogged-up youngsters, the only thing they passed over was a solid quarter-mile of regret.
That'll give you about 10 seconds to wish you'd walked instead.