Village on cliff in China builds steel ladder to connect with valley 1km below

A mountain village on a cliff in southwestern China has been building a huge steel ladder to connect it to the outside world more securely, using more than 1,500 steel pipes, mainland media reports.

The village started to construct the ladder in August with investment of 1 million yuan (HK$1.15) from local authorities and four-fifths of the job had been completed, news portal reported on Sunday.

Situated at the top of a mountain in Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province, the isolated village of Atuleer is perched nearly 1,000 meters above the valley floor and villagers need to climb 17 rattan ladders to reach their homes, the report said.

The construction would require more than 1,500 steel tubes with a diameter of 5cm as guardrails and steps, a village official was quoted as saying.

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Long Deshun, who is overseeing the project with his two brothers, said they were building a direct route to the outside, which villagers would be able to access more quickly than when relying on the rattan ladders.

He said the steel ladder would last more than 10 years and its service life could be extended an extra 10 years if it was sealed.

The steel pipes are transported to the building site by the villagers, who are paid 10 to 60 yuan for each pipe they carry, depending on their length.

The cliff village made headlines in May when mainland media reported that primary school pupils living there risked their lives twice a month taking the rickety ladders to and from their boarding school.