It is a matter of urban legend, Dear Reader, that your indefatigable correspondent has been known to suffer an attack of the vapours climbing up a step ladder to replace a lightbulb. We simply don’t do heights. Although weirdly, we have conquered our fear of flying (the result of genuinely taking on board the very obvious fact that one is much more likely to be killed driving to work every day than hopping somewhere on a plane) and we have very little fear of very high places that are enclosed in glass (we will lean on the window of an 89th story apartment, after a while to consider our actions carefully, showing probably unwise trust in the professionalism of builders) but we simply do not do edges. Whether walking, cycling or in a car, edges don’t do it for us. We hate mountains with a passion, unless viewed from ground level. Even then they make us feel somewhat anxious.
Wandering around the worldwideinterwebs thingy we found this little gem of a story.
To say that climbing Mount Huashan in China is not for the faint-hearted doesn’t do it any sort of justice. Located about 120 kms from Xi’an in Shaanxi province, the path was first created in the 2nd century BC by Daoist monks, and was a major religious centre. From that time onwards, monks and nuns slowly began to populate the mountain and surrounding areas. The mountain, with an elevation just over 7,000 metres, is considered one of China’s Five Great Mountains.
Despite some of the paths being restored or improved in recent times due to a large increase in tourists, (say what?! people do this for FUN?) it still remains extremely dangerous, with estimates that over 100 people are claimed by the mountain each year. It starts with a set of almost vertical stairs and evolves into a literally death-defying set of boardwalks and ladders. If you do happen to make it to the top, there is a small temple that has been converted into a teahouse. We’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.
And just in case that didn’t freak you out enough, here is a video to completely take your breath away. We were actually almost physically sick looking at this. Enjoy:
(Some of this story originally written by Adrian Cordiner : April 6th, 2014)