For 200 Years Villagers Lived 2,600 Feet Up a Remote Cliff

Recently, villagers living up a remote 2,600-foot clifftop in southwest China — famous for the precarious ladders connecting it to the world — have been moved to a new urban housing estate. Atule’er, a 200-year-old village in the Sichuan province of China, made headlines around the world when photographs emerged of schoolchildren descending the cliff on unsteady rattan ladders — “sky ladders” as locals called them. The 2-hour climb was the villagers’ only way to access the outside world, and they had to carry farm produce down the cliff to sell at the nearest market miles away. In recent years, local authorities replaced their hand-made ladders with a steel one that featured handrails, drastically shortening their travel time. However, recently 84 households left the ladders behind for good, resettling in apartment blocks that are close to the town center of Zhaojue county, 46 miles away. Not all villagers relocated, with 30 choosing to stay.



 The Villagers' New Home