Climbing Jacob's Ladder On Saint Helena Island Is Not For the Faint of Heart

In the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean, right smack between Africa and South America is a small, mountainous island called Saint Helena. One of the first things you notice about the island when you approach it by sea is the longest, most steeply pitched staircase you've ever seen running up the side of a cliff that flanks the town. This staircase — called Jacob's Ladder — is 925 feet long, scaling a cliff face that's 600 feet tall. There are 699 steps in all, though some people believe there were originally 700, but that the bottom stair was buried or destroyed. Still, Jacob’s Ladder is notoriously difficult, and if you manage to climb it, you’ll get a certificate from the Museum of Saint Helena to acknowledge your achievement. Going back down the mountain can be less work, with some people choosing to slide down it by putting their feet on one metal handrail and draping their arms over the other.