Now, we all know what climbing a ladder is ultimately for: to get to a high place that we otherwise could not reach. Well, these school children from Sangzhi county in rural Southern China, take this undisputed fact to a whole new level. Located high in the Badagong mountains, is a small remote village of around 100 residents. Totally cut off from the outside world, every single one (including pet dogs and livestock) has to make a terrifyingly precarious journey in order to reach the valley below.

130 Feet of Ladders

Using an assortment of rickety looking wooden ladders that reach a total of one hundred and thirty feet, adults and their children, some as young as five, climb up and down the sheer cliffs that surround their home. The ladders are unsecured, rest against vertical rock faces and are unlikely to have been made to the high standards set by Midland ladders, but they are the only way that the children can get an education and the only way that their parents can sell their wares and services to feed and clothe their families. Safety is, needless to say, a considerable problem for these villagers. Having a head for heights is a must, but the tricky climb is extremely off putting even for the resilient children who seem to take it all in their stride. Parents teach their young ones how to traverse the ladders safely, but when you are struggling up a 65ft wooden ladder with one hand whilst holding your school bag in the other, you cannot help but think of the 230ft drop that is below you.

Ladders and Helicopters

The residents of the village have been using the ladders for centuries. In times gone by, their mountain village served as both fortress and provider. Farms thrive up here, but the problem is how to get your produce down in order to sell it. Every five years the villagers replace the ladders with new ones to try and minimise the risk of ladders collapsing from rot, but this solution can only ever be short term. There have been petitions to the Chinese government for safe access to and from the village, but the total cost of building a road across this difficult terrain would equate to around ten million pounds. One government official is reported to have said ˜with fewer than 100 residents, it would be cheaper to buy them all helicopters!'  It looks unlikely that the ancient ladder route to and from Zhang Jiawan village will be deconstructed any time soon. If you are looking for a long wooden ladder to negotiate a sheer cliff face, or perhaps just to reach your loft Midland ladders have an excellent selection to choose from. Showcasing manufacturers such as Titan, you can guarantee that you are buying a high quality product that you won't need to change every five years! Many of our products come with a no quibble 12 month guarantee, so if you do find yourself using your ladder to scale dizzying heights, you can be safe in the knowledge that you are at least facing adversity with a solid, trust worthy piece of equipment under your feet. Soon enough you will be up that mountain and away for the day!