• 15 primary school aged children scale unsecured vine ladders to return to their mountainous village (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Every two weeks, these 15 boarding school students scale unsecured vine ropes to return home to their cliff-top village in Sichuan Province, China.
By
Bianca Soldani

27 May 2016 - 12:00 PM  UPDATED 27 May 2016 - 12:00 PM

The 72 families in Atule'er village in China’s Sichuan Province live in isolation from the rest of the world. Their cliff-top home is perched 1,400 metres above sea level and the climb up is an extremely precarious one.

Children in the community attend a boarding school at the foot of the mountain and only return home every two weeks.

When they do they face a treacherous climb as they scale 17 unsecured vine ladders and in some parts, navigate nothing but natural footholds.

At least three adults travel with the children for added protection but the journey is far from safe. It's estimated eight people have fallen to their deaths in recent times according to the town’s secretary A Pi Ji Ti.

On May 14, a photographer from China’s Huanqiu paper followed 15 primary school aged children making the two hour climb with their backpacks and uniforms. 

According to their report, the village once had an electric powered cable car but residents claim it was too expensive to run. A road in and out of the area is also considered too costly. 

There is hope however, that it could have the potential to attract tourism in future given its very unique geographical positioning.

The village is believed to date back 200 years when the isolated location was ideal to escape bandits and war. The fertile land allows residents to be largely self-sufficient, keep farm animals and grow chillies to sell at other neighbouring localities.