For the residents of a remote mountain village in Central China’s Hubei Province, the only connection with the outside world is a precarious zip line, a kilometer-long stretched across a 480-meter deep gorge. The isolated village of Yushan is located in Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture in Hubei, 150 kilometers away from the nearest county town. Surrounded by cliffs and a deep valley, the village is without roads to the outside world. The rudimentary zip line consisting of a simple steel cage and powered by a diesel engine was built in 1997 to help local villagers travel and to bring in supplies.
Local resident Zhang Xinjian has been maintaining the ropeway for the past 15 years. “I started to work at this spot since the rope was set up. No one would take the job,” Xinjian said to the Daily Mail. “As my father was the village head he had to assign me to do it and it has been 15 years.”
Lubricating the cables once a week is a very dangerous job. Zhang has to take the cart and apply oil onto the cables along the way.
“In the beginning, my father, my younger brother and I took care of the cableway together, but later my younger brother quit and my father's health went bad, so it's only me that could do the job”.
The local government is currently building a road to the village, and plans to retire the cable car upon completion.
Yushan is just one of the many villages around the world that lack basic needs such as safer roads. Primitive ropeways and transportation system is very common in poorer nations especially among Asian countries where adults and kids take peril each day just to go about their lives.
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