Stairway to Heaven

Just looking at these stairs is enough to give anyone “vertigo,” but they are expected to attract thousands of tourists in China.

The 300ft spiral staircase has been installed on the wall of the Taihang Mountains in Linzhou to offer the thrill of mountaineering without the danger.

Chinese tourist officials in Linzhou, Henan province, hope the stairs will give visitors a real experience of the mountain range.

“Here the wind blows and batters them, the birds fly past them, the stairs creak. It is a lot more authentic than an elevator,” explained one official.

But “senior climbers” beware. For health and safety reasons, the stairs do not offer admission to just anyone.

All potential climbers have to sign a form stating that they have no heart or lung problems and are under 60 years of age to be allowed on the staircase to taste the high life.

“If you got halfway up and couldn’t go any further, you might just have to stay there,” a tourism official joked.

The Taihang Mountain range encompasses 250 miles from north to south and runs through Shanxi, Henan and Hebei provinces. Most peaks range from 5,000 to 6,500ft, with the principal peak of Xiao Wutaishan reaching 9,455ft.


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