'Sky Road' Is Village's Only Contact With Outside World
Maintenance man: 'No one would take the job so I did'
(September 17th 2012) The ropeway between Yushan village and the outside world is a simple affair.
A pair of thick cables are strung between two high cliff faces with a steel cage suspended below to carry people and goods in and out of the village.
Yushan village has a population of just over 200 people and the only access to the outside world is via this 'sky road'.
The ropeway was built in 1997; before that villagers faced a walk of several days to get to the next nearest village.
The ropeway, which is powered by a diesel engine, is 1,000 meters long and 400 meters above the valley floor.
Zhang Xinjian has been maintaining the ropeway for the past 15 years.
He comments: "I started to work at this spot since the rope was set up. No one would take the job.
"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".