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Mercy Jacob Jan 10 2014

Which are the Most Dangerous Paths in the World?

Debangana Sen Jan 10 2014
7 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Planning an adventure trip across the globe? When it comes to trekking or hiking, most people don’t consider these as true adventure activities, at least not at par with the real challenging and adrenalin rush inducing outdoor sports out there. If you are nodding your head right now, then the following list of the most dangerous paths in the world is sure to change your opinion about the ‘tame sport’ of hiking and trekking!

Mount hua, China

As one of China’s five most sacred mountains, Hua Shan has a lot of religious importance for the Chinese people. But, it attracts hundreds of daredevils each year who seek to conquer the southern and the tallest summit (2155 m) of this mountain. What is so special? It is Hua Shan’s repute of being the most precipitous mountain on under heaven. And the real lure is the Cliffside Plank walk located on the southern summit.


Photo of Mount Hua Shan (by chensiyuan)

The cliffside plank path is the no.1 steep road in Hua Shan. It is basically narrow wooden planks bolted to the cliff face. There are times when there are no planks to walk on, but only footholds carved into the rock face to carry you across to the next plank. All you have between life and a 2000 m drop down are iron fastenings and strappings that are latched on to the iron chains running parallel to the planks. To add to this, there is a regular two-way traffic going on the path. On a brighter note, in case you take a slip, at least your final view would be a pretty terrific one!


Photo of the Cliffside Plank path (by newsonline)

The the Cliffside plank is just a fraction of the challenge the mountain provides. The whole trek runs along along all the 5 peaks of the mountain (north, south, middle, east and west) and it is built into steps. There are places where the steps too steep or even tilted to almost 90 degrees, so that you will have to do some spiderman like maneuver to get across these tricky spots. There are no official statistics but it is said that on an average 100 people die each year trying to master this peak.


El Caminito Del Rey, Malaga, Spain

On similar lines as the Hua Shan Plank path is this hair-raising walkway along the El Chorro Gorge, that has fallen into disrepair and has since been frequented by adrenalin junkies. The Camino del Rey (also known as King’s Pathway) was built in 1905 for the benefit of workers to travel between two hydroelectric power plants, but was closed after two trekkers fell to their death.


Photo of Caminito Del Rey (by Gabirulo)

Today, much of the 1 m wide walkway has crumbled away and the rest is still standing precariously on rustic supports with gaping holes in places and at others where the walkway has completely given way. Only a thin wire is present for support. In 2011 talks of repairing the walkway had taken place to increase safe tourism, which was estimated to take 3 years. A huge number of adventurists flocked to southern Spain to experience this 110 year old walkway before the repairs begin.


Photo of the gorge and the walkway (by Gabirulo)

The numbers increased especially after a video of a lone trekker, crossing the walkway and tackling the parts where the path had completely given way, went viral. Now travel companies are offering unofficial tours to this place with minimal safety equipment. There is no requirement for previous climbing experience. The only rule being, one has to be at least 12 years old.


The Maze, Utah, USA

This is the least accessible district in Canyonlands, Utah and receives less than 2000 visitors per year. Not because it isn’t worth coming here, but because it takes a lot of time to reach and travel around this place due to absence of proper trails. The Red Rock Labrynth (as the place is otherwise known as), is almost impossible to navigate with narrow paths bordered by huge rock face, dangers of rock falls and dead ends.


Photo of a hiker in the Maze (by David Hiser)

There are places where the path becomes too narrow to navigate (yes, even if you are a size 0) and one has to wriggle up the walls to a more wider place and then walk along the walls to go forward, which might sound cool, but its not! Its very awkward and very dangerous. Not to forget sudden flash floods. In short, remember James Franco in 127 hours?


Photo of hikers in the Maze (by David Hiser)

Because of the sheer dangers of this place, the rangers here insist on good communication and detailed itineraries to avoid fatalities. The safety practices has managed to keep the fatality count to a zero, but accidents and deaths in rest of the Canyonlands are pretty regular, which should give you a good idea of how deadly this place would be, if it became a tourist spot.


Cliffs of Moher, Doolin, Ireland


This one is for the bike riders. If you are looking for a bombastic adrenalin rush, the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland will be your best bet. The bike trail here is probably the most dangerous one in the world, rising around 700 feet above the Atlantic. The craggy rock face and the sheer drops provide enough element of danger and are only meant for the brave of heart (or those who have nothing to lose). Even if you are not on a bike, trekking through some of these parts require lot of courage and a certain amount of daredevilry.


Photo of the Cliffs of Moher (by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen)


Huayna Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu in Peru can be a tough trek. One hears of casualties each year. But the real danger begins on the trail past the mythical city and up to Huayna Picchu (Hike of Death). This trek totally lives up to its dramatic name. It consists of an old Inca staircase carved out of granite which climbs upto 1,000 feet in less than a mile, but that’s not all. The route is full of rotting vegetation, crumbling rock, slimy stones, and exposed sharp corners, which are as good has steel spikes should you fall on one of them.


Photo of Huayna Picchu (by Sascha Wenninger)

Moreover, the mist and the fog make the journey more difficult. There are places where the hikers’ only support lies in clinging to old steel cables. And going up is actually the easy part— it’s the coming down that’s more scary. The steep diving slope manages to paralyze even the most seasoned hikers. But all said, it is totally worth the pain when you get to the top. The view from Huayna Picchu on a clear sunny day one of the best views of Machu Picchu you’ll ever get in your lifetime.


So, these were the most dangerous paths in the world. There might be many more out there in the world. But I'm sure reading about these would definitely change most people's view on trekking. It's not always an easy granola ride. Guts are also required! Feel free to add any more that you can think of.You can find some cheap air tickets on ixigo to reach these destinations.

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Kartikey Palan Apr 19 2014
2 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes
Superb !! Nice experience....
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