I love shortcuts. When I was a child, I walked to elementary school through a dense and dark forest instead of following the well-lit road around it. When I went to high school, there was a shortcut across a derelict industrial site. When I wanted to get from A to B, I often just cut through people’s backyard. Even now, when I need to go somewhere, I don’t like to follow the signs, but I prefer to take out a map and find the shortest possible route, even if it leads across rail tracks or if I have to jump across a deep ravine.

But there is one exception:

If you are ever in China and you want to get to the top of Hua Shan, you might meet a monk who will tell you “I know a shortcut. Trust me!” – You should neither trust nor follow him, because this is the path he will lead you along:

Huashan plank walk

Huashan plank walk 2

Huashan plank walk 3

Huashan plank walk 4In winter, you can even have a snowball fight on the way.

Huashan plank walk snowNever ever in my life would I even get close to this plank path. I will rather take a long detour, even if it will take days.

When watching this video, I get physically sick – and shocked when at the end of it, the guy says “OK, I should finally use two hands” before turning off the camera.

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
This entry was posted in China, Travel and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Shortcuts

  1. MaitoMike says:

    I’ve been to high places before. I’ve climbed mountains, sometimes with snowshoes. Watching that video gave me the same feeling of getting physically sick. I doubt I can ever convince myself to do what that man did.

  2. You got sick watching the video? I started fast-scrolling after the first PICTURE! It ain’t a fear of heights, it’s a fear of falling. Which I’ve done far too often, hence the fear. ;)
    I prefer the quick route. I’ve had bad experiences with shortcuts. Remind me to blog about the time my buddy got us lost, driving back from a re-enactment near St. Louis, and we ended up driving THROUGH a farmer’s cow field. (Cows get rather indignant when you moo back at them. :D )

    • Oh yes, cows can be scary. On some of my long distance hikes across England, I had to go through cow fields. Sometimes they would block my way so stubbornly, that I had to take a detour around the (very large) field.

  3. lyndzeerae27 says:

    Haha I was laughing the entire time while reading this post! Yes, this short cut looks terrifying, and next time I decide to go to China on a whim, I won’t be taking directional advice from any monks…I wouldn’t want to be caught up on that ledge, that’s for sure! Great post!!!

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  5. Calin says:


  6. renxkyoko says:

    I think my stomach just turned topsy turvy.

  7. BeWithUs says:

    A short cut indeed…to the afterlife, gosh~ but I guess the one who created this short-cut is truly a brave one…Thank you for sharing…Cheers!! :D

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  9. Kyra says:

    Actually…seeing this video suddenly makes me want to walk this path! Although I will say that the camera man seems to have forgotten the one most important rule of “don’t look down”… I think I could manage any path as long as I stuck to that rule.

    Also, probably the scariest “mountain trail” path I’ve ever done was on horseback through the Badlands in Yosemite, and I think it’s because I was both sort of new to horseback riding and new to mountains :) Hopefully this doesn’t offend any horse-lovers but I have to say, I never realized that they are so…well, kind of dumb. We were on narrow paths so high up and it seemed as though they’d be willing to just walk right off the side of the mountains if I didn’t direct them where to go. So navigating certain areas on horseback, or, say, mountain biking, would be terrifying for me I think. But as for my own two feet, I trust them.

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