Dangerous Travel

As I write, hundreds of people wait at Chicago’s airports until the freeze passes and it is again safely possible to flee this dangerous wintery delight called the “polar vortex.” While I stay holed up in my cozy house, warmed by the heat of my laptop and a fuzzy blanket, I’ve stumbled upon a different kind of travel danger.

Now, I like the thrill of a challenging trail with a beautiful payoff. Otherwise I wouldn’t have ventured to the top of Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park, which involves a climb up the narrow spine of rock with a 1500-foot drop on each side.

And I wouldn’t be staking out this via ferrata in the Dolomites, featured in the fine cinematic feature Cliffhanger, starring one Sylvester Stalone:


The via ferrate are safely completed with the aid of a appropriate safety gear (i.e., a harness and a helmet) and a reasonable amount of faith that the Italian government has maintained the iron rails and bridges that make these traverses possible.

But there is a trail that far exceeds my comfort level. It’s called the Hua Shan Trail in China, and it looks like this:


Check out the photos at ViralNova to see more of this amazing terrifying trail, that leads to a mountaintop tea house. For me, I’ll take a visit to Argo for my cup of tea, thank you very much.



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