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Body of man who jumped from Huashan’s terrifying cliffside plank path found

The path has been temporarily shut down while increased safety measures are implemented

The body of a man was found on Friday, three days after he unhooked his own safety harness and leaped off Huashan’s infamous cliffside plank path, which overlooks a 2,100-meter drop to the valley below.

In footage from the incident, a group of tourists are seen slowly shuffling down the path, which is made of wooden planks just 30cm wide. A man in a gray shirt stops in the center of the frame, unhooks his safety harness, and looks down at the valley below for a moment before leaping off, leaving fellow visitors stunned.

The incident occurred last Tuesday at around 4pm. Search and rescue teams were quickly sent out, but only managed to find the man’s body after three days of searching.

No information has been released about the man’s identity. His death is assumed to have been a suicide.

Located in Shaanxi province, about a two-hour train ride away from Xi’an, Huashan is one of China’s most well-known mountains. Thanks to its infamous cliffside plank paths — said to have been first built by Daoist priests during the Yuan dynasty — it has acquired the reputation of being one of the world’s most “dangerous” and even “deadly” hikes. There are rumors of 100 people dying each year on Huashan.

This number is completely unsubstantiated and totally farcical, however, this latest incident has apparently caused those in charge of the mountain to believe that a safety revamp is in order. The cliffside plank path has been temporarily shut down. When it reopens, the site will reportedly have real-name registration and additional staff will be assigned to patrolling the path.

What to do if someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide:
– Do not leave the person alone
– Remove any sharp objects, alcohol, drugs or firearms that could be used in a suicide attempt
– Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional
– Call the following hotlines for help: Lifeline Shanghai: 021–6279–8990 (English speakers; 10am — 10pm daily); HopeLine: 4001619995 (Chinese speakers; 24/7 toll-free access)