NEW YORK – Whether spiralling up statues, connecting narrow passages, or scaling the side of a mountain, the world’s most treacherous staircases all have one thing in common: they require nerves of steel.
From the 70 per cent incline on the stairs of the Cambodia’s Angkor Wat temple to the slippery rock path cascading down the side of Ecuador’s Pailon de Diablo Waterfall, the scariest steps are often as stunning as they are terrifying.
Even the world’s most adventurous traveller will be challenged by the Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, in California, where a cable ladder is required to ascend the 400m incline.
To worship at Machu Picchu’s Moon Temple, intrepid hikers must scale another 600 feet of granite rocks, whereas 4, 444 steps are required to reach the top of the Florli Stairs in Lysefjord, Norway.
At the Mount Huashan Heavenly Stairs in China, the steps are carved into a sacred Taoist mountain.
There’s no official count on how many there are, so take heed when embarking upon this initial ascent, which also includes a three-plank-wide horizontal walk and then second flight of mountainside stairs to reach the top.
Still, if you’re eager for some serious bragging rights amongst your friends, try these impressive ascents on for size.
The world’s most treacherous staircases are definitely not for the faint of heart. Pictured: the Pailon del Diablo Waterfall in Ecuador
To visit the Moon Temple at Machu Picchu, visitors must ascend the Inca Stairs – an additional 600ft or so of rocks
While the Janssen Observatory in France doesn’t look scary at first glance, consider that this outdoor staircase is at the summit of the tallest mountain in the Alps
For those not satisfied with the Great Wall of China, take on the additional challenge of the Mount Huashan Heavenly Stairs, which are carved into a sacred mountain
The spiral staircase in the bell tower at Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia church has no bannister to prevent you from taking a tumble
Norway’s Florli Stairs is the world’s largest all-wood staircase – there are 4, 444 steps, reaching 2,427 feet from the bottom
Pictured (L-R): The staircase required to reach Malaysia’s Hindu holy site, the Batu Caves, and the narrow steps of the Duomo di Milano in Italy
Adventurous hikers flock to the Half Dome in California’s Yosemite National Park. But beware: to ascend the 400 feet, you must use a cable ladder along the rock face
Tourists visiting New York City can book a ticket to climb the Statue of Liberty – all the way to the crown! It’s the equivalent of climbing a 20-storey building
The Haiku Stairs in Oahu, Hawaii, are so dangerous that they’ve been permanently closed – and the guard at the bottom ensures no one attempts the 3, 922 steps
Long way down: Tourists climb the steep stairway at Unesco World Heritage site Angkor in Cambodia