Russian Daredevils Climbs to the Top of China’s Tallest Building [Big Picture]

The Russian duo of Vadim Makhorov and Vitaliy Raskalov have pushed the height limits by climbing the 2,100-foot Shanghai Tower, the world’s second-tallest building.

Two Russian adrenaline seekers photographers conquered one of tallest buildings in the world – 630 meters Shanghai Tower. The building, still being under construction, is, actually, second only to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which stands at 828 meters.

The duo, who identified themselves as Vadim Makhorov and Vitaliy Raskalov, released a video featuring their ascent to the top of the building, including breaking in, scaling walls and breaking through the cloud cover.“Mum is going be shocked!” they can be heard saying in Russian.

In his blog post Mr. Raskalov said the pair made the climb on Lunar New Year’s day, or Jan. 31, a national holiday in China when security was lighter and most workers were at home. He said it took them roughly two hours to hike up to the 120th floor on foot, after which they climbed a crane mounted on top of the tower.

“The view was like something from an aircraft window,” said Makhorov, who revealed the “physically and mentally challenging mission” meant they didn’t sleep for 24 hours. “Our target was to climb the highest tower in China — the second highest in the world. It felt amazing to accomplish it. The sky is the limit,” he added.

Commenting on his illegal ascent of Shanghai Tower, he admitted: “It was very risky if the police or security guards had caught us, we would have been deported and banned for a period ranging from five to 20 years.”

The building’s management said steps would be taken to bar any repeat performances, according to a statement carried by state media.

“Shanghai Tower will implement measures such as putting up wire fencing around the walls and installing safety doors on exits to avoid similar incidents from happening again,” said the statement, which was carried by state television, repost the AFP.

A video of their exploit, posted on YouTube had been viewed nearly 1.8 million times on YouTube and more than 1.4 million times on Chinese site Youku.com.

The 632-metre Shanghai Tower has been under construction in Shanghai’s Lujiazui district, a gleaming financial center directly across from the city’s famous Bund, since 2008. It’s set for completion later this year. In the 1980s, Lujiazui was little more than a swath of grassy fields. Now it’s a forest of skyscrapers.

The so-called “Urban Ninjas” draw public attention after scaling the Great Pyramid of Giza roughly a year ago. The duo walked away with stunning photos, but at a cost. They infuriated those who saw the stunt as showing reckless disregard towards the preservation of two of the world’s most treasured monuments.

Criticized by preservationists, Mr. Makhorov later apologized, saying the duo didn’t intend to insult anyone and were “just following the dream.”

That same year, the pair embarked on a trip across Europe to explore the continent in an “unusual way”. The result is this collection of extraordinary photos, which you can see on Vadim Makhorov’s blog post.

“To climb onto the roofs, we use mainly the emergency stairs, then we get into the attics that open onto the roofs. The most extreme method is to climb up the pipes, but we only do that as a last resort,” explains Vitaliy Raskalov in his interview with FRANCE 24.

He goes on: “Sometimes we have to give up, but it’s very rare. For example, right from the outset, we weren’t able to climb the building of the Hydroproject company in Moscow. The building was secured with magnetic locks, and there were alarms everywhere.”

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