Armed only with a camera and an abundance of bravery, the Russian adrenaline-hunter Kirill Oreshkin takes breathtaking pictures from the top of buildings, cranes, and construction sites.
This new trend is known as rooftopping, or skywalking. It has been documented in the last few years, and gained particular popularity in Russia and Ukraine, just like ‘skywalking’ back in 2012, a milder form of rooftopping, tht had kids standing at the edges of high buildings and pretending to be at the top of the world.
The new phenomena, that involves risking life and limb sees daredevils climb to the top of structures to take a unique, vertigo-inducing selfie.
The first series of dazzling photos appeared on Oreshkin’s VK profile, the Russian version of Facebook, as well as on the website 500px.com. In each picture, the Moscow-based daredevil, smiling coolly at the camera, is either standing on or dangling from a ledge that appears to be very high in the air.
One of the most popular pictures in the series, shows the young photographer posing on the star which above the main building at Moscow State University.
When the building was constructed, it was the tallest in the world outside of New York City. The University claims that the MSU main building is the tallest educational facility in the world, with its central tower being 36 stories high.
Other photo-ops for the adventurist include Moscow’s 75-story high Mercury City Tower and Evolution Tower. At the time Oreshkin climbed Evolution, it wasn’t completely built, so he settled on a crane over 800 feet in the air.
“Using safety measures changes something—no one is going to recognize that you really risked your life,” Oreshkin says, adding that he knows what he’s doing is dangerous.
In his interview with Vocativ, the urban climber said that his hobby started in 2008, when he began climbing to the roofs of homes and buildings in his neighborhood. However, he doesn’t really workout, as he believes it’s all about the right mentality. Now, climbing has become second nature to him, but, of course, at first he was nervous about heights, and even had trouble standing on the edge, which he now does with ease.
“It’s no longer about overcoming myself,” he says. “I just really like doing it. I like to look and study the city from different viewpoints.”
“What’s going through my head when I’m up there? Nothing special,” he says. “I just try to think about hanging tight and staying alive.”
The feats of these daredevils are quite alarming. In one video posted on his personal website, Oreshkin’s friend Mustang Wanted does chin-ups a few hundred metres above the ground in Kiev. Despite all appearances, the rooftoppers say they take what they do seriously. Mustang Wanted writes on his website:
“[T]he following videos and photos feature stunts performed by professionals. I really insist that no one attempt to recreate or re-enact any stunt or activity performed on this site. Even if you’re totally sure that you can do that, you are putting yourself in danger. So, please, don’t try to recreate my stunts. I mean it!”