CHINA

'Urban ninjas' climb China's tallest skyscraper in death-defying feat

 Two Russian photographers – and self-proclaimed ‘urban ninjas’ – have taken daredevil stunts to breathtaking new heights. Vitaliy Raskalov and Vadim Makhorov both secretly climbed Shanghai and China's tallest skyscraper… and filmed their daring exploit.

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Photo courtesy of Vitaliy Raskalov. See more photos by clicking here.

 

Two Russian photographers – and self-proclaimed ‘urban ninjas’ – have taken daredevil stunts to breathtaking new heights. Vitaliy Raskalov and Vadim Makhorov both secretly climbed Shanghai and China's tallest skyscraper… and filmed their daring exploit.

 

At 632 metres – over half a kilometre – the unfinished Shanghai Tower is the world’s second tallest building. It falls some 200 metres short of the top spot, currently held by Dubai’s gigantic Burj Khalifa.

 

Video posted to YouTube by Vadim Makhorov and Vitaliy Raskalov.

"We spent almost 18 hours on top of the building, sleeping and waiting for better weather"

In a post written on Vitaliy Raskalov's personal blogging page, he explains how the two urban climbers went about planning their exploit.

 

Aware of the strict Chinese law, we prepared carefully and picked an appropriate date: the Chinese New Year day. At that time security was less watchful, workers were on vacation, and cranes did not work. We got to the crane at around midnight. It took us almost two hours to get up to the 120th floor by foot. And also, we spent almost 18 hours on top of the building, sleeping and waiting for better weather. The result you can see is our new video.

 

Photo courtesy of Vitaliy Raskalov. See more photos by clicking here.

 

The two photographers achieved notoriety last year when they illegally scaled the pyramids of Giza. 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. Vadim Makhorov later apologised in an email to CNN.

 

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. In an earlier interview given to FRANCE 24, Vitaliy Raskalov explains how the two manage to scale some of the world's tallest buildings.

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

Photo from the roof of Notre Dame Cathedrale in Paris courtesy of Vitaliy Raskalov. See more photos by clicking here.

 

Photo from the spire of Cologne Cathedrale in Cologne, Germany courtesy of Vitaliy Raskalov. See more photos by clicking here.

 

Article written by France 24 journalist Andrew Hilliar (@andyhilliar)