Vadim Makhorov and Vitaliy Raskalov, a pair of Russian and Ukrainian climbers, have made a name for themselves around the world after a video of them scaling the 632m (2,073ft)-tall Shanghai Tower went viral and attracted over 21 million views in a week.
In the video we see the pair sneak into and make their way from the foundation to the top, drawing comments from viewers such as “I almost s**t the bed just watching this,” and“[those] guys have some balls.” Indeed this video might be disturbing for those suffering from acrophobia or vertigo.
First we see the pair walking along the streets to the tower. Yup, just a couple of Russian guys walking down a Shanghai street in ski masks in the middle of the night – nothing weird or suspicious about that.
Once they entered the building they start taking the stairs, at which point the viewer may think they’re being suckered into some hot stair-climbing action.
Then suddenly the stairs go away. In an impressive feat of equilibrium-strength these two venture out onto a narrow ledge and take some pictures of the city’s taller buildings emerging from the mist.
By daylight they come out near the top of the building. But aren’t done yet. Makhorov and Raskalov start to climb the construction crane on top of the building; a network of thin piping and thin steel grates all eerily reminiscent of my recurring nightmare.
Then they reach the tip of the crane–taking them to a total height of 650m (2,133ft) according to the title of the video. The two then sit back and take in the surreal view of Shanghai and I vomit a little inside my mouth.
Of course by scaling the second-largest building in the world you can bet these guys aren’t novices at this kind of thing. In fact they got into some hot water a while back for climbing the pyramids in Egypt and taking gorgeous pictures.
Image: Vitaly Raskalov
This time, having illegally entered private property, they have run the risk of ticking off the Chinese government. They chose the Chinese New Year vacation to make the climb as construction would be halted and fewer people would be around.
Luckily, from everything I’ve heard about them, China’s authorities seem like an easygoing bunch so the climbers should be fine. No, wait. I’m thinking of the guys who run the video rental shop up the street. The building company and Shanghai authorities are quite upset and concerned over the risk of copycat climbers releasing a statement which read “The act that these two people have committed is a violation of the laws of our country. Public Safety has already launched an investigation.”
Best of luck, guys…
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