Two Photographers Illegally Climb The New Tallest Building In China

Two Russian climbers, Vadim Makhorov and Vitaliy Raskalov, who have gained a reputation as fearless photographers after climbing some of the world’s tallest buildings are at it again–this time taking on the tallest building in China, the Shanghai Tower, which is currently under construction. The Shanghai Tower measures in at 2,073 feet (632 meters) tall, making it the second tallest building in the world behind Dubai’s Burj Khalifa:

The two risked their lives, as no harnesses or other safety precautions were taken other than planning around the weather. After spending two hours scaling the building, they were forced to camp out on top for 18 hours while they waited for better weather to begin the descent. They blogged about their harrowing experience via LiveJournal and shared the stunning images you see below:

shanghai financial center

JinMao tower and Shanghai Financial Center (people call it “the bottle opener”) as seen at night during the climb.

Looking down at the clouds.

Photographing from a precarious position.


Vadim Makhorov climbs the second tallest building in the world.

In addition to the stunning photographs, the pair was able to capture the ascent on video by mounting a GoPro atop their heads with a strap and clip system.

top of tower

The surreal view from the very top of the crane on top of the tower.

The view from 600 meters above ground.

Facing scrutiny for their embarrassing lack of security, the building owners, as well as Chinese law enforcement, are currently looking into the matter, though at the time of writing it is unclear whether trespassing charges will be filed. If the two Russians do face criminal charges they could be looking at hefty fines, jail time, and possible revocation of their passports. The building owners have publicly expressed regret in regards to the matter and have warned the public that security around the construction site will be heightened.


For reference, this is where they were, as seen from the famous “Bund” walkway across the river.

In an interview last year, the skywalking photographers informed readers:

“We are just chasing the dream and always looking to go to the next highest point to see the things no one else gets to see. We don’t mean to trespass or harm anyone, so we do often have to wait until the coast is clear.”

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10 responses to “Two Photographers Illegally Climb The New Tallest Building In China”

  1. Daniel Lee says:

    I would cry then pass out of I was that high up! Their photos definitely are amazing though!

  2. Julian says:

    Love it, but can anyone tell me what the music track is that plays throughout the video?

  3. Sarah says:

    Great photos but they should be prosecuted for unlawful trespassing. If they aren’t, people will think it is okay to break the law as long as they get good photos out of it.

  4. Paulo says:

    Julian, the music name is on the description of the video (if you select to play on youtube you will see) but here is the name:

    Music: N’to – Trauma (Worakls Remix):

  5. Bill Kendall says:

    You guys are awesome! Having done a tiny bit a Yosemite rock climbing with ropes years ago, you guys are awesome!! I’m thoroughly in admiration.

    You’ve inspired me to get photos from the second tallest building in my city of Santa Rosa, California.

    Let’s see…that would be about…seven stories??

  6. Vicki says:

    aye yai yai, i could hardly hang on watching to the end of the video. my teeth started aching, stomach was bottoming out! wish i were younger and knew you guys personally! admire your lack of the fear of heights. awesome video and photos. will you come to Oregon and try climbing our tallest building where i live? probably 2 stories! do it upside down or something??? congrats guys. don’t think you should be prosecuted but do think some of these places ought to have security to keep people safe…

  7. Jon Mathis says:

    Very inspiring footage. It just proves again, that if you want it you MUST, GO, GET, IT!!!

  8. Alex says:

    ОКУЕТЬ! Мужики, чо за памперсы используете? Я три раза обделался пока на вас смотрел ;)

  9. kaylee says:

    There are so many safety issues in violation for these men.
    When I spoke to the designer of Shanghai Tower and Chief Architect, Marshall Strabala, from 2Define Architecture, he wondered if the men walked up 120 flights of stairs IN THE DARK, as hoist elevator is supervised for use.

  10. Ethan says:

    It looks amazing

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