THE RUSSIAN FREE-CLIMBING TEAM “On the Roofs” has set a new standard for urban free climbers by sneaking to the top of the China Online Centre skyscraper rooftop in Hong Kong and hacking into the building’s massive billboard to make it display their own message. The core members of the team are Vitaliy Raskalov and Vadim Makhorov, and they made a bit of a stir about a year ago when they published pictures they’d taken from the top of the pyramids at Giza. We interviewed Makhorov about the Pyramid climb last year, and he said, “At the top there were words scratched in the stones in many different languages. It means others have climbed the pyramids in the past. We are not the first and won’t be the last.”
Maybe so, but On the Roofs keeps upping the ante – they’ve now climbed Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia, Paris’ Notre Dame, the Shanghai Tower and countless others — so even if they’re not the last people to make their epic climbs, they’re setting an impossibly high standard for the sheer badassery of their climbs.
The whole video is worth watching, but if you’re in a rush, jump to the 1:02 mark to see the start of the break-in, the 1:30 mark to get to the roof, 2:30 for the hijacking, and 3:05 for the escape.