Two 20-somethings from Russia and Ukraine, who go by the pseudonyms Vitaliy Raskalov and Vadim Makhorov, have built a huge Instagram following — exceeding 100,000 now — by scaling some of the world’s tallest buildings and snapping breathtaking photos from the top of them.
Some of the landmarks they climbed include the Shanghai Tower in China, the Eiffel Tower, and a pyramid in Cairo.
They’re now professional photographers and even had their own photo exhibition recently.
Check out 27 Instagram photos of these two Russian daredevils taken from thousands of feet above ground.
Vitaliy Raskalov, 22, and Vadim Makhorov, 25, scale tall buildings and bridges around the world, snapping photos from the top of them.
They climb buildings without safety ropes or harnesses. What they do may not be legal in most parts of the world, so they use pseudonyms to avoid getting caught.
They first met in St. Petersburg, at the top of the Obukhovskiy bridge, which is roughly 390 ft. tall. Vitaliy's from Ukraine and Vadim's from Russia.
One of the first buildings they climbed was a 984 ft. skyscraper in Moscow. 'After 6 years (of climbing), we don't have any fear when we climb skyscrapers around the world,' Makhorov told us.
One of the tallest buildings they climbed is the 2,132 ft-high Shanghai Tower in China. Their video climbing it went viral immediately, which even landed them a corporate sponsor.
They told the Daily Mail that they had to sleep for almost 12 hours in the Shanghai Tower, which was under construction at the time, to wait for the sky to clear. They went there on the Chinese New Year to avoid security guards.
But once the Chinese authorities saw their video, they banned the two of them from ever entering the country again. Nonetheless, they were able to re-enter the country this year because they use pseudonyms.
This time, they climbed the 2,165 ft-high, 110-story Ping An Finance Centre in the city of Shenzhen. When Business Insider asked if what they did was illegal, Makhorov simply said, 'I can't answer this question :)'
The duo have been taking these photos for about 6 years now. 'We risk our lives for good shots and cool videos,' Makhorov told us.
In fact, Raskalov said he feels safer climbing tall buildings because he'd rather die falling than live crippled. 'I'd rather die falling from a great height than fall from a building four stories high and end up crippled,' he told the Daily Mail.
But Makhorov says his family is not all too happy about their adventures. 'Our families are aware of this, and they're always worried about us,' he said.
Makhorov says this is a part-time job now. They make money by creating promotional items, doing photo exhibits, and even engaging in fashion designs.
They have travelled to roughly 50 countries over the past three years, including China, Japan, the US, and Brazil.
Some of the landmarks they have climbed include: the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, the Effiel Tower in Paris, and the Manhattan Bridge in New York. This shot was taken at the top of the Eiffel Tower.
This photo was taken at the top of Japan's Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, the world's longest suspension bridge.
They have recently been to New York City too. 'To travel to the United States of America was like a dream for us,' they wrote on their blog.
They didn't climb the Brooklyn Bridge because of 'the marked attention of the authorities to this bridge,' Makhorov wrote on his blog. So instead they went up the Manhattan Bridge.
This is a shot of Barcelona's Sagrada Familia. People from all over the world follow these guys on Instagram to see more photos like this. Now they have roughly 107,000 Instagram followers.
They also have their own website ontheroofs.com, where they post more high-resolution photos of their travels.
They even had an exhibition of their photos in Germany, and have been working on a documentary depicting their adventures.
They're part of a sprawling community of photographers that scale buildings and bridges. But Makhorov and Raskalov are perhaps one of the best-known, as they have sponsors and get paid to do what they do.
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