We are very proud to say that On The Roofs is back. We had to prove our commitment to complete this one. We are most grateful for the support we receive worldwide and we will continue to climb the tallest buildings in the world and eventually show them to you.
When we climbed the South tower of Central Park in New York back in early 2017, we knew of the grandiose plans for 2 future super tall construction projects in this area. We decided then and there that we would return together to climb one of those two cranes when they reached max height around 2020. The excavation and foundations for those 2 projects were just starting at the time.
Patiently we waited for the day to come, knowing there wouldn’t be anything as tall on the America continent this decade until these 2 sites were topped out at 435m and 472m respectively in 2020. The moment of realization came and we stood huddled on a cold and dark corner of 57th St. tinkering with our gopro to record at the right settings for low light. Gauging how often the police cars pass, timing how often the doorman across the street looks over, counting the intervals between red and green traffic lights. We start to feel ready with all the variable in mind and we swing into action of climbing into the site.
We climbed for a mere few seconds when we hear a loud and angry voice shout “hey….HEEYYY! What are you doing?!” bellowed in the long night. We can’t tell where this disembodied voice is coming from but we understand calling for us to surrender our besiegement of scaffolding. We jump back down on street level and leave confused, only to circle a few blocks, make sure we are not followed and return shortly thereafter to try again. We return to the street where the site is, we wait for our moment where the coast is clear and we awing into action once more. A familiar yet jarring “HEYYY!” echoes out between the stone building facades. We jump down, and run away.
Fast forward to the next weekend, we stand in the same spot in the dark shadows in what is now a rainy night. We have one last shot to get this. We cross the threshold and launch into to action, we climb stealthily and determined. Determined to press on regardless of obstacles. We reach the top of the tower as we are just starting to not be able to feel our legs anymore. However the weather isn’t grateful to have us. Strong winds, rain and thunder batter us as we step onto the night sky on the top level. We sit down and strategize our plan of action.
I express the climb is very dangerous, it’s already a difficult climb to begin with even on a perfect day. These winds are too strong, this rain is too heavy, the thunder rumbling in the fog that is starting to envelop us. Raskalov, like a true Russian savage and urban climbing pioneer, says we should proceed with the original plan: he climbs the crane arm while I climb the buildings crown.
The thinnest-tallest skyscraper in the world with a width-to-height ratio of 1:24. As I ascend the crown I feel like the wind is trying to rip me off of the building and it’s hard to even stand still on a flat surface. I actually say a prayer for my climbing partner in this moment. He confessed to me afterwards that this was the scariest climb of his life. Yet succeed to perform our wills and we complete the climb. Manhattan skyline laid under our feet in a cinematic monsoon. We are soaked by focused.
Shoot and climb by:
V. Raskalov (http://insragram.com/raskalov)