The Korea Herald


[Interview] Vitaliy Raskalov on his Lotte World Tower climb

By 임정요

Published : April 12, 2016 - 14:13

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Vitaliy Raskalov, 21, and Vadim Makhorov, 25, are the first -- and probably the only -- people to scale the 555 meter-tall Lotte World Tower, Korea’s tallest skyscraper, without permission. 

In a written interview with The Korea Herald on Monday, Raskalov, the more responsive of the duo, said that “Security at the Lotte Tower is very, very good” and that “It was complicated” to break through.

A 7-minute-long YouTube video by the two shows exactly how they avoided the security.

On the day of the climb Raskalov and Makhorov scanned the construction site and found a vantage point with no patrolling guards and a relatively low 4 meter fence. There were no surveillance cameras.

The climb started after sunset. By the time the two reached the peak, dawn was already breaking.

“It took 6 to 7 hours to go up the building and then down,” said Raskalov, who underwent the dizzying additional free climb up the crane on top of the Tower while partner Makhorov stayed behind.

Raskalov said heights never scare him, but that snakes -- ironically creatures that slide along the ground -- give him the creeps. 

(YouTube capture) (YouTube capture)

Although the duo have a record of attracting publicity everywhere they go from Paris to Hong Kong, this wasn’t the case in Korea.

“Usually when we climb in other countries, we get a lot of attention from press or people. Looks like Korea doesn’t care about this climb,” Raskalov said.

Rather, where he originally received awed respect from amazed fans, he was bombed with negative reaction from some Koreans who thought of his climb up the Lotte World Tower irresponsible and illegal.

Raskalov declined to comment on this.

In regards to some Instagram users urging him to climb a skyscraper in North Korea, Raskalov said it was “a very bad idea” because the government of North Korea is “totally insane.”

“They will kill me if I do any climbing in their country,” he said.

Raskalov declined to meet in person and didn’t give his date of arrival and departure from Korea. He also declined to share his next targeted building.

Although he said he would not dare test the security in North Korea, he said he would like to visit the reclusive country this year.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (