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Russian Skywalking
May 20, 2012 1:32 AM   Subscribe

"Skywalking" Russky Island Bridge. Three Russian teenagers climb up the 300 meter Bridge to Russky Island without any safety equipment. Apparently this is part of a trend calling 'skywalking'. WARNING: Sweaty palms may damage computer.
posted by Corduroy (39 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Not to be confused Russian teens riding post-apocalyptic homemade bungee jumps.
posted by Corduroy at 1:41 AM on May 20, 2012 [4 favorites]


Why is it that the thing that bothers me most about that whole scary video is that the one guy doesn't use the thumb-lock method when climbing the ladders? I mean, come on, there's crazy walking around 984 feet above the world and then there's crazy stupid not climbing a ladder correctly.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 1:45 AM on May 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


I was fine until they climbed outside of the cage, and loudly said to myself, 'Well that's just stupid'.
posted by Augenblick at 1:53 AM on May 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


What bother me most is that a bridge this size is built onto an island with a few thousand inhabitants for a single conference.
posted by Akke at 1:55 AM on May 20, 2012


that was definitely creepy and scary, but for me the gold standard remains climbing an 1,800-foot transmission tower.

also, seconding Purposeful Grimace - people who don't use a good grip when climbing are nuts. as are guys like the one I saw at the gym on thursday, pumping out sets of quarter bench presses with a no-thumb grip. i didn't blow an airhorn into his ear to see what would happen, but the though crossed my mind. the impression i get from the pro climbing videos i've seen is that they only make one move at a time so there's only one re-grip to worry about, and an automatic failsafe in place if something goes wrong.

also, i'm thinking that if i were that guy i would be done for the day about 10am and spend the rest of it sucking down free beers at the pub. no way i'm going to go do paperwork after getting off a tower like that.
posted by facetious at 1:56 AM on May 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


God, I should know better than watching this. Now my feet hurt.
posted by brokkr at 2:14 AM on May 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


I was fine until they climbed outside of the cage, and loudly said to myself, 'Well that's just stupid'.

If there's no chance of slipping and falling to your death, you're doing it wrong. Or so it would appear.

Here's another awesome piece of climbing.
posted by daniel_charms at 2:54 AM on May 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


WARNING: Sweaty palms may damage computer.

Sweaty palms has to be the stupidest fight-or-flight response. Listen, sympathetic nervous system, if you have to make something sweaty, make it my back or my ass. I'm not doing much with them when I'm battling a buffalo or clinging to a cliff. But let my palms stay dry enough to keep a grip on my rock or ledge.
posted by pracowity at 3:08 AM on May 20, 2012 [9 favorites]


but for me the gold standard remains climbing an 1,800-foot transmission tower.

Absolutely. Casually scratching your leg at 500 meters > any stupid shenanigans any Russian teenager can ever think of.
posted by daniel_charms at 3:14 AM on May 20, 2012


Here's another awesome piece of climbing .

That was almost unwatchable.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:39 AM on May 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


So the other day, when the venerable British kids television program Blue Peter was in the news because it was leaving BBC1, I ended up watching this showing Greatest Living Englishman John Noakes helping to clean Nelson's Column back before the days of namby pamby, politicly correct, health and safety.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:56 AM on May 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


My chest tightens up in an awful way when I watch people doing this kind of thing. I was on a ferris wheel tonight at the local annual show and I felt a little bit of the same thing whenever my son went to stand up. Heights scare the shit out of me, they really do. I just can't help but think how quickly things would change with just the smallest slip. Horrifying.
posted by h00py at 5:10 AM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was standing on the balcony of an acquaintance's apartment in Dakar, looking across the street at the high walls of a mosque. A set of metal climbing rungs ran up the sheer side of a minaret like a line of staples fastened into the wall. There was no protective cage, not even the side rails of a ladder, presumably in order to preserve the architectural simplicity. I wasn't even sure why anyone needed to access the top of the structure, but someone, apparently, at some point had the unenviable task of climbing to a dizzying height on those rungs.

As my eye ran upwards, I noticed one rung was missing. Two little patches of spalled concrete were all that remained where it had been anchored.

It really made me wonder how that happened.
posted by itstheclamsname at 5:14 AM on May 20, 2012 [8 favorites]


I'm so glad that I grew up in Dallas, Texas in the 90s with a lack of access to these types of things. I was an idiot teenager like most other teenagers with too much time on our hands, and the misguided notion that we were invincible. The difference being we didn't have access to cameras (at least I didn't) and sprawling social networks to post the stupid things we did.

Time machine Fizz: "Tell me you recorded that."
Time machine Fizz's best friend: "Completely. This is soooo going on my 1993 "under construction website that has no purpose." *

*The one thing I wish we could have recorded (too afraid to steal my dad's camcorder) is something that you can still do today which I consider the best of "free fun". It requires a marker, a piece of cardboard, and a piece of tape.

Take marker and write the following on piece of cardboard: "VOICE BOX DAMAGED, PLEASE YELL LOUDLY INTO SPEAKER". Tape cardboard to drive-through of your local fast-food restaurant. Park car, watch from afar and chuckle to yourself. It's the simple pleasures in life my friend. You can climb crazy shit all you want. I prefer a few laughs with my friends.

posted by Fizz at 5:24 AM on May 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


previously. Here's a version which is not (yet) blocked due to content Chin-ups / pull-ups on a construction crane..
posted by ecco at 6:31 AM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


That Blue Peter clip from the early seventies is fantastic! The difference between the natural-fiber rope, wooden bosun's chair and nonchalant cigarette and today is just incredible. I can't imagine they'd let Blue Peter presenters climb the ladder with no safety harness now.
posted by leo_r at 6:35 AM on May 20, 2012


I have climbed construction cranes and unfinished buildings (but only low bridges...), and I'm totally fine and relaxed except when there's a transition from, say, a ladder to something else, like you see here at about 0:42:

Here's another awesome piece of climbing yt .

For whatever nonsensical reason, that always scares the crap out of me. In the tower video, the transitions at about 1:14 and 3:43 would freeze me up and make my legs shake, but just climbing the ladder wouldn't worry me.
posted by Forktine at 6:40 AM on May 20, 2012


. . . Russian teens riding post-apocalyptic homemade bungee jumps.

Okay what the hell Russian teenagers. I know for a fact that you have a perfectly good internet you could be wasting time on -- ! Still, I appreciate that little video for showing that there can a girl amongst the dumbasses for once. Although her scream is going to haunt me.

I developed an internet crush on Tyomka, the guy who climbed the Star as linked above, after I first saw that video, and naturally I had to see his others. In this one, he sets the climb to the soundtrack of the stages of Mega Man II. It gives me multiple nerdgasms. One of these days, I am afraid, Tyomka is going to fall down three whole screens and get shot by guard robots.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:07 AM on May 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


If there's no chance of slipping and falling to your death, you're doing it wrong.

If they make a mistake they have about 12 seconds to reflect on it.
posted by localroger at 7:29 AM on May 20, 2012


OH FOR THE LOVE OF PANTS
posted by Countess Elena at 7:39 AM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


"without any safety equipment"

Meh, it's okay. They're wearing hard hats.
posted by monospace at 8:33 AM on May 20, 2012


If they survive and reproduce, we all benefit. If not, we all benefit. That's how it works.
posted by spitbull at 8:41 AM on May 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


For whatever nonsensical reason, that always scares the crap out of me. In the tower video, the transitions at about 1:14 and 3:43 would freeze me up and make my legs shake, but just climbing the ladder wouldn't worry me.

Same here. I climbed pretty much anywhere I could in my early teens (including many places where I really shouldn't have), but only if it was a straight climb from point A to point B. Transitions scared the shit out of me. But it makes sense that they would, because you're shifting your balance a lot meaning that it's easier to lose it, especially if you're slightly overweight like I was and your centre of gravity is god knows where.
posted by daniel_charms at 8:44 AM on May 20, 2012


Watching these videos makes the joints in my thumbs ache. I think they're saying "this is what you evolved opposable thumbs for, you ape." I tell them to shut up and hit the space bar.
posted by moonmilk at 8:46 AM on May 20, 2012


I'm disappointed.

I really hoped that one of those rucksacks was actually a parachute and that one of the guys was going to 'fall' off the crane. That's the way to viral video stardom.

Especially if you do the next climb in zombie makeup. Everything's better with zombies...
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 9:02 AM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Never having heard of this "Eastern Bosphorus", I thought that this bridge must be crossing some point at the eastern end of the Bosphorus everyone knows about, which is in Turkey (but it's not clear which end would be the eastern one, since the strait runs north/south...). In fact the "Eastern Bosphorus" has nothing whatever to do with the normal Bosphorus: it is the name for a gap between the Vladivostok peninsula and a little island, on the eastern coast of Russia, in the Pacific Ocean.
posted by Mars Saxman at 9:12 AM on May 20, 2012


That looks like so much FUN!!
posted by jfwlucy at 9:15 AM on May 20, 2012


Anyone know the reason for the link to the lolly site? I notice one is eating a lolly at the end... I guessing that no company would sponsor that (not even Red Bull) so is it a take off of an ad or something?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:56 AM on May 20, 2012


As of 2009, the average life expectancy in Russia was 62.77 years for males. (Wikipedia)
posted by WalkingAround at 10:02 AM on May 20, 2012


I'd like to think this stuff does not get to me, but I had to change my shirt after watching that.
posted by 4ster at 10:45 AM on May 20, 2012


The bridge is part of constructions projects being done to host the APEC Summit in Vladivostok later this year.

Now, imagine this.. you have - literally - thousands of kilometers of empty, solid land within mainland Russia, to the North/West of Vladivostok. You could build your hotels, universities, airports or whatever infrastructure you want anywhere on that land that connects to the existing city in an organic way. Such infrastructure would improve the lives of people living in Vladivostok, Artyom, Nakhodka and many other peripheral towns.

Or, you could build a bridge to an essentially unpopulated island across a frigid, choppy sea. Faced with the idea of what to do with the facilities the day after the APEC Summit, you merge existing universities into one and promise to move them on the island after the Summit. Yeah, some more money would be needed to convert hotels and convention centre facilities into spaces useable by a university.

The first option would be far cheaper than creating a "bridge to nowhere" and spending money on changing "nowhere" to "somewhere".

But no, you go with the second option. Well done, Russian leaders. You've proved that you can do this, that your dick is huge indeed.
posted by vidur at 11:57 AM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's a Sarah Palin joke to be made, about visual acuity into other cultures on the other side of the Bering Strait helped her domestic statecraft, but Ted Stevens was responsible for that initiative so the joke is unable to be constructed.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:35 PM on May 20, 2012


What bother me most is that a bridge this size is built onto an island with a few thousand inhabitants for a single conference.

Don't worry, Mitt, now that it's out the American taxpayers won't stand for ... uh ... er.

Anyway, as vidur notes: It's being finished for the conference, but the long-term intent is to develop the island. The conference site is to become an enormous university campus, and Vladivostok itself is somewhat terrain-locked by mountains. This is less like the Gravina Island Bridge and more like the Knik Arm Bridge, which would open up the similarly terrain-locked Anchorage (which can't expand east due to terrain and can't expand north due to a military base). There's a bit more including a 2007 RT report here.

The intent is clearly to position Vladivostok as Russia's gateway to the Pacific, and to help it compete with many of the great port cities of fellow APEC attendees. Sure, it's a bit out of the central planning playbook, but at this scale most things look that way, and we'll know soon enough if private investment will follow.

The thing is, fixed links (bridges and tunnels) tend to go where people aren't currently going, and anticipate volume that isn't currently part of the alternatives, like roundabout routes or ferries. There's a bridge in my town that was built with no sidewalk, because studies showed there wasn't any pedestrian traffic need (it was 3 miles around by the shortest bridge route before construction)! They later retrofitted it with a narrow sidewalk on one side.

In fact the "Eastern Bosphorus" has nothing whatever to do with the normal Bosphorus

I've also been informed that "New York" isn't even in England. Boy, was my face red!
posted by dhartung at 1:30 PM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Vladivostok is not more constrained by hills outside its borders than inside the city. Basically, there isn't really good terrain to build a city right on the area where the present city lies. expanding further across local hills would not be more cumbersome or expensive than it has been to build the place up till now. The argument that the bridge is needed, and the cheapest option for expansion is really hard to believe in. The campus itself will take up the only flat piece of land on Russky, pretty much.

Basically, the cost in resources, manpower and energy to develop Vladivostok further seems far in excess of starting over somewhere with more benign terrain. but of course now the city lies there, it has attendant local interests and lobbying power.

I have been looking at this bridge for a couple of years and I have basically closed my mind to the likelihood that it is a good, sound return on investment. I'm sure development will follow its' completion though, as is always the case with improved infrastructure.
posted by Catfry at 2:38 PM on May 20, 2012


Stunning videos, but seriously folks you shouldn't do this to old people, our bladders aren't what they used to be.
posted by ~Sushma~ at 6:41 PM on May 20, 2012


No, three or four seconds of that video was all I needed, thanks.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:10 AM on May 21, 2012


Fuck every manner of this.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:32 AM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Another bit of Noakes madness I've just remembered - when he took the part of the 'button boy' during a mast manning (I don't the Navy does this any more)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:55 AM on May 21, 2012


Button Boy is, notably, Barefoot-Climbing Button Boy!
posted by wenestvedt at 9:05 AM on May 21, 2012


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