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What's More Intense Than Climbing the World's Tallest Residential Building?

Coming down is even dicier, reports skyscraper slayer James Kingston.

At nearly 1,400 feet, the Marina 101 is said to be the tallest hotel/apartment building on Earth, and second in height in Dubai only to the Burj Khalifa. Needless to say, getting to the top in an illicit freehand climb can get the heart pumping. But British builder James Kingston reports there’s something even more challenging: the descent.

“In this case, climbing down was actually more difficult than climbing up because of how slippery the crane was,” Kingston writes on YouTube. “I had to take it super slow and steady to be sure I didn’t lose grip. Sliding down on my bum seemed to be the best way.”

As Kingston is a person not averse to hanging by one arm from insane heights, you won’t hear much fretting in this unnerving footage. Rather, he mutters in annoyance about how hard it’ll be to get a taxi covered in dirty machine grease. Here’s a shout-out to the friendly crane operator who greets him upon coming down not with a wrench to the noggin, but a cloth to wipe away the mess. (The ascent of the Marina 101 is posted here.)

About the Author

  • John Metcalfe
    John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.