Precarious handholds on this 919-foot chimney include dangling cords and a ladder that's come loose from the wall.

Here's a chimney even Santa wouldn't get within 100 miles of: a scabrous, rusting, 919-foot smokestack in Pitesti, Romania, reportedly the second-tallest structure in the country—and likely its No. 1 deathtrap.

Yet urban adventurer Flaviu Cernescu didn't appear daunted by the decrepit power-plant prong when he scaled it in November. And that's incredible, given the challenges of the climb: The bottom section of the chimney has lost its ladder, so the only means of ascent is by gripping random, dangling electric cords. ("Is this cable holding? Hope it is....") The middle part does have some semblance of a ladder, though nothing that would get past safety inspectors without a bulging sack of cash, and a bent catwalk that appears as stable as scaffolding woven from brittle fish bones.

Fallen bricks scattered around this precarious bird's nest hint at the final stage above: a 10-foot piece of ladder that has detached from the wall, leaving the daredevil to gently wobble in the wind as he ascends to the crumbling top for some high-altitude gymnastics. From start to finish, every second of this stunt is a screaming endorsement for Cernescu's initial disclaimer: "Please understand that by climbing this chimney you put yourself/others in danger."

H/t Urbanshit

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: An elderly resident of a village in Japan's Gunma Prefecture.
    Life

    In Japan’s Vanishing Rural Towns, Newcomers Are Wanted

    Facing declining birthrates and rural depopulation, hundreds of “marginal villages” could vanish in a few decades. But some small towns are fighting back.

  2. Transportation

    Berlin Will Spend €2 Billion Per Year to Improve Public Transit

    The German capital plans to make major investments to expand bus and rail networks, boost frequency, and get ahead of population growth. Are you jealous yet?

  3. Tourists walk along the High Line in Manhattan, New York City
    Life

    The Beauty Premium: How Urban Beauty Affects Cities’ Economic Growth

    A study finds that the more beautiful a city is, the more successful it is at attracting jobs and new residents, including highly educated and affluent ones.

  4. Design

    How Advertising Conquered Urban Space

    In cities around the world, advertising is everywhere. We may try to shut it out, but it reflects who we are (or want to be) and connects us to the urban past.

  5. Design

    Reviving the Utopian Urban Dreams of Tony Garnier

    While little known outside of France, architect and city planner Tony Garnier (1869-1948) is as closely associated with Lyon as Antoni Gaudí is with Barcelona.

×