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. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

  2. photo: subway in NYC
    Transportation

    Inside Bloomberg's $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan

    Drawing on his time as New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg proposes handing power and money to urban leaders as part of his Democratic presidential bid.

  3. photo: San Diego's Trolley
    Transportation

    Out of Darkness, Light Rail!

    In an era of austere federal funding for urban public transportation, light rail seemed to make sense. Did the little trains of the 1980s pull their own weight?

  4. Design

    Why Amsterdam’s Canal Houses Have Endured for 300 Years

    A different kind of wealth distribution in 17th-century Amsterdam paved the way for its quintessential home design.

  5. Transportation

    In Paris, a Very Progressive Agenda Is Going Mainstream

    Boosted by big sustainability wins, Mayor Anne Hidalgo is pitching bold plans to make the city center “100 percent bicycle” and turn office space into housing.

×