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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tales from the top of the world: Extreme couple who pitch their tents off cliff faces 3,000 FEET in the air

 

 

     

Tales from the top of the world:

 

 

Daredevil photographer escapes security guards to climb up the world's most famous buildings (and even poses for a photos in a dress)

Adventure photographer Lucinda Grange surveys the Manhattan skyline - perched hundreds of feet up on the edge of the Chrysler Building.
In a picture that looks more Hollywood CGI than real life, the 25-year-old from Hartlepool, UK, sits one of the iconic eagle heads 61 floors above street level. For the past six years the daredevil snapper has travelled the world scaling famous buildings and structures and taking pictures from the top.
Among her impressive list of climbs is the Great Pyramid of Giza, Firth of Forth Rail Bridge in Scotland and New York’s Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges. But despite the very real risk of injury and constant threat of detection by security guards, Lucinda takes these challenges in her stride.
As well as scaling buildings and bridges, Lucinda and her friends have delved below cities exploring hidden rivers, abandoned subway stations and labyrinthine sewage systems.
But for sheer adrenaline-packed adventure, Lucinda’s trip to Egypt last summer to climb the Great Pyramid, sticks in her mind as a once in a lifetime experience.  Under cover of darkness Lucinda and her friend, Max, sidestepped the site’s tight security to climb the 455ft high wonder of the ancient world.

Lucinda Grange

Adrenaline: Adventure photographer Lucinda Grange surveys the Manhattan skyline - perched hundreds of feet up on the edge of the Chrysler Building

Lucinda Grange

Sky high: For the past six years the daredevil snapper has travelled the world scaling famous buildings and structures and taking pictures from the top

Ms Grange on top the Carpe Diem building at night in the central business district of Paris

Top of the world: Ms Grange on top the Carpe Diem building at night in the central business district of Paris

Risky: Ms Grange and her friend Max sit on top of the Great Pyramid of Giza which they scaled under the cover of darkness despite armed security patrolling the area

Risky: Ms Grange and her friend Max sit on top of the Great Pyramid of Giza which they scaled under the cover of darkness despite armed security patrolling the area

 

Ms Grange's friend Max sat on the top of the Great Pyramid of Giza

Wonder of the world: Ms Grange's friend Max sat on the top of the Great Pyramid of Giza after scaling the 445ft structure

Panorama: Miss Grange exploring the ruins of the Bulgarian Communist Party headquarters in Mount Buzludzha, Bulgaria

Panorama: Miss Grange exploring the ruins of the Bulgarian Communist Party headquarters in Mount Buzludzha, Bulgaria

New heights: Miss Grange's photo taken from the top of King's Reach Tower (now called South Bank Tower) in London

New heights: Miss Grange's photo taken from the top of King's Reach Tower (now called South Bank Tower) in London

Don't look down: Ms Grange risks life and limb taking picture from the top of Times Square in New York

Don't look down: Ms Grange risks life and limb taking picture from the top of Times Square in New York

Tall stories: Ms Grange poses atop the Forth Rail Bridge, after scaling the structure at night in Queensferry, Scotland

Tall stories: Ms Grange poses atop the Forth Rail Bridge, after scaling the structure at night in Queensferry, Scotland

Catching forty winks: Ms Grange with friends sleeping in the Bunker d'Guerra, in Milan, Italy

Catching forty winks: Ms Grange with friends sleeping in the Bunker d'Guerra, in Milan, Italy

Exploring every corner of the globe: Ms Grange stood on the Transporter Bridge in Newport, Wales

Exploring every corner of the globe: Ms Grange stood on the Transporter Bridge in Newport, Wales

Deep and dark: Ms Grange's photos of tunnels below the street of London when her and her friend ventured below the capital in search of the underground River Fleet

Deep and dark: Ms Grange's photos of tunnels below the street of London when her and her friend ventured below the capital in search of the underground River Fleet

Mark Explo, Bradley Garrett and Luca Urban, descend beneath London to find the underground River Fleet in London

Underworld: Mark Explo, Bradley Garrett and Luca Urban, descend beneath London to find the underground River Fleet in London

A disused subway station in New York City

Beautiful: Ms Grange discovered this disused subway station in New York City on her travels with her camera

Lucinda Grange rappels down the side of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, France

 

Battersea Power Station Chimney featuring friends Bradley Garrett and Lucy Sparrow in London

Climbing high: Ms Grange rappels down the side of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, and right, her picture of Battersea Power Station Chimney

Ms Grange from the top of the Firth of Forth Rail Bridge in Queensferry, Scotland

Stunning view: Ms Grange'S picture taken from the top of the Firth of Forth Rail Bridge in Queensferry, Scotland

Snap happy: Manhattan Bridge, which Ms Grange scaled alone at night in New York City is lit up in the darkness

Snap happy: Manhattan Bridge, which Ms Grange scaled alone at night in New York City is lit up in the darkness

A picture of Notre Dame cathedral at night

Glowing: A picture of Notre Dame cathedral at night with the Eiffel Tower in the distance

 

‘It’s just like camping on the ground… minus the camp fire!’ Extreme couple who pitch their tents off cliff faces 3,000 FEET in the air

  • Photographer climbed up with them to capture images of their day job - climbing and sleeping on mountains
  • The couple used lightweight tent and climbing equipment to survive the freezing cold temperatures
  • Treacherous weather conditions, like wind, snow and falling ice sheets made for a perilous climb
  • The couple would eat, sleep, and relax at 3,000 ft during their downtime from climbing the cliff face

For most people, hanging off of a cliff in a tent might indicate that somewhere on a camping expedition, they had taken a wrong turn.

But for a daredevil couple, scaling cliffs and pitching tents on the side of a 3,000ft cliff in the face of freezing temperatures and falling rocks is the perfect day at the office.

Professional free climbers Tommy Caldwell, 35, and wife Becca, 27, of Estes Park Colorado, U.S. take on cliff faces on a daily basis, relying only on their hands, feet, and equipment to get them up the mountain.

Scroll down for video

Tommy Caldwell, 35, and wife Becca, 27, hang 3,000 ft up, on the side of El Capitan, a mountain in Yosemite National Park in California

Tommy Caldwell, 35, and wife Becca, 27, hang 3,000 ft up, on the side of El Capitan, a mountain in Yosemite National Park in California

Becca Caldwell takes a break during their attempted climb of the mountain, hanging thousands of feet off the ground on a sheer rock cliff face

Becca Caldwell takes a break during their attempted climb of the mountain, hanging thousands of feet off the ground on a sheer rock cliff face

Free-climbers usually work in pairs, so that if one of them falls, the other can hold them up. On this expedition, the couple also had to carry up their camping equipment

 

The tents are lightweight, but are far from flimsy - they are able to support the weight of two people and a lot of equipment

Free-climbers usually work in pairs, so that if one of them falls, the other can hold them up. On this expedition, the couple also had to carry up their camping equipment

Photographer Corey Rich had to hang at precarious angles in order to get the best pictures, and the setting allowed for some unique images

Photographer Corey Rich had to hang at precarious angles in order to get the best pictures, and the setting allowed for some unique images

The climbs can last for weeks, with the couple setting up their tents on the sides of vertical cliff faces to get some sleep following a long days climb.

The photos were taken by adventure photographer Corey Rich, 37, of South Lake Tahoe, California, who risked his own life to take the pictures during a climb on El Capitan in Yosemite National park.

All three of them slept on portable ledges and inside hanging tents that were secured to the granite cliff face. In addition, the free-climbers endured freezing wind, rain, snowstorms and falling ice sheets, using ropes to secure themselves to each other (a technique called belaying) to keep themselves safe in case of a fall.

Rich, who has been climbing since age 18, said: 'Staying on the cliff at night in a tent is fantastic because I finally get to stop working and lay down to rest. I get to stare at the stars and eat dinner.

Tommy Caldwell hangs precariously after hammering in a piton to support his weight, and the weight of his wife, on the cliff

 

The camera man who took the pictures needed to climb solo, faster and harder than the subjects to get the best snaps

Tommy Caldwell hangs precariously after hammering in a piton to support his weight (left), and the weight of his wife, on the cliff. The camera man who took the pictures needed to climb solo, faster and harder than the subjects to get the best snaps

Cooking dinner while hanging off a cliff is a strange thought, but for the couple it was the only way to eat

Cooking dinner while hanging off a cliff is a strange thought, but for the couple it was the only way to eat

Dinners would have been similar to army rations - very compact and very nutritious for their size, so that they could easily be carried up the cliff

Dinners would have been similar to army rations - very compact and very nutritious for their size, so that they could easily be carried up the cliff

The spoils of dinner. Photographer Corey Rich, who captured the images, said that his work ended when they all went to sleep and started again when they all woke up

The spoils of dinner. Photographer Corey Rich, who captured the images, said that his work ended when they all went to sleep and started again when they all woke up

Don't look down: The climbers were unfased by the potential drop of thousands of feet

 

The couple prepare for another stretch of the climb

Don't look down: The climbers were unfased by the potential drop of thousands of feet. (Right) the couple prepare for another stretch of the climb

The couple are professional climbers, and ecause of their experience, this sort of climb, with it's treacherous conditions and weather, second nature

The couple are professional climbers, and because of their experience, this sort of climb, with it's treacherous conditions and weather, second nature

'I'm usually so tired by the time it happens that I don't get much joy, I just want to close my eyes as quickly as I can.

'Admittedly it is scary the first time you do it, but once you spend enough time doing it, it becomes second nature and then it feels like camping on the ground -minus the camp fire.

'Because you're still wearing a harness when you go to sleep it's not nerve-wracking. There is a piece of webbing tied around waist and tied to the wall, so it's very safe.

'The portable ledges we used as a base were seven feet long and three feet wide. I had my own tent, but Tommy and Becca slept head-to-toe, obviously, not side-by-side.

Their tents protected them against the harsh weather, but after a freezing storm, ice sheets would from on the cliff face, and as the temperatures rose, they would shift and fall, exploding and hitting the tents and ledges while the trio were camping.

Rich said: 'They'd bounce off the portaledge and always in the back of your mind was that some giant block will hit it just right and chop it in half.'

Becca abandoned the feat after ten days, but Tommy continued to attempt to reach the top.

The tent's roof was designed to keep heat in, but was often bombarded by falling ice that had exploded on the way down in rising temperatures in the morning

The tent's roof was designed to keep heat in, but was often bombarded by falling ice that had exploded on the way down in rising temperatures in the morning

The couple must have found it hard to not constantly stare at the view, but had to get sleep when and where they could in order to conserve energy for the next step of the climb

The couple must have found it hard to not constantly stare at the view, but had to get sleep when and where they could in order to conserve energy for the next step of the climb

After six days attempting to conquer one of the most difficult cliff faces, which hadn't been achieved by free-climbers before, Tommy was forced to give up as well, and head back down the mountain.

Rich said: 'People are blown away by the sub culture of individuals on the planet who spend time living in the vertical world. It's the ultimate view and ultimate camping location.'

'The reason why we have to camp on the cliff is because the climbing is so difficult and sometimes have to spend more than a day on the wall.'

Their tents protected them against the harsh weather, but after a freezing storm, ice sheets would from on the cliff face, and as the temperatures rose, they would shift and fall, exploding and hitting the tents and ledges while the trio were camping.

Rich said: 'They'd bounce off the portaledge and always in the back of your mind was that some giant block will hit it just right and chop it in half.'

Becca abandoned the feat after ten days, but Tommy continued to attempt to reach the top.

But after six days attempting to conquer one of the most difficult cliff faces, which hadn't been achieved by free-climbers before, Tommy was forced to give up as well, and head back down the mountain.

Rich said: 'People are blown away by the sub culture of individuals on the planet who spend time living in the vertical world. It's the ultimate view and ultimate camping location.'

'The reason why we have to camp on the cliff is because the climbing is so difficult and sometimes have to spend more than a day on the wall.'

Probably the best place to get a signal: 3000ft up the mountain in Yosemite National park

Probably the best place to get a signal: 3000ft up the mountain in Yosemite National park

 

 

 

 

 

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