A couple years ago, pristine footage of eighteen year old Munich, Germany resident Andrej Ciesielski climbing the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt was captured, at the expense of the man getting caught by police shortly after the climb on his way down.
Because the Egyptian government doesn’t want tourists to damage the pyramids, people obviously aren’t allowed to just climb up them. On one hand, a government shouldn’t necessarily be the arbiter of who gets to get a view of historic sites, but on the other, it’s clearly going to take a huge toll on the pyramid for people to do this.
As he climbed the pyramid, which occurred within supposedly about 8 minutes, you can see it’s surprisingly a very short climb to the top. Once the man finally made it to the top of the pyramid, you can see the incredibly pristine bricks that were used to construct the pyramids, with probably the least damaged ones located at the top.
“Egyptian authorities have sent a stern warning to holidaymakers who have a foolish desire to scale its famous pyramids – stay off or risk being banned from the country for life. That’s what happened to 18-year-old German tourist Andrej Ciesielski, who illegally climbed the Great Pyramid of Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo, on a recent visit to the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Ciesielski, from Munich, travelled to Egypt with the intention of snapping photos from atop the mammoth 4,500-year-old tomb, risking his life and imprisonment after he was detained and questioned by police.”
For climbing the Cheops pyramid, he could have been sentenced to three years in prison, but I guess Egyptian authorities found it practical to make an example out of him this way.
However, this is by no means the first time a renegade tourist has decided to climb one of the great pyramids.
Some Russian photographers climbed the great pyramid before the man from Germany, and it seems like they didn’t get caught. According to Gawker:
“Last week in Egypt, a group of Russian photographers apparently climbed the Great Pyramid of Giza—hiding from guards for four hours after closing time before beginning the ascent. Climbing the pyramid, one of the photographers claims, carries a punishment of one to three years. But it was worth it. ‘I was speechless,’ one wrote. ‘I felt a chilling delight, absolute happiness.’”
After both of these incidents, in January 2017 Faith Kömurcü, a Turkish student was detained by police who forced him to delete all pictures and videos of his climb on the great pyramid.
Before all of these incidents, the second largest pyramid in the Giza Necropolis was climbed by a man who was not identified, who wouldn’t get down from the pyramid so an Egyptian Army Search and Rescue Helicopter had to get him down. He was praying on the pyramid and spent the night on top of it.
That would be an amazing experience, but the man was crazy, and so is the story. It was described in a comedic way by CNN on accident:
“A local man living nearby, who is an expert at climbing pyramids, was asked by the Police to climb up to talk to the man and convince him of coming down. However, upon getting closer, the man threatened the expert that if he wouldn’t back off, the man would throw himself at him and both of them would fall off the pyramid and die.”
I guess it’s not hard to climb the pyramids at all.