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They do not wish to provoke authorities: “we simply explore the city from the inside”.

Cities have always lured explorers keen to scale their heights and plumb their depths.

But while their exploits may be radical, they are not destructive.

In “Access All Areas”, a definitive urbex text, Jeff Chapman writes that urban exploration should accord with the Sierra Club motto: “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints”. After Messrs Makhorov and Raskalov place-hacked the Giza pyramids, the pair was banned from returning to Egypt. Shanghai’s government has leaned on Russian diplomats to reveal their real names.

In 1793 Philibert Aspairt forayed into the catacombs in Paris, only to be found dead 11 years later.

Walt Whitman, an American poet and another early urban explorer, called the abandoned Atlantic Avenue Tunnel in Brooklyn “a passage of Acheron-like solemnity and darkness”.

Security in Russia is lax, says Mr Makhorov, which makes breaking and entering easier.

The country’s array of dilapidated industrial sites presents ideal stomping ground.

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Critics see urban explorers as perilous, naïve, self-aggrandising (sky-walkers are fond of shots of their feet dangling over ledges) and even criminal.

On a crane affixed to the top they spent a further 18 hours waiting for the clouds to retreat, taking photographs and napping.

Their aim, says Mr Makhorov, is to show people the urban environment from an unfamiliar perspective.

With faces obscured by scarves, they waited until midnight when security guards were, they hoped, nodding off.

Then they hopped over the wall encircling the Shanghai Tower, which is still under construction, and climbed 120 floors in two hours.

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