A free solo climber Alain Robert has scaled a 48-storey building in Paris to mark his 60th birthday. Dubbed ‘spider man’ Robert has climbed many of the world’s tallest buildings, often without permission.
Robert raised his arms aloft as he reached the top of the 187-metre (613ft) Tour of TotalEnegies building, which towers over the French Capital’s La Defense business district.
“I want to send people the message that being 60 is nothing. You can still do sport, be active, do fabulous things,” said Robert, whose 60th birthday was last month.
“I promised myself several years ago that when I reached 60, I would climb that tower again because 60 symbolises retirement age in France and I thought that was a nice touch.”
Robert, who also wanted to use the climb to raise awareness about the need for climate action, had already climbed the Tour Total on numerous occasions.
He began climbing in 1975, training on the cliffs near his home town of Valence in southern France. He took up solo climbing in 1977 and rapidly became a top climber.
Since then, he has climbed more than 150 towering structures around the world, including Dubai’s Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building, the Eiffel Tower and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.
He has also been arrested several times as he climbs most of the buildings without a harness, using only his bare hands, a pair of climbing shoes, and a bag of powdered chalk to wipe off the sweat.
“In my game, there’s life on one side, death on the other.” The choice is simple: “It’s either fear or focus.”