French ‘Spider Man’ climbs 613ft skyscraper for 60th birthday

Alain Robert climbed the building with no safety gear to mark the milestone in his life (Picture: Reuters)

Free solo climber Alain Robert has scaled a 48-storey building in Paris for his 60th birthday.

Robert, dubbed the ‘French Spiderman’, climbed the 187-metre (613-foot) Tour TotalEnergies building on Saturday.

Dressed in red, he raised his arms aloft as he reached the top of the skyscraper, which towers over the French capital’s La Defense business district.

He climbed without a harness, using only his bare hands, a pair of climbing shoes, and a bag of powdered chalk to wipe off the sweat.

Robert said: ‘I want to send people the message that being 60 is nothing. You can still do sport, be active, do fabulous things.

‘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.’

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Robert added he wanted to use the climb to raise awareness about the need for climate change action.

Robert began climbing in 1975, training on the cliffs near his hometown 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 climbed the 187-metre (613-foot) Tour TotalEnergies building on Saturday (Picture: Reuters)

Often climbing without permission, he has been arrested repeatedly.

In 2018, Robert was banned from climbing any building in the UK after scaling the Heron Tower in London with no safety gear.

He reached the top of the 662ft (202m) building, now known as the Salesforce Tower, in around 45 minutes.

The father of three pleaded guilty to causing a public nuisance when he appeared at City of London Magistrates’ Court.

He was sentenced to 20 weeks imprisonment suspended for two years, ordered to pay £5,500 compensation to the City of London Police and banned from climbing the outside of any building in the UK.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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