Alain the spiderman climbing Burj khalifa

Alain Robert – Climbed World’s Highest Buildings with No Life Support

Alain Robert, the French Spiderman, afraid of great heights in childhood, climbed more than 80 highest towers in the world including the Burj Khalifa, and Eiffel Tower. After every few days, he has a strong urge to scale new heights…

Alain Robert facts

Robert Alain Philippe( born on 7 August 1962) is a French rock climber and urban climber & is famously called Alain Robert Spider-Man” or “the Human Spider”. He is famous for his free solo climbing, and scaling skyscrapers without any climbing equipment.

He looks tall, however he is only 1.65 meters in height. Alain climbs with just a small bag of chalk, to wipe off the sweat and a pair of climbing shoes. Unbelievably, he climbs the world’s tallest skyscrapers bare-handed & without any life support beneath!

Alain Robert climbing
Alain Robert climbing the Newyork Times building

His mountain & rock-climbing physical training and technique allow him to climb using the small protrusions of building walls and windows (such as window ledges and frames). Many of his climbs provide him no opportunity to rest and can last several hours.

Alain Robert’s earlier years of climbing

In earlier years of his climbing, he always reached the skyscraper at dawn because the authorities did not normally allow him for such dangerous adventures. It was only when a crowd of onlookers used to gather on roads to watch somebody climbing, then police used to arrive.

But, by that time, he had either finished his climb or reached midway. That’s why Robert has faced arrest nearly 100 times. However, since a few years, he climbs with permission and sponsorship.

It’s not that he just starts climbing any building. Before scaling any building, first, he inspects the building for a few days. He checks whether it’s fit for scaling or not, and yes, for security cameras locations also! If he finds everything perfect, then he decides his climb path, and chalk out the entire plan. Else the scheme is scrapped.

Alain Robert Burj Khalifa climb

Climbing Burj Khalifa (in the Featured image) in UAE, Dubai, in 2011 was one of his most difficult adventures. It was a legal climb, but authorities allowed him climb only with partial use of a safety harness. He scaled the 828-meters building in around 6 hours. He said that with this climb he inspired more than 2,000 students attending an event named “Education without borders”, Gulf News reports.

“I’m doing this to show the students there is no edge or borders and to inspire people to break the mold and not limit themselves. Part of my message is not only to follow your heart but try to innovate in all things you do. I climb because I need to find something I enjoy in life and I enjoy climbing buildings,”

Alain Robert

Alain Robert Childhood – Afraid of heights

Height fear is not a phobia – it’s by birth, almost all humans & even most the animals are scared of falling from great heights. The surprising fact is that in his childhood, he was afraid of heights. But, with a very strong determination & courage he conquered his fear.

He began his climbing training in 1975, on the cliffs near his hometown of Valence in southern France. He took up solo climbing in 1977 and rapidly became a top climber. However, he had the first stint at “climbing” when he was 12 and somehow locked out of his apartment. He decided to scale the eight stories up to an open window.

Alain Robert climbing
Alain Robert climbing

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When did Alain Robert start climbing?

His journey of climbing buildings started somewhere around 1994 and he has climbed more than 80 buildings. His latest publicly known climb was in Barcelona, Spain in 2020 as per Wikipedia. He has fallen many times but luckily not from very great heights.

He has suffered everything from getting badly injured to operations, hospitalizations for months. Even going into a coma at least 2 times couldn’t stop him from these risky adventures.

His wife and three children always remain worried for him. They get temporary relief only when either he is with them or when he makes a phone call to them after scaling his latest adventure. When he is at his home, he fulfills his climbing desires by climbing walls in his house because he just can’t live without it.

Climbing Highest buildings of the world

He scaled Taipei 101 in 2004, a few days before its grand opening as the tallest building in the world at that time. The 508-meter (1,667 ft) climb was legal, part of the week’s festivities. Its outwardly slanting sides posed no apparent difficulty for him, but heavy rain doubled his estimate. So, the climb took nearly 4 hours.

Is Alain Robert still climbing?

He has climbed the tallest skyscrapers and landmarks of the world and till the last news in 2022, he is still actively climbing. He has scaled the Burj Khalifa, the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Opera House, the Montparnasse Tower, the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, UAE, Sears Tower, and the list goes on…

Warning & Disclaimer

Do not try to perform such acts by imitating. Alain is a trained professional & still, his life remains at risk while performing such acts without any life support. Please also check the DISCLAIMER.

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