Alain Robert successfully tacked the Heron Tower today
Skyscraper climber ‘the French Spiderman’ has struck again – this time at one of London’s tallest buildings.
Alain Robert, whose feats have included climbing Dubai’s 2,717ft (828m) Burj Khalifa, tackled the Heron Tower in the City of London this afternoon.
The 56-year-old daredevil, who is known for scaling skyscrapers with his bare hands, said before his climb: ‘I fully feel alive when my life is at stake. It may sound a bit scary and crazy but this is the way it is.’
The illegal ascent of the 662ft (202m) tower – now known as the Salesforce Tower – was with no safety gear, without a rope and with bare hands.
Uniformed City of London Police officers arrived at 1.37pm, set up a taped cordon stopping traffic around the building and ushered the growing crowd to move back and keep out of the road.
Police later confirmed he had been arrested after the stunt for causing a public nuisance and is currently in custody.
Mr Robert is in prime condition – he is 5ft 5in and weighs about 7st 12lb (50kg), with a low fat ratio of bones to muscle which helps his extreme athleticism and skill.
As with other unlawful climbs, he is as ‘always’ carrying his passport in a chalk bag ‘because it is very reassuring for the authorities’ when he is arrested.
Chalk slightly improves the friction between his skin and the building but he also tapes his fingers and wears wafer-thin gloves to try to stop them being shredded by the ‘aggressive’ building.
Spectators take photographs as daredevil climber Mr Robert, dubbed the ‘French Spiderman’, scales the Heron Tower today
Police officers on the ground look up at French urban climber Mr Robert as he climbs the tallest tower in the City of London
Mr Robert, whose feats have included climbing Dubai’s 2,717ft (828m) Burj Khalifa, stands on top of the Heron Tower today
Mr Roberts is pictured during his climb up the Heron Tower in the City of London today, which lasted about 40 minutes
It is believed he only decided which building he was going to tackle from a three-strong shortlist on Monday.
The crowd, pushed back to about 500ft (150m) away from the building, burst into cheers when Mr Robert waved from about three-quarters of the way up the skyscraper at 1.59pm.
Mr Robert raised his arms to cheers as he reached the top at 2.14pm. From the ground, he appeared as just a speck against the clear blue sky and seemed to move calmly away from view.
After the climb, which lasted about 40 minutes, Mr Yeubrey said: ‘I am really glad. I think it would have been a much tougher climb than he thought. I am always glad when he is safe after these things.
‘Now he will be arrested and go to court. Hopefully they will not be too hard on him because actually he is a really good guy.’
He said: ‘I saw it. I touched it a bit. I tried it just a tiny bit. I am not really knowing much. It is only really when I start climbing that I know. I need to feel it. There has been 44 years in which I have been climbing.
The 56-year-old daredevil, who is known for scaling skyscrapers with his bare hands, climbs the Heron Tower today
Passers-by look up at French urban climber Mr Robert as he makes his way up the tallest tower in the City of London
The illegal ascent of the 662ft (202m) tower by Mr Robert is with no safety gear, without a rope and with bare hands
Uniformed City of London Police officers arrived at 1.37pm and set up a taped cordon stopping traffic around the building
Spectators watch as daredevil climber Mr Robert scales the outside of the Heron Tower in London this afternoon
People take photographs of Mr Robert as police ushered the growing crowd to move back and keep out of the road
‘This is what I know as a way of living and expressing myself and living my dreams, my passion and living my life as fully as I can. Definitely it is dangerous. I have a certain knowledge. I have a solid background.’
None of this is easy for his family and there are many members of the public worldwide who condemn him.
He said: ‘It is never easy for family having a dad who is doing that kind of stuff but they are used to it. They never asked me to change my lifestyle.
‘They trust me. They think I am capable to succeed each time I am doing something, but at the end of the day it is still a bit scary for sure. They are proud.’ If you knew the number of people who are happy to meet me.
‘For most of the people I am an inspiring person. I am receiving a lot of messages saying I am such a legend.
People watch in amazement on the ground today as the ‘French Spiderman’ scales the outside of the Heron Tower
Mr Robert is in prime condition – he is 5ft 5in and weighs about 7st 12lb (50kg), with a low fat ratio of bones to muscle
He is as ‘always’ carrying his passport in a chalk bag ‘because it is very reassuring for the authorities’ when he is arrested
Chalk improves the friction between his skin and the building but he also tapes his fingers and wears wafer-thin gloves
The talented rock climber turned his attention to skyscrapers in the mid-1990s and has now done up to 160 of these ascents
‘There are a number of people who really think that what I am doing is crazy but in a nice way. I am really inspiring a generation.’
Police took a dim view.
Commander Karen Baxter said in a statement: ‘This incident this afternoon has had a considerable impact on police, other emergency services and the local community.
‘Our officers, the London Fire Brigade and the London Ambulance Service all attended this incident taking them away from genuine emergencies.
‘Road closures meant a significant disturbance to local transport and businesses and their staff located in the building were also considerably affected.
‘While the incident has caused immense disruption to local transport and businesses and their staff located in the City of London it also posed a significant level of risk to the safety of people in and around Heron Tower.’
The talented rock climber turned his attention to skyscrapers in the mid-1990s and has now done up to 160 of these ascents to date, according to his manager.
Landmarks tackled include the Taiwan’s Taipei 101 and the Lloyds building in London. Today’s climb was in partnership with the Cornish spiced rum Dead Man’s Fingers.
Asked if what Mr Robert was doing was actually a little barmy and just plain dangerous rather than a daring adventure, his manager, Bryan Yeubrey, said: ‘I just have to accept that. I can not argue against it, can I?
‘Alain is an adventurer. He wants to climb buildings. He is incredible. He is good at it and has been doing it for many years.’
Alain Robert looks across the cityscape a he climbs the highest building in the world, Burj Khalifa, on March 28, 2011
Unlike many of Robert’s climbs, the 2,717 foot climb up the Burj Khalifa was made using rope and harness as security precautions and received official recognition in relation with the event 10th ‘Education Without Borders’
Alain Robert is grabbed by security guards as he tried to climb a building hosting the headquarters of French energy giant Engie at La Defense business area, in Paris on March 14, 2018
Alain Robert, who has been dubbed the ‘French Spiderman’, climbs 300 meters up The Torch hotel in Doha on 12 April, 2012
Alain Robert climbs the Pompidou Centre on March 17, 2011 in Paris, France. Robert, who has scaled more than 85 structures around the world, successfully climbed the Pompidou Centre in approximately 20 minutes
Alain Robert climbs the Ariane Tower, situated in the La Defense business centre on March 27, 2014 in Paris, France. After taking approximately 45 minutes to complete the climb Robert was arrested by police before being released later without being charged
Robert celebrates after he climbed the facade of the Intercontinental Hotel building during a promotional event for a Romanian electronics retailer in Bucharest on October 14, 2011
Robert of France scales the exterior of the Lotte World Tower in Seoul on June 6, 2018. He surrendered to a ‘cat and mouse”‘chase with security as he scaled a 123-story skyscraper in Seoul to celebrate the recent peace-making efforts between the two Koreas
The French Spiderman’s most incredible climbs (without a harness)
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