‘French Spiderman’ climbs the Paris skyscraper to celebrate its 60th birthday

Alain Robert, the free climber nicknamed the “French Spiderman”, scaled a 48-storey skyscraper in Paris on Saturday, fulfilling a goal he set for himself at the age of 60.

Dressed in red, Robert raised his arms as he reached the top of the 187-metre (613ft) Tour TotalEnergies building, which towers over the La Défense business district in the French capital.

“I want to send people the message that turning 60 is nothing. You can still play sports, 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 symbolizes retirement age in France and I thought that was a good idea,” he told Reuters.

Robert, who also wanted to use the climb to raise awareness of the need to act on climate change, had climbed the TotalEnergies tower many times before.

He started climbing in 1975, training on the cliffs near his home town of Valence in southern France. He started solo climbing in 1977 and quickly became one of the best climbers.

Since then, he has scaled over 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.

Often climbing without permission, he was arrested several times. He climbs without a harness, using only his bare hands, a pair of climbing shoes and a bag of powdered chalk to wipe away the sweat.


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