Alain Robert, the free climber dubbed the French “Spiderman”, on Saturday (September 17) scaled the Tour TotalEnergies, a 48-storey skyscraper in Paris to celebrate his 60th birthday
Robert, a wiry man with long blond hair, who turned 60 last month, stood clad in red with both arms aloft after reaching the summit of the 187-metre (613-foot) high tower, which stands in the French capital’s business district, La Defense.
“I want to send people the message that being 60 years old is nothing. You can still do sport, be active, do fabulous things,” he told Reuters.
“I promised myself several years ago that when I would reach 60, I would climb that tower again because 60 symbolises retirement age in France and I thought that was a nice touch,” he added.
Robert, who also wanted in Saturday’s ascent to raise awareness on climate change, has climbed the TotalEnergies tower numerous times in past years.
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.
Robert has since climbed more than 150 skyscrapers around the world, including Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, the Eiffel Tower, and the San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridge.
Robert often climbs without permission and has been arrested on numerous occasions. He climbs without a harness, using only his bare hands, a pair of climbing shoes, and a bag of powdered chalk to absorb the sweat.