Alain Robert adds Makati tower to list of dangerous (and illegal) skyscraper climbs

January 29, 2019 - 4:43 PM
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Alain Robert, also known as the “French Spiderman,” terrified Makati residents and workers when he climbed the GT International Tower—considered the ninth tallest building in the country—without harnesses or any climbing equipment for more than an hour.

Videos and pictures of the 56-year-old man climbing and going down the structure that has an approximate height of 713 feet circulated on social media on January 29, Tuesday.

Anyone in Makati right now? This man is climbing GT tower without harness. Looks like Alain Robert. Can someone confirm? from r/Philippines

Makati Police immediately arrested him when he climbed down the tower. He has been charged for “alarms and scandals and other forms of trespass” which is considered a crime against public order.

Acts associated with causing alarms and scandals include “disturbance of public places or other disorderly meetings offensive and prejudicial to public tranquility.”

He has previously been arrested by the authorities for climbing the Salesforce Tower in London, the Royal Bank of Scotland Tower in Australia and the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong.

His pursuit caused the United Kingdom to permanently ban him from climbing any of their buildings after he was arrested for causing public nuisance during his Salesforce Tower climb.

UK authorities ordered Robert to pay £5,500 to the City of London Police as compensation. He was also sentenced to jail for 20 weeks and given a two-year suspension.

“You are demonstrably an accomplished climber but there is always the danger that your actions could be imitated by those less proficient, with potentially fatal consequences,” Edward McMullan, an official of the City of London Magistrates’ Court, said in an October 2018 interview.

The ‘French Spiderman’

Alain Robert is an urban climber recognized for his free climbing exploits of skyscrapers without a harness or safety gear.

Robert climbed his first building at the age of 11, when he was locked out of their apartment building in Bourgogne, France while his parents were not around. He climbed the seven-story building with his bare hands.

Since then, Robert has dedicated himself to scaling some of the world’s tallest structures.

The Frenchman attributes a 1956 movie as a catalyzing point for sparking his interest in climbing. He said in an interview:

“It all started after I saw a movie when I was eight, called ‘The Grieving Snow’ [Translated to ‘The Mountain’ 1956], a film inspired by a novel written by Henri Troyat.”

“It’s about a plane flying from India who crashes near the top of the highest mountain in Europe, where two very talented climbers decide to tackle the massif to seek survivors. This movie is how my passion was born.”

“When I saw those two brothers climbing such a giant mountain, I realized it symbolized courage. I was terribly lacking of courage but deep down, it was my dream to be as courageous as my heroes Zorro, Robin Hood or D’Aartatgnan. So suddenly, climbing some mountains seemed to be more practical than before.”

Robert has climbed some of the most famous structures in the world such as the Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge, Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Opera House and Petronas Towers. — Featured video by The STAR via Brian Lumanog and Bim Santos