We’re just going to call it: Alain Robert is a real-life superhero. Known as the French Spider-Man, he climbed 29 stories in Barcelona this week without a harness. That’s insanity. The 55-year-old scaled the Melia Barcelona Sky Hotel, which is the fourth tallest building in the city. Robert is known for his “urban climbing,” only using chalk on his hands for slip prevention and, of course, climbing shoes. He has no other protections. He has also climbed San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa complex, the Eiffel Tower, and the Sydney Opera House without safety equipment, in addition to another 100 buildings.
So, who is this IRL Spider-Man?
Robert is known as a daredevil but admits on his website that he suffers from vertigo. While that would cause most of us to avoid climbing skyscrapers, he apparently finds it thrilling. Monday’s climb took him just 20 minutes and since it was unannounced, he was questioned by police when he reached the top, but got released without any charges. Obviously, this guy is lucky.
Remember last year when Steve from Virginia scaled Trump Tower in New York City? Robert was very unimpressed by his skill level and speed. He wrote on CNN, “Was it an amazing feat or just a foolhardy stunt? I think it is something closer to the latter.”
Seriously, Alain Robert was not amused.
“Normally with bare hands a climb like the Trump Tower takes 30 minutes, and with suction cups one hour maximum. It is so much faster bare handed — by the time the cops arrive the ascent is nearly finished,” he wrote. Robert added, “If Steve was using only his bare hands the cops would have never dared to arrest him mid-climb and endanger his life.”
Robert added that he’s wanted to climb Trump Tower before, but given New York City’s “anti-Spidey” laws (punishable by up to a year in jail), it’s sort of not worth the hassle. Forget the hassle, friends, urban climbing without nets or harnesses is really dangerous. Please just stick to the gym.