"French Spiderman" Scales Hotel in Bucharest (Big Photo Gallery, Not Safe for Acrophobics)

French urban climber Alain Robert, also known as the French Spiderman, climbs to the top floor of a 22-story hotel building in Bucharest October 14, 2011. Robert's climb was part of an advertising campaign for a local electronics retailer.

Robert first climbed a building at the age of 12 when he got locked out of his apartment and decided to mount the eight stories up to an open window. He has since climbed more than 80 buildings around the world including Chicago's Sears Tower and Taipei 101 in Taiwan.

More photos of his ascent follow, courtesy of Reuters.

(NB: I'd link to the man's website, but the front door is a horrible auto-audio-blasting Flash abomination which redirects to what looks like malware. Maybe he can take a look at that when he climbs back down to Earth.)



    1. Alain Robert has been free soloing since before Honnold started climbing.  And Honnold is HARDLY original. 

      1. Nonsense. Both Robert and Honnold mere derivative imitators of Uork, the free soloing Australopithecus africanus known for his daring tree ascents in the late Pliocene.

      2.  How hard is it to climb a building?  You want to impress me, go free solo a 5.13a as an appetizer to Half Dome.

          1. Sigh.

            I’m not sure that “originality” is Honnold’s claim to fame. Honnold’s contribution seems to be climbing long hard rock climbs, especially notable among them being his efforts in Yosemite.

            For the simultaneous combination of length, difficulty, variability, and technical challenge of his climbs, Honnold stands alone. Can this really be a matter of contention? I mean, even I can tell that, and I think what Honnold does is idiotic.

        1. The difficulty in climbing buildings is not the difficult of the individual moves, but rather that you are doing the same moves over and over again.  It gets tiring faster than typical rock climbing.  Honnold is a better climber than Alain Roberts, but that doesn’t diminish from his achievements or change the fact that he has been doing this far longer.

      3. I would say anyone who lead-climbs Half Dome is unoriginal. Originality isn’t even remotely what matters. Honnold is insanely good and confident. When you free climb the Dome then come back and tell us how unoriginal you are.

        1. Yes, Honnold is insanely good and clearly wired differently than 95% of climbers. People are only responding about originality in response to a comment by MarkM. 

          Also, learn what free climbing actually means. 

    1. But everyone calls it either the “Sears Tower”, or “the building that was formerly called the Sears Tower”

  1. I see that (unlike on many of his most famous climbs) he used a cable for safety on this ascent. Did the sponsors make him do it? Or is he just taking more precautions these days?

  2. That was the first thing I noticed as well. I’m sure that he was required to use a harness as part of this official sponsored climb.

    Surely there’s no way he’d bother otherwise. That building was utterly trivial compared to his traditional challenges.

  3. Seeing the commercial success of this climb, Improv Everywhere has now decided to go climb a building “spontaneously”.

  4. What you talking ’bout Willis?

    If you live in Chicago it is still the Sears Tower and always will be. Hell I still shop at Marshall Field’s from time to time

  5. What’s with French people and urban acrobatics? If anyone hasn’t seen Man on Wire, about a guy who tight ropes between the towers of Notre Damn and the Twin Towers, you must, especially if you’re in need of more material for your cliche French existentialist impressions.

    1. If anyone hasn’t seen Man on Wire, about a guy who tight ropes between the towers of Notre Damn and the Twin Towers…

      It’s no small feat to run a tightrope all the way from Paris to Manhattan.

  6. I’ve seen him climb and the tricky part, MarkM, is avoiding the police during the approach to the building and getting beyond their reach before the notice. Then getting over the top without falling, as police attempt to make their arrest.
    It’s just weird seeing him wearing a safety harness.

  7. Robert suffers permanent vertigo, as a result of his prior injuries. But I’m pretty sure the cable is a requirement of the promotion, as he’s been climbing without such things for a while now.

    While having vertigo.

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