Alain Robert – death-defying free climber – and dazzling after dinner speaker – has scaled the world’s tallest building – the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Robert is the first person to climb the 828 metre high building. The Human spider spoke to the Sunday Times about his latest feat.
The 48-year-old Frenchman is known for his thrilling ascents without ropes, but on this occasion he was forced to succumb to pressure to use safety equipment and to acquire permission – two aspects of his job usually shunned by the defiantly anti-authoritarian climber. He admits that there was absolutely no way to complete the job illegally. “I prefer to climb it this way than never have the chance at all.”
His six hour ascent was watched by thousands, and Robert refers to the extraordinary feat as “no joke, one of the hardest buildings I ever did in my life.”
In his book, With Bare Hands, Robert attempts to answer the question posed to him all the time – why climb with no ropes? Robert writes: “I preferred to spurn the pollution of the safety net and experience the climb in its naked form. As a child I was afraid of everything. I was insecure. I was lacking in self-confidence. But always I had this dream that I could be like Zorro or Robin Hood. There were always two Alain Roberts – the Alain who was real, and the Alain who existed in my dreams. Maybe it is about courage. Maybe I am wrong but I always thought it was courageous to climb without any safety equipment.”
Copyright Speakers Corner 2016