Heron Tower Salesforce

French ‘Spiderman’ Alain Robert Scales Massive Tower in London

Police arrested the 56-year-old on a charge of causing a public nuisance after he climbed atop the 663-foot tower without any safety equipment.

Photo credit: diamond geezer

Traffic was at a standstill, and onlookers craned their necks Thursday afternoon to witness the self-proclaimed “Spiderman” ascend the tallest tower in London’s financial district — from the outside.

Alain Robert climbed past windows at dizzying heights to reach the top of the Salesforce Tower (formerly the Heron Tower), which stands 663 feet tall — 755 feet with its massive spire. Onlookers clogged streets and sidewalks with their phones pointed toward the sky to capture the stunt.

‘Spiderman’ Alain Robert Climbs London Salesforce Tower

It’s unclear why Robert chose the Salesforce Tower, though The Guardian reported he made the decision Monday “from a shortlist of three.”

Though remarkable, this is not the first “buildering” project by the Frenchman. He has climbed higher and more prominent structures, including Australia’s 1,047-foot Sydney Tower, the 1,027-foot Eiffel Tower, and even the 1,250-foot Empire State Building.

Though Robert has performed some building climbs legally, authorities have arrested him on numerous occasions. He was even expelled from a country after Chinese authorities jailed him for five days when he climbed the 88-story Jin Mao Building wearing a Spider-Man costume.

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“The incident this afternoon has had a considerable impact on police, other emergency services, and the local community,” Commander Karen Baxter told The Guardian. “Our officers, the London Fire Brigade, and the London Ambulance Service all attended this incident, taking them away from genuine emergencies.”

Climbing skyscrapers stirred recent controversy in the U.S. when Alex Honnold abandoned an attempt to climb an apartment complex in New Jersey. Honnold later said he decided to quit after encountering wet conditions and surprising people in their homes.

“It was dumb,” Honnold said of his stunt.

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Adam Ruggiero

Adam Ruggiero is an all-sport activity junkie - from biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming. If it's outside, it's worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.