Tuesday, September 1, 2009

‘Spiderman’ conquers Petronas Twin Towers

French ‘Spiderman’ finally conquers Petronas Twin Towers

French climber Alain Robert, known as ‘Spiderman’ stands on the tip of the Petronas Twin Towers. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 1 — A French climber dubbed “Spiderman” for his ropeless ascents of some of the world’s highest skyscrapers finally scaled yesterday a Malaysian tower he had tried to ascend twice before, and was then arrested.

Alain Robert, 47, used the cover of pre-dawn darkness to avoid detection from security guards at the 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers, and reached the top floor in around an hour and 45 minutes.

“I did try twice to climb, and climbing to the top is one of my dreams. It’s a bit like a love story, not only about climbing the tallest building to make it official... but about completing something unfinished,” Robert told Reuters ahead of the climb.

Robert reached the top of a spire at the peak of Tower 2 of the iconic twin buildings which houses state oil firm Petronas, then climbed down to an observation platform before being led inside by security personnel.

A police official told a Reuters photographer that Robert was later arrested and is being held at a police station. It is not known whether he will be charged for anything.

Robert has climbed over 80 buildings around the world, including the Eiffel Tower, London’s Canary Wharf building, New York’s Empire State Building and Chicago’s Sear’s Tower.

In 2004 he fended off stormy weather to climb the world’s tallest building, Taipei 101, in Taiwan’s capital.

“As a young boy I was afraid of heights and lacked self confidence,” said Robert. — Reuters

Don't look down: French 'Spider-Man' scales the 1,482ft Petronas Twin Towers... but then he's led away in handcuffs

By Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 8:58 AM on 02nd September 2009

The Frenchman known as Spider-Man for his uncanny ability to scale the world's tallest buildings yesterday climbed one of Earth's most iconic landmarks without safety equipment.

In the pre-dawn gloom Alain Robert dodged security guards to start his 88-storey ascent of Malaysia's famous Petronas Towers.

As the city woke up Robert was well on his way up Tower 2 of the 1,482ft building - his third attempt, after being ordered down from the 60th floor two years ago.

Yesterday, however, there was no stopping him.

French climber Alain Robert, known as 'Spiderman', climbs Malaysia's 452m landmark Petronas Twin Towers in downtown Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

French climber Alain Robert, known as 'Spiderman', climbs Malaysia's 452m landmark Petronas Twin Towers in downtown Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

French climber Alain Robert, known as 'Spiderman', climbs Malaysia's landmark Petronas Twin Towers in downtown Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Alain Robert's freehand climb would have meant negotiating the globe placed near the top of the tower

Alain Robert, during his previous arrest in Kuala Lumpur

High crime: Alain Robert was arrested once he reached the top

After a tough vertical climb with no ropes the 47-year-old finally reached the tower's antenna, scaling a ladder for the final few metres to fearlessly stand at the top and raise his hands in jubilation.

Most visitors to the towers in Kuala Lumpar never make it past the 60th floor, where a connecting walkway joins the buildings giving tourists a dizzying view of the city below.

After a short celebration the Spider-Man, who has scaled more than 80 skyscrapers worldwide, including the Empire State Building, the Sears Tower and Taipei 101, made the journey earthward in a very different way.

Flanked by security guards and under arrest, he was whisked back to earth in a lift and promptly escorted to the police station wearing handcuffs - and a big grin.

Later in the day Robert appeared in court where he was fined 2,000 Ringit - about £350.

At 5ft 5in, he is short and light, which helps with his climbing. He also sometimes uses a bag of chalk powder to absorb sweat.

He suffered two serious accidents in 1982 - including a head-first 15 metre fall which left him in a coma for five days and with multiple fractures.

The married father-of-three rarely has permission from the authorities to attempt his dangerous exploits, so he has been arrested many times at the end of his climb.

Yesterday, Disney announced it had bought the rights to all Marvel Comic characters, for $4billion.

The move will bring characters such as Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man into the family of Mickey Mouse and 'Toy Story.'

Alain Robert

Alain Robert was fined the equivalent of £350 for his stunt before the Malaysian authorities let him go

Malaysia's iconic 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers soars 452m in the sky

Malaysia's iconic 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers soars 452m, or 1,482ft, into the sky and is one of the landmarks of Kuala Lumpur

French Spider-man

See the video of Alain's climb:

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