Alain Robert, The Real Life Spiderman

Fifty-two year old daredevil, free climbing Alain Robert conquered another high rise in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, April 11, 2015. This time it was the Cayan Tower, an 80-story structure in the marina district of Dubai. The Tower has a distinctive helical shape, making it appear as though a giant twisted the structure while the cement was still wet. The twist in the building made it a unique challenge for the well-known climber.

Robert’s first climb in Dubai was the Estisalat building in 2005. A legal climb for promotional reasons was of the famed Burj Khalifa in March 2011. The building is currently the tallest building in the world, towering a total of 1,823 feet that includes 163 floors and 46 maintenance levels.

Alain Robert The Real Life Spiderman - ClapwayAlain Robert Is Known As The Real Life Spiderman

The French climber Alain Robert is popularly known as the real life Spiderman for his uncanny ability to climb buildings using only his hands, feet, climbing chalk, and sticky tape to wrap his fingers. He uses no safety harness, ropes, or other equipment, and certainly no nets.

Robert has traveled around the world in his endeavor to find interesting and challenging buildings to climb. He is usually arrested afterward and spends a fair amount of time locked up in various cities, normally under the charges of trespassing, mischief and other crimes. He makes his climbs at will and rarely obtains permission from the building management or city officials. His strategy is to start very early in the morning and be well on his way up the building before authorities arrive. He usually finds them waiting for him when he reaches the top. However, not all of his climbs are illegal and as he became well known, companies have commissioned him to climb buildings for advertising and promotional reasons. Sony Pictures has hired the real life spiderman to do climbs promoting Spiderman and Spiderman 2.

No Stranger To Falling

Born August 7, 1962, in Digoin, Saône-et-Loire, Bourgogne, France, the Alain Robert has had seven serious falls. The first occurred in January 1982, at age 19, when he fell 49 feet during a training exercise. The rope and anchor he was using gave way and he suffered fractures to his nose, heel, and wrists. His most serious fall happened at age 20, only 9 months after his first fall. Again, he fell 49 feet when his rope unfastened while rappelling. This time his injuries included fractured forearms, nose (again), pelvis, elbow and cerebral swelling that put him in a coma for five days. The damage to his elbow left him with partial paralysis.

A relatively short fall of 6 feet that happened when climbing a traffic light for publicity purposes, left him needing 40 stitches on his elbow. This put a planned travel to Taipei to climb the world’s tallest skyscraper (at the time), the Taipei 101 in jeopardy. Robert only had one month to heal.

The Real Life Spiderman Keeps Coming Back Stronger

Despite the earlier setbacks, Alain Robert fights back and recovers and comes back even stronger than before, ready to take on tougher challenges. He has travelled all over the world and found buildings to scales. These include his homeland of France, where he climbed the Eifel Tower; the Sydney Opera House in Australia; the Singapore Flyer in Singapore; Santa Fe World Plaza in Mexico City, Mexico; the Taipei 101 in Taiwan, Taipei, and the Empire State Building in New York City in the US, just to name a very few.

Alain Robert, the real life spiderman, could probably scale this indoor climbing wall in France in his sleep: