French climber Alain Robert added another tick to his impressive list of urban first ascents Tuesday by topping out on the 73-floor Cheung Kong Center in downtown Hong Kong, reports the AP on Yahoo News. According to Robert (whose earlier antics were covered in ADVENTURE here), aka Spiderman, he scaled the building in order to bring attention to global warming. Robert declined to comment on how free soloing a skyscraper accomplished this goal.
Judging by video and photos taken from the ground, the 885-foot line followed steel seems that ran up the entire height of the structure and required long series of foot jams and rebar pinching to negotiate. A little above the halfway point, Robert threw in a traverse along horizontal bars for good measure then continued to the top with on an identical seem.
The climb took 40 minutes and ADVENTURE is tentatively rating it a 5.11a (6c for Frenchmen like Robert), taking into consideration length, exposure, and the Hong Kong police waiting at the top out. Robert adds this climb to an already impressive list of FA’s that includes the Loyds building in London, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and the New York Times Building and the Empire State building, both in Manhattan.
Check out this gallery compiled by the Toronto Sun Times and see if you agree with our rating.
- Nat Geo Expeditions