PARIS – A French urban climber who calls himself "Spider-Man" (search) scaled a 59-story Paris office building Wednesday with his bare hands and without using any ropes.
Alain Robert (search) took less than 45 minutes to climb the nearly 700-foot-tall Montparnasse Tower building, gripping the metal girders on his way up. At the top, he waved to a small crowd that gathered on the ground, some shouting "Allez, Alain!", or "Go, Alain!"
"This is a bit long," Robert, 42, said of his climb. "There are some metallic rails which are a bit slippery. It's difficult to stick the feet inside so it's a bit uncomfortable. I mean, I have to climb quite quickly. I have to be able to keep the rhythm. And today it's windy, it's a bit cold."
Robert, renowned for climbing without ropes or other equipment, has scaled the Eiffel Tower and more than 30 skyscrapers, including the Empire State Building in 1994 and Malaysia's Petronas Twin Towers in 1997.
In April 2003, Robert donned a shirt with the message, "No war," and scaled the 47-story headquarters of oil giant TotalFina Elf outside Paris to protest the war in Iraq.