French Spiderman Alain Robert added another skyscraper to his list Monday, by scaling the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Why has Alain Robert climbed 85 buildings?
The Burj Khalifa is the world's tallest building.
Why does he do it? Mr. Robert likes the thrill of starting and finishing a climb but he also wants to inspire others.
"I'm doing this to show the students there is no edge or borders and to inspire people to break the mold and not limit themselves," Robert told the Gulf news, "Part of my message is not only to follow your heart but try to innovate in all things you do."
On Monday evening, Robert began the 2,717-foot climb at 6 p.m., during daylight, and finished a little more than six hours later at 12:30 am on Tuesday in darkness. A crowd of patient spectators on the ground released a cheer.
Robert began his climbing career in Sydney, Australia, in 1997, then onto Paris, Singapore, Brazil, and Malaysia. He claims to have climbed more than 85 buildings worldwide, and often without any climbing gear.
During the April 2009 G20 summit, The Daily Telegraph reported that Robert climbed the 14-story Lloyd's of London building as part of a protest against activities seen as causing climate change. When he reached the ninth floor, he hung out a yellow banner that warned there were "100 months" left to save the world. He then climbed down to authorities waiting to arrest him.
In the case of the Burj Khalifa, Robert got permission from United Arab Emirates officials before the climb.
Before the ascent, he said that he has been waiting his whole life to do this climb, "I've climbed the second, third, and fourth tallest buildings [in the world]. All that is missing is Burj Khalifa," Robert said.
His Spiderman website is a tour de force of self-promotion, including awards, photos, books about Alain Robert, and a gift shop.