'Spiderman' ascends Burj tower

French climber famous for his gravity-defying ascents scales world's tallest tower.

    It took Alain Robert just over six hours to climb the Burj Khalifa building in Dubai [EPA]


    A skyscraper climber who calls himself "Spiderman" has climbed the world's tallest tower in Dubai.

    Alain Robert's climb up the 828m Burj Khalifa on Monday took just over six hours. As night fell, a row of powerful spotlights shone on the side of the tower as he climbed.

    Unlike on many previous climbs, the 48-year-old had to use a rope and harness to comply with organisers' requirements.

    Strapped to a safety harness tethered more than 100 stories up, Robert began his climb up the silvery, glass-covered Burj around 6pm. He hoisted himself up along a central column, mostly free of decorative rows of pipes that could slow his ascent.

    He moved methodically and swiftly along the polished metal facade. He did not appear to use the rope to pull himself up, but instead gripped the glass and narrow metal ridges like a rock climber with his feet and bare hands.

    Robert has climbed more than 70 skyscrapers, including the Empire State Building, Chicago's Willis Tower and the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, according to his website.

    He also climbed Taiwan's Taipei 101, which before the Burj was the world's tallest building, in 2004.

    The Burj Khalifa has 160 habitable stories, according to the building's owners, Emaar Properties. An observation deck is located on the 124th floor.

    Robert stayed in a Dubai hotel before the climb, doing push-ups, pull-ups and stretches, and loading up on carb-filled foods such as pasta in a room, overlooking the target of his latest adventure.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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