x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Spider-Man vows to repeat Burj Khalifa climb

Frenchman Alain Robert has conquered the world's tallest tower - snaring a Guinness world record - and now he wants to do it all again.

DUBAI // The man dubbed the "French Spider-Man" is planning to scale the Burj Khalifa for a second time after conquering the world's tallest tower in the early hours of yesterday morning. And this time, he will film his feat.

Less than 24 hours after climbing the 828-metre tower, Alain Robert said: "This time I am thinking of doing not just a small documentary but a movie," he said. "It will be another ascent, in January or February next year."

Mr Robert said he will spend the interim period raising money for the equipment necessary to make the feature-length documentary of the ascent. He said he still needed to get permission from the building owners and the Government.

It took 6hr 13min 55sec for Mr Robert, 48, to scramble to the top of the Burj Khalifa, and he reached the antenna at 12.07am yesterday.

Mr Robert is famous for climbing the world's tallest buildings - among them the 508metre Taipei 101 and the 450metre Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur - without the aid of the safety harness that climbers normally use.

However, one condition of climbing the Burj Khalifa was that he used safety equipment. That was just as well, as at least once during the climb he was pushed off the building by high winds.

However, Mr Robert insisted that his slip-up would not have happened if he had been unfettered.

"When you are climbing free solo, you are much more focused," he said. "You know that you can't afford to make any mistakes. Your attitude is a bit different, it is a matter of life and death. If you have safety, it's a matter of nothing."

Mr Robert said a big challenge came 15 metres from the very top of the building, when he was afflicted by paralysing thigh cramps.

"I knew that it was nearly done so there was no way to stop," he said.

Reaching the zenith was an "amazing sight and an amazing feeling", he added. "It was a very big moment in my life."

mcroucher@thenational.ae