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Watch > Episode > Alain Robert - Achieving New Heights: Why The French Spiderman Battles With His Fear of Death

Alain Robert - Achieving New Heights: Why The French Spiderman Battles With His Fear of Death


International Urban Free Climbing Legend

Alain Robert, AKA The French Spiderman is an International Urban Free Climbing legend, man of mystery and mayhem, and quite possibly one of the world’s most daring athletes.

For those less acquainted, it’s our genuine pleasure here at London Real to introduce you to someone, who at 58 years of age, is pushing boundaries and surmounting challenges that would test the very core of someone not even half his age.

Alain has been free soloing for over 45 years, living, balancing precariously, securely dangling on the very boundaries of human capability, scaling the world’s most daunting, beautiful, unassailable buildings.

170 in fact, including iconic buildings such as the Eiffel Tower, The Shard, The Empire State Building, the Sydney Opera House and any number of picture perfect landmarks that cast shadows over the most famous cities in the world.

In 2009 at his third attempt, Alain climbed 452 metres into the sky to the top of the daunting Petronas in Kuala Lumpur. In 2011 he climbed The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, ascending almost 3,000 feet, a challenge which took 6 hours and secured his place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Along the way there’s been accidents, falls, injuries and a mind boggling 120 arrests, just mere obstacles on the path to freedom. For Alain is a man dedicated to pushing the absolute capabilities of the human body. His endless enthusiasm and repetitive training regime bear testimony to the sacrifice he is willing to make in order to find freedom and stand alone, peerless, on top of the world.

What makes this man tick, who inspires the inspirational and how can a body that has seen so much continue to strive for more? Alain has an aura, an infectious enthusiasm, a relentless desire, a hunger. He’s the epitome of what one can achieve, if one really focuses and strives, and works hard, day in day out.

We can all overcome the challenges life throws at us, maybe we can even learn to start seeking out new ones. If Alain Robert, a man who suffers from vertigo yet climbs the world’s tallest building’s with no support or harness can teach us anything, it’s that anything is possible.


00:00 | Trailer.
02:34 | Brian’s thoughts on the episode.
04:08 | Brian’s introduction.
04:55 | How Alain Robert fell foul of the law in London.
11:18 | Alain thinks there are those who want to live their dreams and others who only dream their lives.
17:09 | Alain’s early life and how life has changed as he ages.
18:36 | Why Alain was crying before he climbed the Sears Tower in Chicago.
22:05 | Alain Robert is hurt the media does not acknowledge the difficult climbs he did 25 years ago are unequalled in history.
25:58 | Alex Honnold was amazed how the younger Alain climbed, pulling himself up by his little finger.
27:31 | Alain defies doctors to climb again following serious injury.
34:19 | Despite being terrified of heights Alain Robert became a climber.
37:08 | You have to be able to control your emotions.
39:26 | When Alex Honnold free solo climbed El Capitan.
52:43 | Why Alain Robert started climbing buildings before everyone else.
57:14 | What it was like climbing the first building in Chicago and how it differs from climbing a rock.
1:01:53 | How he nearly died climbing the Sears Tower in Chicago and what saved him.
1:04:53 | How Alain’s family feels about his taking such risks and what he thinks of retirement.
1:07:07 | How people can get more risk in their life without dying.
1:09:39 | Why Alain Robert climbed the Petronas Tower in Kuala Lumpur and Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
1:17:09 | His sponsorship deal with Dead Man’s Fingers.
1:20:04 | The closest Alain has been to falling.
1:24:54 | Attempting to climb the Petronas Tower for the third time.
1:38:04 | Other buildings Alain has climbed and a different jail experience.
1:41:19 | There is more concern about infectious Coronavirus than non-infectious killers of far more people.
1:45:46 | Alain’s daily routine to keep fit.
1:48:53 | Enjoying being a father again and becoming a grandfather.
1:51:52 | What is Alain Robert’s superpower.
1:52:44 | Best and worst days of his life.
1:53:39 | What scares him.
1:54:30 | The climb he still wants to do.
1:56:22 | What keeps him awake at night.
2:02:53 | How the free solo climbing community responds when one of them is killed.
2:03:55 | Success secrets.
2:04:47 | Brian’s summing up.


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