Alex Honnold’s solo of Half Dome’s Regular Northwest Face, and Zion’s Moonlight Buttress, made him one of the world’s boldest climbers. Now he is planning on performing a stunt for live-television. What stunt? He will solo one of the world’s tallest buildings. The date, the name of the building, and the name of the country has not been released. The stunt will be produced by Sender Films and aired on National Geographic.
Honnold is not the first to perform such an act. Alain Robert is a French rock climber from Digoin, Saône-et-Loire, Bourgogne, France. Known as the French Spider-Man or the Human Spider, he is famous for climbing skyscrapers using no equipment.
Robert has climbed landmarks including the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Opera House and the Montparnasse Tower as well as the world’s tallest skyscrapers. In 1997 he climbed the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia but was arrested at the 60th floor, 28 floors below the top.
In 1999 he climbed the Sears Tower, the second man to do so after Dan Goodwin. In June 1999 Robert climbed the 170m Marriott Hotel in Warsaw, and in 2000 Robert climbed the 23m high Luxor Obelisk in Paris.
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In May 2003, he was paid approximately $18,000 to climb the 95m Lloyd’s building to promote the premiere of the movie Spider-Man on the British television channel Sky Movies. On October 14, 2004, he scaled the 187m headquarters of the French oil company Total while wearing a Spider-Man costume.
On 4 September 2007, he climbed the 244m Federation Tower office building in Moscow, (Russia’s tallest skyscraper). He was detained by police afterwards. On October 14, 2011, he climbed the InterContinental Bucharest in Romania. On April 12, 2012, he set a Guinness World Record for climbing the 300m-high Aspire Tower in Doha, Qatar in the fastest time (1 hour, 33 minutes and 47 seconds).
We will update the story when more details of Honnold’s urban climb are released.