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'Spiderman' scales Malaysian building for charity


April 20, 1997
Web posted at: 1:29 p.m. EDT (1729 GMT)

KOTA KINABALU, Malaysia (CNN) -- Without a rope and relying only on special climbing shoes, 34-year-old Frenchman Alain Robert scaled the outside of a Malaysian high-rise building Sunday.

While thousands of incredulous onlookers watched, the man known as "Spiderman" climbed the Sabah Foundation building in Kota Kinabalu in eastern Malaysia.

Man climbs building to raise money
movie icon (666K/15 sec. QuickTime movie)

Gripping a high-tension metal shaft on the outside wall, Robert reached the top of the 32-story building from the 16th floor in five minutes. He then descended to the 16th floor, rested, and returned to the top.


Although this wasn't nearly his biggest challenge, Robert says danger is always a factor.

"To return to the top there is a risk because I was tired," he said after Sunday's climb.

A native of southern France, Robert began climbing at age 13. Since 1994, he has scaled structures around the world, including Hong Kong's Far East Finance Center, Sydney's Centerpoint Tower and the Empire State Building in New York.

Last month, he attempted to climb the world's tallest building -- the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. But he was stopped abruptly by police who pulled him in through a window on the 60th floor. He was arrested for making the attempt without permission.

Sunday's climb was a fund-raiser for several Malaysian charities, raising more than $150,000.

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