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Thank God Alain Robert Didn't Wear Hand Jammies
Posted on: June 5, 2008
Editor's Note: This piece was not edited—by jolly, there's actually some alpinist.com reader this outlandish. For those of you who haven't seen the December 19, 2007 Weekly Feature interview with buildering protester Mike Robertson, check it out.
Holy fried house cat! Spiderman is at it again. The French climber Alain Robert sent the North Face of the New York Times Building today like a postcard to Grandma. From the pictures, the climb looks pretty easy. I'm thinking about putting it on the Frank Giles Buildering Tour '08. Also on the tour is that chimney at the U. of Washington in Alpinist 24.
The Frank Giles Buildering Tour '07 saw such feats as me sitting on my couch with a Budweiser, slipping on the ice down the stairs from my deck (WI7?), and climbing a ladder to get my cat, Choncy III off the roof of my crappy one story house. Choncy I was a rabbit who died of too much fiber. See my blog from the other day. Choncy II? Well Choncy II was actually just an imaginary friend I had for the two weeks I spent at summer camp when I was 11. Friends are surprisingly hard to hold onto when you have "grabby hands".
Anyway...you should also check out The New York Times' coverage of Robert climbing their own building! You'd hope they would be first to cover news climbing oustide their own windows! There's a pretty good video of some people standing down on the street including some good sound bites that hint at amazement, shock and maybe even a little awe. New York Times.
I'm going to rate the climb "5.PARTY" strictly from the photos. Plenty of hand and foot holds, but a lot of exposure. Heady stuff. He takes some rests on these big iron crossbar things, then gets kindly arrested by the biggest policemen ever. Either the NY policemen are the biggest men in the world or Robert is actually a child sized man. I'm going to go with the latter. I checked out his website and found that Robert in fact a child sized man, tipping the scales at 105 pounds, only 5'5" tall. My wife is an inch shorter but weighs about sixty pounds more. But my wife is fat. Robert's a pretty intense guy, as quickly discovered when viewing his website: Robert's Homepage.
Please note the snakeskin jacket and the creepy, will haunt your dreams photo of him crawling towards the camera.
Why did he do it you ask? Well half way up the 52 story climb he displayed a neon green banner that read: "Global warming kills more people than 9/11 every week." I did not know that, if it is really a legitimate claim. From guilt, I will be canceling the annual "Frank Giles Tire Fire For Freedom Festival", or FGTFFFF, scheduled to take place in my backyard on Saturday night. But we'll still be getting drunk on Bailey's if you're interested...
Climbing as a form of protest? I guess I'm down. He noted using bare hands as being symbolic of his peaceful means. Thank God he didn't wear Hand Jammies.