November 19, 2007
‘Spiderman’ Scales Part of China Mountain
BEIJING - A daredevil French climber nicknamed "Spiderman" scaled part of a mountain in southern China using only his bare hands, months after he was banned from the country for clambering up Shanghai's tallest building without permission.
Alain Robert, known for scaling the world's tallest buildings, climbed 200 meters (656 feet) near the top of Hunan province's Tianmen Mountain without equipment Sunday, the official Xinhua news agency said.
Instead of being arrested, this time the climber was hailed for his exploit, shown on state television surrounded by celebrating crowds. Local officials had invited Robert to climb on the mountain in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, hoping the stunt would draw attention and tourism to the area.
Robert spent five days in a Shanghai jail and was banned from China for five years in June after he scaled the eastern city's famed Jin Mao tower while dressed in a spiderman costume.
It took two months to convince people in seven different Chinese government departments of the advantages of letting him back in to climb the 1,518-meter (4,982-foot) Tianmen Mountain, he said in an interview with The Associated Press before the weekend climb.
Robert, 45, has made a name for himself as an "urban climber," scaling some of the world's tallest skyscrapers including the Taipei 101 in Taiwan, Malaysia's Petronas Towers and Hong Kong's Far East Finance Center.
He has also climbed the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Empire State Building in New York, all without any safety gear.
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