We cover a lot of climbing news here at The Adventure Blog, most recently focusing on the ongoing mountaineering season in the Karakoram Range in Pakistan. But, yesterday a climber pulled off an impressive display of skill and strength in the heart of downtown London, climbing that city’s tallest and most iconic buildings without the use of any safety equipment whatsoever.
On Monday, 19-year old George King free climbed London’s The Shard, a 96-story skyscraper that stands 1016 feet (309 meters) in height. It took him about 45 minutes to make the ascent, which he says has been a dream of his since he first saw the building on a school trip to London when he was just 13. Since then, he’s been planning and preparing for the opportunity to give it a go. That chance came yesterday morning when he started his free climb around 5:00 AM local time.
Unfortunately for King, he wasn’t able to complete the entire climb up the building, as police officers were waiting for him on the 95th floor. They persuaded him to come inside after a few minutes of discussion, and while he was giving a strong reprimand for his actions, the officers elected to not arrest him. The police on hand stated that there wasn’t any laws broken by the climb, although they are warning others that it doesn’t mean they have carte blanche to attempt ascents of other buildings either.
Later in the day, King posted to his Instagram account sharing video and photos of his climb. As you can imagine, the shots are a bit scary to watch, but no more so than watching rock climbers take on big ascents without the use of ropes and harnesses as well.
View this post on Instagram
Freesolo the shard. 45mins. A lot of misinformation about suction cups in the media at the moment. Here is a little snippet video. Enjoy 💚 I was thirteen and on a school trip when I first laid eyes on The Shard. I felt an immediate passion to climb it – the same type of passion I want to the world to feel. In the past I’ve been called a daredevil, an adrenaline junkie, a reckless teenager and much more. I’ve always found that these names come from those who are ignorant or misunderstood about what I really do and why. It takes years of training and careful preparation to be where I am today, and this practice is achievable only because I see myself as someone who has followed a respectable passion, albeit an unusual one. I believe that every single one of us has a gift. Your mission is to find that gift, make it your passion, and then make it your purpose. Since my climbing began, I’ve gone to places I never knew existed, met people I’ll never lose touch with, and experienced things I could never have foreseen. Press are welcome to use footage at no cost as long as I am directly informed before publishing/broadcasting. * #ontheroofs #rooftopkillers #chasing_rooftops #chasing_cranes #urbex #urbexuk #urbanclimbing #rooftop_crew #basejump #shard #shardview
This isn’t the first time The Shard has been climbed. Back in 2013, a group of activist/protestors from Greenpeace scaled the building to call attention to oil drilling in Russia and Alaska. Other buildings have been climbed throughout London as well, including the 213-foot (65 meter) Tower Bridge and the 770-foot (234 meter) One Canda Square and the 755-foot (230 meter) Heron Tower. Each of those has been climbed over the past two years, usually as part of a social media stunt of some kind.
For his part, King seems to use his social media platforms to promote people chasing their dreams and passions, which in his case means scaling a building he’s been eyeing for more than six years. Obviously we’re all about pursuing our passions here at The Adventure Blog as well, although doing it without safety ropes seems pretty dangerous. Thankfully, no one was hurt in this stunt and King was able to pull off a pretty amazing feat in the process.
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