George King pictured on another of his daredevil free climbs. Picture: Supplied
George King pictured on another of his daredevil free climbs. Picture: Supplied

Daredevil climber’s death-defying stunt

The daredevil free climber who scaled the 310-metre Shard building in London has denied the stunt was reckless.

The Sun reports that George King, 19, was spoken to by police after the stunt but not arrested when he was seen on the side of the skyscraper at around 5.15am on Monday.

Stunned onlookers posted footage of the climber who made most of the ascent without ropes or suction cups.

Writing on Instagram today Mr King explained how he'd wanted to climb the Shard ever since he saw the building on a school trip aged 13.

Free climber George King scales The Shard building in London. Picture: Supplied
Free climber George King scales The Shard building in London. Picture: Supplied

He said: "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."

George King is pictured on one of his risky free climbs. Picture: Supplied
George King is pictured on one of his risky free climbs. Picture: Supplied

In August last year Mr King became the first person to freeclimb the world's tallest climbing wall, Bjoeks Climb Center, in Groningen, Netherlands - which is 37m high.

And last October he became the first person to free climb the UK's tallest climbing wall without any safety gear.

But he described today's climb as his most testing stunt yet.

He added: "I have done a lot of preparing for this, I have just kept on working at it.

"I am speechless. It is unreal."

FREE CLIMBER

The Metropolitan Police said: "Police were called at 5.15am on Monday July 8 following reports of a 'free-climber' on The Shard.

"Emergency services attended and the man went inside the building where he was spoken to by officers. He was not arrested."

The Renzo Piano-designed, 310-metre Shard in London. Picture: Supplied
The Renzo Piano-designed, 310-metre Shard in London. Picture: Supplied

Previous climbers who have set their sights on the 310-metre building include YouTuber CassOnline, who climbed from the public viewing platform to the apex in 2017.

In 2013, a group of Greenpeace activists also scaled the building to protest against oil drilling in the Arctic.

The previous year, The Shard secured a High Court injunction against Alain Robert, the climber nicknamed the French Spiderman, to stop him attempting to scale the building.

A spokesman for Real Estate Management, the asset management company that operates The Shard, said: "We dealt with an incident at The Shard earlier this morning involving a member of the public who climbed the building.

"The person was safely apprehended and detained by police. Some areas around the base of The Shard that were closed to the public as a safety precaution have now been partially reopened.

"Public safety and the security of the people who live, work and visit The Shard and the surrounding area is of paramount importance to us.

"Fortunately no-one was hurt by this dangerous activity and we will be assisting the police with their investigation."

 

Daredevil George King on one of his free climbs. Picture: Supplied
Daredevil George King on one of his free climbs. Picture: Supplied

The Shard, built between March 2009 and November 2012, is the UK's tallest habitable building and can be viewed from 80 kilometres away.

It houses offices, restaurants, a hotel and the highest public viewing platform in England on the 72nd floor.

This story first appeared in The Sun and has been republished here with permission.



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