6 Tips for Climbing Safe, from French Free Soloist Alain Robert

The 61-year-old Robert was the first person to free solo 5.13d. Here he offers tips for climbers to improve their safety on the wall.
Share This Post

Table of Contents

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, French climber Alain Robert etched his name in our sport’s history by tackling some of the most challenging rock routes yet free soloed. His solo of Compilation (5.13d) in Omblèze, France, in 1991 marked the first time a route of that grade had been climbed without a rope. In his heyday, he completed around 20 5.13 lines ropeless, a feat few can claim even today.

In the late 1990s, Robert began climbing on buildings instead of rock, and to date he has free soloed over 170 skyscrapers and other urban landmarks around the world, including the Empire State Building, Tapei 101, the Sears Tower, and many others. Although he’s suffered seven falls in his life (and significant injuries as a result) even today, aged 61, he continues to climb free solo every year 

Famous for his love of high-end champagne, flashy suits, and all-around rebellious behavior, Robert’s controversial style has won him fans and haters the world over. 

In this spirit, he chatted with FlashPumped to give us a few tips to share with fellow climbers to stay safe on the wall. (In summary, do not do what he does.)

  1. Don’t Climb Over Knives (Use a Crash Pad)climbign over knives

  2. Do Not Climb in Cowboy Boots (Use Climbing Shoes)climbing in boots

  3. Do Not Drink too Much Champagnealain robert drinking champagne

  4. Don’t Climb While Flying in Airplanesalain robert climbing in an aeroplane

  5. Being Arrested is Not as Fun as it Might Look… alain robert being arrested

  6. Take Life Easy. No Matter How You Live, You Won’t Make it Out Alivealain robert looking over the verdon

Above all else, “have a lot of fun,” Robert said. “Recognize your dreams, realize them as much as you can, and be fully committed to whatever or whoever you love in life.” Solid advice, all around. Stay safe out there, folks!

More To Explore

wild country flow 2 harness from behind

Wild Country Flow 2.0 Climbing Harness Review

The Wild Country Flow 2.0 is a great all-around harness, well-suited for any roped climbing endeavor. It’s breathable, lightweight (11.8oz for Mens Large), and has all the features you need for basic cragging. Thin and streamlined, you can stuff it

Read More »