‘Shard Climber’ Arrested For Scaling South Korean Skyscraper

George King attempted to climb the world’s sixth highest building without a rope

Read time 3 mins

Published Jun 12, 2023

Base editorial team
BASE editorial team BASE writers and editors who live and breathe adventure every day. We love adventure storytelling as much as we love adventure itself.

A British man known as the ‘Shard Climber’ has been arrested after reaching the 73rd floor of the 123-storey Lotte World Tower in southern Seoul, reportedly wearing just shorts and climbing shoes. George King was attempting to scale the sixth tallest building in the world without ropes, but his attempt was thwarted after he was spotted by staff at the building, who used a gondola lift to reach the soloist and attempted to persuade him to stop at the 70th floor. The extreme athlete persevered for three more floors before conceding and was arrested at the scene for ‘obstruction of official business’.

King said that he had hoped to ‘evade Korean authorities and get on a flight out of the country immediately after performing the stunt,’ in a press release issued before the climb. Shocked onlookers watched from inside the building as he climbed for over an hour before being forced into a maintenance cradle by authorities. It’s believed he is currently being held for questioning after more than 90 emergency service personnel including firefighters and police were dispatched to the building.

A shocked onlooker inside the Lotte World Tower caught the moment King passed by their window without a rope.

King climbs Europe’s tallest rollercoaster, Redforce, in Spain last year. © George King

King, 24, was jailed for six months back in 2019 for free climbing famous London tower The Shard, a feat that earned him his instagram moniker. After serving just half of his sentence, he went on to climb the 36-storey Stratosphere tower in Stratford, east London, and was arrested in 2022 in Spain for BASE jumping off Europe’s tallest rollercoaster.

King is known for adrenaline-fuelled stunts such as train surfing, BASE jumping and climbing improbably large structures without any safety equipment. His exploits have taken him all over the world, and he documents his pursuits with palm sweat-inducing videos on social media. In 2022, he starred in a channel 4 docu-series entitled George King’s Illegal Activities, in which he consumed Kambo – a frog poison used in unregulated indigenous cleansing ceremonies – as well as trying out lift surfing and exploring abandoned underground mines.

King’s ascent isn’t the first time the Lotte World Tower has been climbed, back in 2018, Alain Robert, widely known as the ‘French Spiderman’, was jailed after reaching the 75th floor of the same building. King is reported to have told police that climbing the tower was ‘long-held dream’ of his.

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