Video: British free-runner scales Eiffel Tower

A British free-runner has posted a spine-tingling video on YouTube that shows him scaling the Eiffel Tower in the dead of night and walking along the Iron Lady's thin iron beams way above the City of Light.

Video: British free-runner scales Eiffel Tower
Photo: James Kingston/YouTube

The video was uploaded to YouTube by free-runner James Kingston.

It had already garnered almost half a million views by Tuesday morning.

The video first shows Kingston climbing the famous Iron Lady in the dark of night, trying his best to avoid the numerous security guards who are on duty at the monument.

In a post on YouTube Kingston said: “The Eiffel Tower has been one of my goals for a while.

“We started the climb at 1am narrowly avoiding the patrolling security (which seemed more like the French army as they were in full camouflage and had massive guns) and wormed our way through what seemed like endless CCTV cameras.

“Once we reached about 20 meters up the side of the tower it appeared we'd made it through what would normally be the riskiest part of any climb. As far as I could tell, the tower was ours for the night.”

But after reaching the top level, he realized they have been spotted and they are forced to race down and hide “in a couple of holes inside the framework”.

Security guards searched high and low for them and even turned on the tower’s lights to help their search, but Kingston and his companion remained hidden.

The clip then shows him walking along the narrow iron beams high above Paris after the sun has come up. Needless to say, the views are spectacular if a little stomach-churning, as he dangles off the edge.

At one point Kingston rushes along the structure to hide as a lift makes its way to the top.

“After a few more hours playing around on the tower workers and tourists started coming up in the lifts.

“We were spotted again around 9AM so we climbed down and met with security. We were handcuffed & taken to the local police station where we were held and questioned for around six hours before being released without charges (I also had to promise them I wouldn't climb it again for 3 years).

“I can now officially tick the Eiffel Tower off my list.”

Kingston has made a name for himself climbing various structures around the world, including the Wembley arch in London, although that time he had permission to do it.


Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Eiffel Tower reopens from its longest closure since World War II

The Eiffel Tower reopened to visitors on Friday for the first time in nine months following its longest closure since World War II.

Eiffel Tower reopens from its longest closure since World War II
The Eiffel Tower reopens on Friday. Photo: Sameer Al-Doumy/AFP

The lifts of the Dame de fer (Iron Lady) are set to whir back into life, transporting tourists to its 300-metre summit, ending a long period of inactivity caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Daily capacity is restricted to 13,000 people, however, about half of the normal level, in order to respect social distancing.

And from Wednesday next week, visitors will need to show either proof of vaccination or a negative test, in line with recent government-imposed requirements on the pass sanitaire (health passport).

READ ALSO How France’s expanded health passport will work this summer

“Obviously it’s an additional operational complication, but it’s manageable,” the head of the operating company, Jean-François Martins, told AFP.

After a final round of safety checks by staff, he announced that the “lady is ready”.

Early reservations for tickets during the summer holiday period underline how the tourism industry in Paris has changed due to travel restrictions.

Martins said there was an “almost total absence” of British ticket holders, while only 15 percent were Americans and very few are from Asia.

READ ALSO Eiffel Tower: 13 things you didn’t know about Paris’ ‘iron lady’

Half of visitors are expected to be French, while Italians and Spanish make up a higher proportion than usual.

The long closure has caused havoc with the finances of the operating company, Sete, which runs the monument on behalf of Paris city authorities.

It is set to seek additional government aid and a fresh €60-million cash injection to stay afloat, having seen its revenues fall by 75 percent to €25 million in 2020.

The masterpiece by architect Gustave Eiffel has also been hit by problems linked to its latest paint job, the 20th time it has been repainted since its construction in 1889.

Work was halted in February because of high levels of lead detected on the site, which poses a health risk to workers.

Tests are still underway and painting is set to resume only in the autumn, meaning a part of the facade is obscured by scaffolding and safety nets.