United Kingdom

Free solo climber George King, 21, scales London's 36-storey Stratosphere building in Stratford 

A daredevil free climber who was previously jailed for scaling the Shard has scaled a 36-storey building without ropes in east London.

George King-Thompson, from Oxford, was sentenced to 24 weeks in prison in 2019 for scaling the London Bridge high-rise - Europe's tallest building without ropes. 

Today the 21-year-old was pictured ascending the high-rise Stratosphere Tower building in Stratford, east London, this morning. 

The climb, which began at sunrise around 5:30am, and took him just 30 minutes, marks Mr King-Thompson's 10th skyscraper climb and his second in the UK. 

The young freeclimber said he took on the challenge to raise awareness of climate change. 

The former personal trainer chose the residential block because it overlooked Pudding Mill Lane Tube station which flooded last week following torrential downpours in the capital.

Mr King-Thompson, from Oxford, said: 'I picked this climb because a couple of weeks ago I saw a photo go viral of a Stratford station under water because of a flood following the heatwave.

'It was a stark reminder of how bad climate change is getting, so I thought: what can I do to help promote the message - me of not much power in this world?

'I saw one of the tallest buildings in Stratford so decided last week to climb it, and since then it has just been intense preparation to get me to that point.

'I would urge political leaders to take drastic action as soon as possible to get this situation under control.' 

George King-Thompson, from Oxford, was pictured this morning scaling a 36-storey building without ropes in Stratford, east London

The 21-year-old climbed the high-rise Stratosphere Tower building - a residential tower block in the east of the capital

He can be seen climbing up the building without ropes, passing the windows of residential flats with curtains closed as he made his way to the top

He can be seen climbing up the building without ropes, passing the windows of residential flats with curtains closed as he made his way to the top.

Once at the pinnacle of the high-rise, he walked along the edge of the building wearing shorts and a T-shirt and with his arms outstretched. 

Mr Mr King-Thompson said after starting his ascent at 5am it took him less than 30 minutes to reach the roof, but he did feel worried at one point when his grip began to slip.

'The night before, there's always a lot of pressure when you know you've got to climb first thing in the morning, so the nerves were high, the fear was there, but I had it under control and by morning time I went and did it - and I'm alive,' he said.

'But one of the things which I underestimated was how from eight floors right to the top the windows had lots of stuff on them and they were extremely slippery.

'That was the only fear and disconcerting thing about it.'

He added: 'I gained a lot from this experience. I come away from each climb enlightened.

'It's an indescribable feeling - it's like trying to describe a colour to a blind person. The feeling I get from doing these things is just out of this world.'

It is not known if Mr King-Thompson will face any charges for the dangerous stunt. The Metropolitan Police said they had no record of the incident. 

He did not use a harness or any ropes to get to the top and was photographed by one woman out of her flat window

Mr King-Thompson was dressed in a white T-shirt and shorts for the daredevil challenge on Tuesday morning

In July 2019, Mr King-Thompson took just 45 minutes to scale the capital's tallest building without the aid of a harness, rope or suction pads - his first attempt on a high rise building. 

His daredevil stunt prompted police to rush to the scene and resulted in a security review by the building's Qatari owners.  

An injunction which stopped people from scaling the 1,017ft-tall Shard had been put in place in 2018, according to The Times. 

The order was intended to prevent a protest about the number of empty luxury apartments, but remained in place when Mr King-Thompson took on the challenge. 

He was sentenced to 24 weeks a young offenders institution after a High Court judge said his breach of the order was 'deliberate and knowing'. 

When asked whether a six-month stay in Pentonville Prison deterred him from illegally scaling a second skyscraper, Mr King-Thompson said he resolved to complete the feat while still behind bars.

Mr King-Thompson, who shares his climbs on his Instagam as @shardclimber, said: 'I decided to do it as I came out of prison to be honest, or maybe inside prison.

'I climbed with a roof below, so if I were to fall, I'd fall upon the roof,' he added.

'I was at zero danger to the public and caused no disruption. So all considering, I'm all good.'

In July 2019, Mr King-Thompson took just 45 minutes to scale the Shard - Europe's tallest building - without the aid of a harness, rope or suction pads

The Shard was his first attempt to climb a high rise building. Now his Instagram account is filled with many other similar stunts

The Stratosphere building is the latest challenge for the young climber, who is from Oxford

Mr King-Thompson previously told MailOnline he experienced a 'Godlike feeling' at the top of the Shard saying: 'It's a totally remarkable experience'

He added: 'Euphoria is an understatement' when talking about his most famous dangerous ascent

When he reached the top of the building he walked along the edge with his arms outstretched and a smile on his face

His lawyer previously said in court that Mr King-Thompson does not complete his challenges is 'for fame or notoriety, whatever might be thought by some'

The lawyer added that he instead had 'laudable aims' to 'inspire others' through his various challenges 

Mr King-Thompson's social media is packed with photos of him climbing up other high-rise buildings and carrying out other dangerous stunts, including train surfing

His lawyer said in court that Mr King-Thompson does not complete his challenges is 'for fame or notoriety, whatever might be thought by some', but that he instead had 'laudable aims' to 'inspire others'.

Mr King-Thompson previously told MailOnline he experienced a 'Godlike feeling' at the top of the Shard saying: 'It's a totally remarkable experience. Euphoria is an understatement.' 

He said he took on the Shard challenge because it was a 'dream' sparked when he was just 13 on a school trip to London. 

A policeman met Mr King-Thompson at the top of The Shard, where he shook his hand instead of arresting him.

He was not charged for trespass as it was seen as a civil offence rather than a criminal one but was jailed for contempt of court after breaching a High Court injunction on the building. 

Mr King-Thompson's social media is packed with photos of him climbing up other high-rise buildings and carrying out other dangerous stunts, including train surfing.   

George King-Thompson revealed he had scoped out the Shard building for months before making his climb in 2019 - which he was later arrested for

The former personal trainer was the first person to freeclimb the tallest climbing walls in both the UK and Europe.  

In June this year, Mr King-Thompson climbed the CopenHill climbing wall in Copenhagen, Denmark. The 282-foot wall was created by architectural company Bjarke Ingels Group and George decided to climb it - the world's tallest climbing wall - with no ropes or safety equipment to highlight Denmark's 'outstanding eco innovation'. 

After going up The Shard in London, George gained fame from a Channel 4 documentary that followed his journey, explored his motives and his family's reaction to the extreme climb. 

Piers Morgan dubbed him as The Great British Daredevil when he featured on Good Morning Britain in January 2020 after he was released from prison.

After serving half of his six-month sentence he released a documentary with Channel 4 in 2020 called 'The Boy Who Climbed The Shard'.

Back in 2018 George became the first in the world to freeclimb the former world's tallest climbing wall, Excalibur in Groningen, Netherlands.

He was also the first to do the same on the UK's tallest climbing wall, ROKT in Bridghouse, West Yorkshire, which at 36m is taller than both the Tower of London and the Angel of the North.

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