Paralysed man Simon gains second world record after skyscraper climb

Simon and his team celebrated reaching the top by taking a selfie. 

Simon Kindleysides from Blofield, Norwich, and his team celebrated reaching the top by taking a selfie. - Credit: Simon Kindleysides

A man who was left paralysed after battling a brain tumour has scooped a second Guinness World Record after climbing every step in a London skyscraper. 

Simon Kindleysides, from Norwich, climbed more than 1,000 steps at 122 Leadenhall Street - known as the 'cheesegrater building' - in an exoskeleton suit this weekend. 

An exoskeleton is a wearable mobile machine that is powered by a system of electric motors, pneumatics, levers and hydraulics.

The suit lifted Simon's legs while he pulled his weight up the building in a challenge which took more than six hours to complete.

The 37-year-old clambered up 1,444 steps - no mean feat considering the most stairs he had ever tackled before was the 35-step spiral staircase in Castle Quarter. 

Simon managed to reach the top and complete his challenge in six hours and 16 minutes. 

Simon managed to reach the top and complete his challenge in six hours and 16 minutes. - Credit: Simon Kindleysides.

The Blofield man said: “To be completely honest I didn’t do any training for this challenge but it was really hard.  

“When we got to level 27 it was time to have a 45-minute break and some lunch. It was then that I started to have negative thoughts.  

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“I shouldn’t have stopped because I realised how tired I was and I just started to tell myself I couldn’t do it and I wasn’t going to finish it.” 

Simon was told when he started the challenge that if he was able to get to the top, the manager of the building would open the doors so that he could see the view from the roof.  

Simon said: “I am scared of heights but I didn’t want to turn that down.” 

Simon Kindleysides challenged himself to climb the 1,444 steps of the Leadenhall building in London

Simon Kindleysides challenged himself to climb the 1,444 steps of the Leadenhall building in London - Credit: Simon Kindleysides

The state-of-the-art suit is controlled via a watch and can be put into step mode.

He said: “It is not as easy as pressing buttons - the suit doesn’t do all the work.  

“I have to make sure I am shifting my weight properly and I need to use my arms to pull myself up, as the suit does the action but it is me who has to pull my body and the suit forward.” 

This is Simon’s second world record, he added: “It feels amazing, it was always my dream to have one, and now I have two.” 

To support Simon people can donate to his Go Fund Me here.

(left to right) Tower 42 (NatWest Tower), 8 Bishopsgate, The Leadenhall Building (Cheesegrater) and

(left to right) Tower 42 (NatWest Tower), 8 Bishopsgate, The Leadenhall Building (Cheesegrater) and The Fenchurch Building (The Walkie-Talkie). Picture date: Sunday January 9, 2022. - Credit: PA

Facts about the Leadenhall building   

The cheesegrater – more formally known as 122 Leadenhall Street – opened in July 2014.   

The building got its name thanks to its distinctive shape which many feel look similar to the kitchen utensil.   

The site was designed by Richard Rogers and planning applications were submitted in February 2004.   

A year later the plans were approved.   

The site is 225m tall and boasts 48 floors.   

The slanting side of the building – although it meant it has less floor space – was in part so that St Paul’s Cathedral could still be seen from Fleet Street.   

As well as an atrium which is open to the public the building has a number of tenants including Aegon and FM Global.   

Insurance group Amlin has also agreed terms on a 20-year lease of the 19th to 24th floors as well as the top floor, the 45th, from March 2015, for a total of 111,000 sq ft of office space.