The image of Spider-Man swinging along building to building, high above the city traffic in New York City, has been burned into pop culture. The webslinger’s high-flying antics make NYC’s labyrinth of skyscrapers the perfect habitat for him. But occasionally, the webcrawler has to tackle even higher mountains and monuments. In 2017’s Homecoming, we saw him scale the Washington Monument in DC during a class trip. Infinity War saw him nearly skydive from the stratosphere.
That made us wonder. Is there any place on Earth Spider-Man wouldn’t climb? Are there heights so dizzying even his Spidey Senses would tell him to avoid them?
As it turns out, there are quite a few places even Spider-Man would likely find just a touch too high to climb. The views from these 20 locations around the world were captured by mere humans, but the dedication and fearlessness of these climbers make them seem superhuman to us.
Before you set out to tackle any of these heights yourself, keep in mind most of these climbs are seriously challenging and even dangerous for the most experienced climbers. In some cases, such as high-rise buildings, climbing may not be allowed. Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man isn’t always the right hero to emulate, and even he would probably hesitate to make these climbs.
20 California’s Half-Dome Will Challenge Your Spidey Skills
California has some of the most challenging big wall climbs in the US. The Half Dome is located in Yosemite National Park, and it’s probably one of the park’s most famous climbs. The Half Dome is 2,000 feet (609 meters), but its total elevation is higher than El Capitan, at nearly 9,000 feet (almost 2,700 meters).
The first climb happened in 1957 up the Regular Northwest Face route. It took 5 days, and the route was designated as the first Grade VI climb in the US. Today the Half Dome can be conquered in under 2 hours. You’ll probably feel a bit like Spider-Man after scrabbling up the sheer face free-solo.
19 Scale The World’s Tallest Building
Dubai is known for its massive construction projects, so it’s not much of a surprise the Middle Eastern city has laid claim to the tallest building in the world. The Burj Khalifa has held that distinction since 2008, surpassing Taipei 101 even before it was completed in 2010. The Burj Khalifa dwarfs its competition, standing 700 feet higher than the closest runner-up.
At an astounding 2,717 feet and 160 stories from base to tip, Burj Khalifa would challenge even Spider-Man not to develop vertigo. The tower is so high, the temperature actually varies by about 6 degrees from the tip-top to the ground!
18 The World Is Your Oyster At The Top Of This Bridge
This bridge in Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine, isn’t the highest construction in the world. It’s not even the tallest bridge in the world. But the Pivnichnyi Bridge, long known as the “Moscow Bridge” and renamed in 2018, provides a dizzying view from high above the wide and mighty Dnieper River.
Built in 1976, this cable-stayed bridge is only 119 meters high, but that’s likely high enough. Daredevil climbers show us exactly what it looks like to get up that high and see nothing but water and traffic below you. Other bridges may be higher, but this bridge will likely convince you to stay close to the ground.
17 Travel To Patagonia For An Icy Challenge
Patagonia is a tundra landscape occupying the southern tip of South America. The Argentine section includes several big wall climbs, such as the infamous Cerro Torre, a 4,000-foot (1,200-meter) behemoth. By ascending this massif, you’ll travel more than 10,000 feet (3,218 meters) above sea level. With the thin air and panoramic views, you’ll be able to clear your head and get more perspective.
Real-life Spider-Men finally conquered the “unclimbable” Cerro Torre in 1959. The climb is still surrounded in controversy. Cerro Torre is renowned for its dizzying steepness, violent weather, and an unclear line of ascent. It’s been climbed again, but even Spider-Man might have his second thoughts about clambering up the spire.
16 Get To The Top With The World’s Fastest Elevators
Everyone’s favorite web-crawler is known for scaling the exteriors of New York’s skyscrapers, but even he might choose a different route to the top in the world’s second-tallest building. The Shanghai Tower, finished in 2015, features the world’s fastest elevators, meaning you can get to the top sooner rather than later.
This “megaskyscraper” stands at 2,078 feet and boasts 128 stories, along with the world’s highest observation deck. Clearly, you don’t need to be Spider-Man to get to the top of this tower. You can also be infinitely safer while taking in the Shanghai skyline. You may not want to look down though.
15 Get Technical With The Shark’s Fin Of Meru Peak
If you’re up for a technical challenge, you won’t find one much better than the Shark’s Fin of Meru Peak. Located in India, this wall climb is a mere 1,500 feet (457 meters), but you’ll have to surmount 4,000 feet of climbing first. At the summit, you’ll be a stunning 21,850 feet (6,660 meters) above sea level.
This granite wall was unclimbed until 2011. In 2008, a group gave up a scant 100 meters from the tip-top. They tried again in 2011, and finally made it to the top. The ascent took 20 days, partially because it presents extreme conditions. Even Spider-Man would have to prepare for this one!
14 Skyjump From Macau Tower
Spider-Man’s highest-flying adventure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe had to be when he took a tumble from one of Thanos’s spaceships in Infinity War. We can’t say we truly recommend skydiving from the stratosphere, but daredevils might be able to experience some of the same thrill by reaching the world’s highest commercial skyjump platform. According to their website, Skyjump is essentially "Base Jumping, while attached to a wire cable".
You’ll find it in the Macau Tower, located in Macau, China. The tower functions as a convention and entertainment center, and if you dare, you can leap from the 233-meter high platform. If you prefer to play it safe, the tower also has an observation deck. If you’re feeling bold, you can also take part in Skywalk X, a daring jaunt around the tower’s outer perimeter.
13 Climb The Famous Face Of The Alps
There’s something iconic about the Alps, the European mountain chain that runs through France, Italy, Switzerland, and Austria, and on into Eastern Europe. Perhaps nothing is more iconic than the trio of Eiger, Jungfrau, and Monch. Eiger’s north face is also the most notorious wall in the world.
Those who dare to challenge Eiger’s nearly 6,000 feet (1,800 meters) will need to be prepared for a technical climb in the face of falling rocks, avalanche risks, and freezing temperatures. Eiger was left unconquered until 1938, long after other Alpine faces had been scaled. Today, the face is still dangerous, so even experienced climbers must come prepared.
12 Taipei 101 Is Designed To Withstand Anything
Taipei 101 has a storied history. Ground was broken in 1999, and the building wasn’t truly completed until 2004. It was the tallest building in the world from that time, until Dubai’s Burj Khalifa surpassed it in 2010. The tower was created to be the World Financial Center in Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan. People have BASE jumped from its heights and skydived from it too.
Taiwan is known for some extreme natural events. Typhoons occasionally hit the island, battering it with hurricane-force winds. Earthquakes also rock the nation. At nearly 1,440 feet, Taipei 101 had to be designed to withstand these events. Spider-Man might find it a rock to anchor himself to during an international battle.
11 Norway Is Home To Europe’s Tallest Vertical Rock Face
Mountainous Norway is home to steep climbs, vast fjords, and many overhangs. In short, it’s something of a climber’s paradise. Amid the challenges you’ll find in this Scandinavian country is the Trollveggen, or “Troll Wall.” It’s the tallest vertical rock face in all of Europe, at 3,610 feet (1,100 meters). At its steepest, the wall actually juts out over its base by 50 meters.
The north-facing wall exposes climbers to extreme weather conditions and cold temperatures. It was only conquered in 1965. Many have surmounted the Troll Wall since then, and some people even BASE jumped from it, although this is now banned.
10 The Princess Tower Was The Height Of Living
Dubai is home to the Burj Khalifa, but that’s not the only tall building on the city’s skyline. In the Dubai Marina district of the city, the Princess Tower could truly boast the height of living. Between its completion in 2012 and 2015, it was the tallest residential building in the world. Some residents lived a lofty 1,358 feet above the ground.
The Princess Tower has 101 stories and 763 units, along with 6 basement floors. If you weren’t ready to live above the clouds, you could probably opt for one of the units closer to Earth. We can’t imagine who would want to wake up to such dizzying panoramas, but maybe it would suit Spider-Man.
9 Mt. Thor Is An Asgardian Challenge
Travel to Canada’s Baffin Island, and you’ll find some lofty peaks. One mountain is named after the Norse realm of Asgard. Another peak is called Mt. Thor. Spider-Man may need to call on the God of Thunder to help him with this climbing feat. Mt. Thor is an extreme place, registering the world’s greatest vertical drop. It’s a long way down—more than 4,000 feet down (1219 metres)!
For comparison purposes, jumping off Burj Khalifa, you’d drop around 830 meters. This would all happen relatively quickly, of course. It would take less than a minute to make it from the top of Mt. Thor back to the bottom. Watch your step or make sure your web-shooters are equipped with some extra-strength webbing.
8 Freedom Tower Is The USA’s Tallest Building
Spider-Man’s web-slinging ways take him through the concrete jungle of NYC on a regular basis. There are still a few buildings in the American metropolis we think he might hesitate to tackle. One World Trade Center, AKA Freedom Tower, is one of those climbs.
This building replaced the World Trade Center towers. It rises to a height of 1,776 feet (a symbolic number). New Yorkers and Chicagoans were briefly involved in a feud over who had the taller building, as this construction knocked Chicago’s Willis Tower out of the top spot in the US. At the end of the day, both towers can claim vertigo-inducing heights which might make even Spidey dizzy.
7 Climb Like A Gecko Up The African Yosemite
Madagascar is more renowned for its wildlife than it is for its geography. From lemurs to colorful geckos, you’ll encounter all sorts of amazing creatures on this island nation. If you choose, you can also confront the Tsaranoro Massif, a 1,300-foot (400-meter) big wall.
The massif has drawn the attention of climbers since the late 1990s. Maybe it’s the beauty of the wall’s sunset-streaked granite face or the stunning vistas you’ll earn as your rewards. Many of the massif’s walls present 1-day climbing challenges, but the “Tough Enough” route challenges even the most experienced climbers. We think Spider-Man might have his work cut out for him here.
6 Scale The World’s Tallest Clock Tower
If Spider-Man visited Saudi Arabia, he might jump at the chance to climb the world’s tallest clock tower. Then again, he might stay on the ground when he came face to face with the Abraj al-Bait. This massive clock tower is the world’s third tallest building and fifth tallest free-standing structure.
Located in the sacred city of Mecca, the Abraj al-Bait clocks in at 1,620 feet tall. It also features the world’s largest clock face. Even Big Ben would look minuscule next to it, is what we’re saying. The clock tower stands in a complex of super-tall buildings, all of them among the tallest in the entire country. The views are great, so long as you don’t look down.
5 The Petronas Towers Are Connected By A Bridge
Ground was broken on the Petronas Towers in 1992. The finishing touches weren’t added until 6 years later, in 1998. The buildings were crowned the world’s tallest until Taipei 101 was completed in 2004. These twin skyscrapers knocked the Willis Tower in Chicago out of the top spot, after a reign of 25 years.
Today, the Petronas Towers are still impressive, dominating the skyline of the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. The towers soar to nearly 1,500 feet, but most tourists won’t reach those lofty heights. The observation deck is located on the bridge connecting the two building, about halfway up the towers’ total height. Still, we think 750 feet is nothing to scoff at.
4 Conquer The USA’s Second Highest Vertical Drop
El Capitan is renowned among big wall climbers, and for good reason. It offers up the USA’s highest pure vertical drop. Second place goes to Notch Peak, in Utah. This big wall massif measures 2,200 feet (or 670 meters) from the top to the base, elevating you nearly 10,000 feet. The northwest face is essentially vertical, sticking straight up out of the ground.
Notch Peak wasn’t conquered until 1986, and most of the routes are still considered quite challenging. Regular rockfall adds an element of danger to the climb. Experience is required, and even Spider-Man would do better teaming up than going it alone.
3 It’s A Giant Bottle-Opener! No, It’s The Shanghai World Financial Center
The Shanghai World Financial Center might be dwarfed by its neighbor, the enormous Shanghai Tower, but it still has some claim to fame. It’s ranked as the ninth tallest building in the world, measuring 1,500 feet high. It was once ranked higher, but as new buildings keep reaching loftier heights, it keeps being surpassed.
The building was finished in 2008, and it’s still ranked as the fourth tallest building in mainland China. Situated next to the Shanghai Tower, it forms part of a group of super-tall skyscrapers, the first such group in the world. Spider-Man could do some serious web-slinging here.
2 Chicago’s Willis Tower Was A Long-Reigning Monarch
This Chicago landmark is probably better known by its previous name, the Sears Tower. Constructed in 1973, the tower has been surpassed many times now, but it was once the world’s tallest building at 1,400 feet.
In fact, Willis Tower held that distinction from 1973 until 1998, a 25-year reign. Even now, it’s the second-tallest building in the US. It attracts thousands of tourists every year with its famous glass balcony, which allows you to experience its height in a more thrilling way. It also set off a feud between New Yorkers and Chicagoans about skyscrapers, so you can imagine New York native Spider-Man would definitely scale it, even just as a dare.
1 El Capitan Took 47 Days To Conquer
Yosemite National Park has a number of natural attractions, and one of those is the infamous El Capitan big wall climb. The massif rises 2,950 feet (or 900 meters) from its base, soaring more than 7,500 feet (2,300 meters) into the Californian sky. The wall was first conquered 60 years ago. It took that first party 47 days to complete the climb. Now that’s dedication.
Since then, new routes have opened up, allowing you to get to the top much faster. The current record was set in 2012, when climbers reached the top in just over 2.5 hours! Spider-Man could likely make quick work of the wall, but he may not want to look down.
Sources: Matador Network, Atlas and Boots, Wanderlust.com, National Geographic