Who hasn’t felt the frustration of being almost completely unable to scale a sheer skyscraper covered in glass? LG certainly has, so it gave a champion climber two of its CordZero vacuum cleaners, and pointed her in the direction of a suitable building — the idea being the suction created by the cleaners through special cups would be enough to see her scale the outside. Was it really possible, or would she plunge to her doom?
To make sure there was no actual doom-plunging going on, the stunt was carefully orchestrated by LG, as a way to show the power of its cordless CordZero Cyking vacuum cleaners, and the amazing ability of pro rock climber Sierra Blair-Coyle. The cleaners aren’t exactly like the ones you’ll buy from the shops, having been modified to make them suitable for use during the climb, including the addition of those all-important suction cups. The 200 watts of power and 45,000rpm inverter motor are the same though.
Blair-Coyle had to wear two of the motors on her back, complete with hoses running to the cups, bringing the combined weight including her own to 70kgs. She then had to lug all that to the top of a 33-story building located in Songdo, Incheon, in South Korea, using only her upper body strength and any grip she could get from her climbing shoes. Amazingly, she completed the mission in just half an hour, and that includes a stop to grab a pair of fully charged CordZero packs.
There are echoes of the famous scene from Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, where Tom Cruise scaled the outside of the Burj Khalifa hotel in Dubai, but arguably Blair-Coyle’s achievement is somewhat more impressive. Tom Cruise may have performed the stunt, but he did have the help of a helicopter and a giant winch. Maybe Ethan Hunt should keep an LG CordZero handy for next time.
Check out the video for some stunning aerial footage, and be safe in the knowledge this wasn’t a crazy free-solo climb, because Blair-Coyle has a safety rope in case the LG cleaners decided suspending people halfway up the side of a building wasn’t part of their job description.