May 28, 2016 I Paul Seaburn

Climber Scales Skyscraper Using Battery-Powered Vacuum Cleaners

Let’s say you left your phone on the viewing platform at the top of a 33-story skyscraper. Let’s say the platform is closed for the day and the security guard refuses to take bribes. Let’s say you just happen to have purchased a pair of vacuum cleaners with fully-charged batteries. Problem solved? If you’re professional extreme rock climber Sierra Blair-Coyle, it definitely is.


Sierra Blair-Coyle didn’t exactly lose her phone. The event was a promotion for the LG Code Zero K94SGN vacuum cleaners. The building is located in Songdo, Incheon, South Korea, and the 33 stories adds up to 460 feet. Her goal was to climb the outside of the building using nothing but the vacuum-powered suction cups, her shoes and her formidable climbing ability. The suction cups were not standard equipment (although they might come in handing for cleaning ceiling fans) but the vacuums, with 200 watts of power and 45,000 rpm inverter motors, were.


The motors were strapped to Blair-Coyle’s back, bringing her total weight to 70 kg (154 pounds). From bottom to top, she completed the exterior climb in only 30 minutes, with one stop to swap out some dead 80V lithium-ion batteries. That’s pretty impressive, for both the climber and the vacuum cleaners. According to LG, the inverter motors are smaller, lighter and more efficient than conventional vacuum motors. The PowerPack 80V lithium-ion battery provides up to 40 minutes of power in regular (non-climbing) mode.

Of course, any stunt like this needs a “kids-don’t-try-this-at-home” warning. The suction cups were specially made for climbing and Blair-Coyle was tethered to a safety rope ... not to mention she's an extreme rock climbing world champion. Then again, that’s far less than Tom Cruise needed (helicopter and winch) for his stunt climb up the outside of the Burj Khalifa hotel in Dubai in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.

The reports don’t say what Sierra Blair-Coyle received for completely the climb. She certainly qualified for at least a lifetime supply of free vacuum cleaners. With that kind of talent, she probably got a number of marriage proposals too.

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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