One of the men seen in a recently-posted video suffering a serious fall while trying to climb the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver said he’s no longer living life on the edge.
The video shows then 20-year-old Joseph McGuire, a free climber, scaling a cable to get to the hotel’s roof. McGuire said he became overwhelmed by exhaustion halfway through the risky endeavour.
“I was a little higher than halfway up, then I got really tired, but I was very stubborn and determined to climb, so I just stayed there,” said McGuire. In the video, he tries to rest on a narrow ledge.
Unable to hang on, he slides nine metres down the rubber wire to the concrete of a lower roof below.
“Eventually, I got too tired. I knew I wasn’t going to go any higher, so I just allowed myself to slide down.”
The video was posted Thursday, but in an interview with Global News, McGuire confirms it was filmed May 2015.
In hindsight, McGuire doesn’t regret the climb, but admits he wouldn’t do it again.
“At the point of climbing the Fairmont Hotel, I was a little too reckless, maybe a little dumb. But I don’t judge myself for it. It was a process of me learning. An experience that helped me learn that what I was chasing was not what it seemed to be,” McGuire said.
“The reason why I was climbing those things–adrenaline rush, the novelty–I thought that if I climbed this building, for the rest of my life, I was going to be happy just for the fact that I did it. I kept thinking that for many crane climbs, then when I get back down, I just feel normal again, like, what’s going on–I thought I was going to be happy…but it doesn’t work like that.”
The video appeared on the same YouTube channel as a similar video that prompted a warning from Vancouver Police last year.
It showed two men leaping over the fence at the Trump International Hotel and Vancouver Tower construction site and climbing the building’s scaffolding under the cover of darkness.
McGuire said he and a friend climbed Trump Tower’s scaffolding not too longer after the Fairmont Hotel incident.
For its part, the hotel said it doesn’t condone this kind of behaviour, but is relieved to hear he wasn’t seriously hurt.
Almost a year since his fall at the Fairmont, McGuire said experience has been a great teacher. He moved to Calgary, where police arrested him for a similar climb.
“This time, fortunately, I avoided a criminal record. I’m just doing some community service, but next time, I might not be so lucky,” McGuire said, adding others should learn from his experience.
“I’d like people to re-evaluate their reasons for what they do–especially if they’re going to risk their lives.”