But he puts his own life at substantial risk during these stunts. And he is well aware of the risk while he’s making these hazardous ascensions without ropes or harnesses.
“The truth is I do get a little scared. I get a little nervous, but I work past it and I do a lot of things scared because I think about what’s at stake,” DesChamps, of Las Vegas, Nevada, told CNA on Oct. 12.
In 2022, DesChamps, a skilled rock climber, was offered a job by Let Them Live, a pro-life organization with a mission to financially and emotionally support pregnant mothers considering abortion so that they can feel confident choosing life.
His responsibilities as an “ambassador” consist of promoting the organization in any way he can.
When he was offered the job, DesChamps immediately dropped out of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas — where he had already dedicated three years of study to be a financial planner — and started doing pro-life work full time.
Originally from Michigan, he told CNA that he thought about being a financial planner because he could make a good salary and donate to the pro-life cause but added that he felt his calling was elsewhere.
“I think what I’m doing is more important because I get to inspire others to make sacrifices, and that’s what needs to happen,” he said.
Training to climb skyscrapers
When training for his latest climb, DesChamps scaled a rock wall at a local gym until he traveled about 1,000 feet. At 5-foot-7, 135 pounds, DesChamps made the trek two to three times a day until he felt like he was prepared.
During his training however, he tore a tendon in his hand and considered postponing the climb.
“But I decided that rather than delay the climb, I would just push extra hard and do it anyway because I know that we can save a life by risking my own,” he said.
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DesChamps’ training schedule is continuous throughout the year so he doesn’t have a ramp-up season before his climb.
Additionally, he doesn’t even visit the buildings in person before he scales them. Sometimes, he only studies them through Google Maps.
“I just look at them and say, ‘OK, well, this one looks climbable’ and you show up and you climb it,” he said.
A ‘punk rock radical protest’
DesChamps originally got the idea to climb buildings for the pro-life cause by a Frenchman named Alain Robert, who grappled his way to the top of the New York Times building in Times Square in 2008, hanging a banner from the top that said “Global warming kills more people than 9/11 every week.”