Man walks wire across Grand Canyon

Nik Wallenda nears the completion of his 1,400 foot walk across the Grand Canyon. – AP photos
Man walks wire across Grand Canyon
Nik Wallenda studied the plunging walls of the Little Colorado River Gorge before stepping out on a quarter-mile tightrope cable. "Whoo! That's an amazing view."

With that observation, the well-known aerialist embarked Sunday afternoon on a walk without a safety net or harness, 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River Gorge in northeastern Arizona.

The successful, 22-minute walk on the 2-inch-thick steel cable was monitored by people around the world via television and computer screens during a broadcast of Wallenda's most ambitious stunt yet.

They watched as the winds tested the Florida daredevil, and listened as he called on God to calm the swaying cable and as he paid homage to his famed great-grandfather. The stunt was the leading trending topic on Twitter on Sunday afternoon.

"It was unbelievable," he told reporters later. "It was everything I wanted it to be. It was extremely emotional. I got to the other end and started crying."

During his walk above the dry river bed near the Grand Canyon, Wallenda paused and crouched twice as winds whipped around him and the rope swayed. Gusts had been expected to be around 30 mph. He said they sent dust flying into his eyes.

"It was strenuous the whole way across. It was a battle. The winds were strong, they were gusty," he told reporters. "But there was never a point where I thought, 'oh my gosh, I'm going to fall.'"

Wallenda stepped slowly and steady throughout, murmuring prayers to Jesus almost constantly along the way. He jogged and hopped the last few steps.

"Thank you Lord. Thank you for calming that cable, God," he said about 13 minutes into the walk.

Nik Wallenda grew up performing with his family and dreamed of crossing the Grand Canyon since he was a teenager. Sunday's stunt comes a year after he traversed Niagara Falls earning a seventh Guinness world record.

Wallenda already is eyeing his next stunt, which he hopes will take him between the Chrysler and Empire State buildings in New York. As a nod to his Internet audience, he said he also would ask his Facebook and Twitter followers what the next challenge should be

But he said he would give up tightrope walking altogether if his wife and children ever asked him.

"That's a serious talk that we'll have. But absolutely, it weighs on heavy on me," he said.

Critical thinking challenge: This stunt attracted a large TV audience. Who benefited from that audience?


- Posted on June 26, 2013
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That is crazy. It must have been extremely scary to be up there with the high winds and risking your life. I wonder why he would ever want to do something dangerous like this.

Insane! I would never do that. I couldn't even imagine what must be going through his head at that moment. I wonder if his family was supportive of this and did he have any sponsors? It's amazing he didn't psych himself out and that he actually did make it to the end safely. Jackie v. Pd. 2

That is insane! I don't think I could ever do that. I wonder how his family feels about this. I imagine they were worried during those twenty two minutes. I also kind of wonder what all was going through his mind.

Oh my, that would be really scary! I'd never do that! But I bet he felt very nervous in the beginning, but at
the end I bet he felt very proud of himself for his accomplishment.

I think this is pretty cool because i went to see him when he came to Niagra Falls and that was amazing but doing that over the Grand Canyon is even crazier and to top all of that he didnt have a harnest or safety net thats crazy

I think this guy is crazy in the head because who in the world would do that if they know they have chances to die. Well anyway he did it and lucky for him he did not fall and crush his bones. Anyway he competed his goal so that is only one positive of doing that.

This guy is crazy. I would never think of doing this. This guy has guts to do this. It must've been really frightening to do this. Congratulations to him though for accomplishing this great goal.

Thats just amazing. I know I would not be able to do that. This teaches young and old people all over the world that it doesn't matter how crazy your dream is its always good to chase them.

Kyra R

Why would he tightrope across the Grand Canyon with nothing under neath to land on if he fell off of the tightrope. How did they get the rope all the way across the Grand Canyon?

That is amazing! I cant believe he didn't fall during the wind or the pole didn't make him fall. I would be scared to do that. He is very brave and he is ready to do another challenge.