Stepping Into History With Record High Wire Walk

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Written By Gholam Rahmani

Stepping Into History With Record High Wire WalkTightrope walker Nik Wallenda had a bird’s eye view of the Colorado River as he edged across a high wire 1,500 feet above the rocks and river below.

Millions looked on in awe on TV as he crossed his sky bridge of two-inch thick wire in just 23 minutes above the Little Colorado River Gorge.

His wire stretched 1,400 feet – nearly a quarter of mile – above the floor of the canyon in Arizona, USA.

Wallenda had no harness or safety net and would surely have died dashed on the rocks hundreds of feet below if he should have slipped and fallen.

Watchers could hear Wallenda repeatedly thanking Jesus as he stood suspended in space between the two cliffs towering above the gorge.

Skyscraper challenge

At one stage, he halted and knelt to steady the movement of the wire.

As he stepped back on to land, Wallenda revealed his next high wire stunt would be walking high above the streets of Manhattan, New York, between the Empire State and Chrysler buildings.

“If I was worried about falling I wouldn’t do the walk,” he said. “I have a family. A wife and three children to look after.”

He may find that a much tougher challenge as the cities high rise buildings are whipped by gale force winds that whistle around the wind tunnel of a city.

Wallenda, 34, from Florida, is one of the circus troupe The Flying Wallendas.

Last year, he tried to whip up publicity for his act by walking across a wire suspended above the world famous Niagara Falls.

Sadly, many of his family have died or suffered serious injuries attempting similar stunts.

Wallenda is no stranger for spectacular high walks.

Plunged to death

He holds seven Guinness world records including:

  • Riding a bicycle for 250 feet along a wire 135 feet above ground
  • Walking a 2,000 foot long tightrope
  • Hanging 250 feet above the ground from a helicopter – by his teeth

He considers one of his personal best feats walking a steel wire between the twin towers of the Condado Plaza Hotel, Puerto Rico – a stunt his 73 year old grandfather Karl Wallenda failed to survive after falling to his death from the wire 130 feet above the road.

The family have performed balancing and high wire acts for more than a century, and the youngest members of the family are carrying on the tradition playing to packed houses across the world.

As always, their trademark stunt is performing without a safety net or harness.