Nik Wallenda‘s superhuman balance went up against the Little Colorado River Gorge, located near the Grand Canyon, on June. 23 and came out on top.
Some observers thought that Wallenda’s stab at crossing a gorge near the Grand Canyon on a high wire would be his last, but his nerve and balance held. Wallenda has now become the first person to attempt and complete the walk 1500 ft above the Little Colorado River, and he did it on a high-wire cable just 2 inches thick.
A false step would have spelled doom for Wallenda, who proceeded without the aid of a safety harness or safety net. For balance he just carried a pole and took 22 minutes to cross the canyon. Despite gusty winds whipping his body and dust hitting his eyes as the rope swayed, Wallenda made it.
He crouched twice on the wire to stabilize. On his feet he wore moccasins specially made by his mother. Toward the end, the showman, who had begun by spitting on his hands, jogged and hopped.
At the finale, the seventh-generation acrobat threw down his pole, kissed the ground and hugged his wife and three children.
Wallenda began his walk just before 9:40 PM EST, as the sun was setting at the site in Arizona. His ground crew reported he had passed the half-way point about 11 minutes or so into the walk. Some 600 spectators watching on an on-site video screen cheered him as he approached. A Navajo Nation ranger, a paramedic and two members of a film crew were posted on the canyon floor and watched from below.
In Discovery channel pre-stunt footage, Wallenda was pictured sitting on the lip of the gorge, legs dangling. He quoted his father, saying, “life is on the wire. The rest is just waiting.”