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Wallenda preps for Grand Canyon tightrope walk

Daredevil to make first-ever attempt.

By Rich_Maloof Jun 20, 2013 4:17PM

“I have to respect it, but I would never do what I do if I was scared.”

Respect, inner peace and guts of steel — that’s what it will take for daredevil Nik Wallenda to succeed this Sunday in his attempt to walk across the Grand Canyon on a 2-inch steel wire.

Photo: High wire walker Nik Wallenda//Steve Nesius/Reuters No one has walked across the Grand Canyon before, and the stunt will be Nik Wallenda’s longest and highest tightrope attempt ever. His cable will stretch more than a quarter mile across the canyon. No tethers or safety nets will protect him from the 1,500-foot drop between the cable and the Little Colorado River below.

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The height of Walllenda’s wire exceeds the height of the Empire State Building (1,250 feet) and even Chicago’s Sears Tower, now renamed the Willis Tower (1,451 feet). It will even be higher than Philippe Petit’s 1,368-foot high-wire walk between the Twin Towers in 1974.

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Wallenda has said his greatest concern is unpredictable wind. While training in Florida, Wallenda’s team has had air boats whip up winds of more than 90 mph to simulate the gusts that can run up the Grand Canyon walls.

The walk will be broadcast live on the Discovery Channel (8 p.m.

ET/5 p.m. PT), with a 10-second delay. Wallenda will be miked up and talking with the show’s hosts as he crosses the wire, and a mounted camera will capture his point of view.

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“My entire life has been spent training for this,” Wallenda has said. Nik is a seventh-generation member of the legendary Flying Wallendas family, who were famed for fearless acrobatic feats including the seven-person pyramid — a signature stunt that killed two troupe members and crippled a third when the pyramid collapsed in 1962.

Nik is the great-grandson of Karl Wallenda, who met his end in 1978 on a high-wire walk in Puerto Rico. In 2011, Nik and his mother walked between the two towers of the Candado Plaza Hotel where Karl Wallenda died.

Nik Wallenda has already made his mark on daredevil history, and last June became the first person ever to walk across Niagra Falls on a 2-inch wire. That walk put him at a treacherous 200 feet above the falls — which was still 130 stories closer to the ground than Wallenda will be on Sunday.

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Photo: High wire walker Nik Wallenda//Steve Nesius/Reuters

53Comments
Jun 23, 2013 3:11PM
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MercForHire

Sorry to hear that you washed out of flight school in 93. You are right my flying career was over when I returned from the Jungle in 68 --that is years before your father even met your mother! The post was about Nik Wallenda, and his decision to walk the wire spanning  the Grand Canyon...Apparently you also have a  problem with your vision in addition to  your bigotry.. By the way, I'm not a Native of the US --naturalized while in the  US  military service English is my 5th language--To "refresh your memory", I enlisted in the military, when a large percentage of the Draft age US males were "skipping" to Canada hiding like the cowards they were, getting deferred from the DRAFT by various excuses NO TO SERVE IN THE MILITARY- -no balls Hippies is what my generation  used to call them --, objecting the War, refusing to do their Duty as a US Citizen, and then "begged" for immunity to be allowed to return to their  US Home Land, with their tail between their legs, when the War was over....

 

 Go For It Nik,  I Pray that God Protects and Guides You.  I sincerelyI whish you.GOOD LUCK! .....

Jun 23, 2013 2:22PM
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Annie well I have watch his practices, just like when he walked across niagra falls.  Before the Canadian government told him he had to be teathered he practiced wearing a parachute. 1500 feet is plenty enough to free fall and open.  The guys who just BASE jumped off of trump tower in Chicago had only 1200 feet.  Bing nitro circus Grand Canyon stunts.  They are jumping motor cycles off the canyon and parachuting to the ground below. Now to truly answer your question I am speculating that he will wear a chute. But knowing that was his intention during the falls walk I am sure it will be the same with the canyon. 
Jun 22, 2013 10:50PM
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Hope the same thing doesn't happen to him as did the skywalker in Dayton did today! What an idiot!
Jun 22, 2013 10:41PM
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real smart guy. just can never fig out why people take these kind of chances.I guess they cant wait to die
Jun 22, 2013 10:37PM
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This guy must have a death wish. I don't know why people do things like this? I have a bad feeling; read about you in the obituaries.
Jun 22, 2013 10:35PM
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I would guess that a 2" wire is at least somewhat more stable to walk on than a thinner one.
And as to the 1500' height.............200' would be just as deadly.  Might as well go as high as he can.
Anyway,  good luck.

Jun 22, 2013 10:29PM
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