In the last six years, Nik Wallenda has conducted numerous death-defying tightrope walks, including one across the Niagara Falls, in 2012. But the one he has been dreaming about ever since he can remember, is crossing the mighty Grand Canyon - And while the National Park officials would not grant him permission, on Sunday June 23rd, he came pretty close to achieving it, by walking across the nearby Little Colorado Gorge, that lies on Navajo land.
The 1,400ft. long walk on a 2-inch steel rope placed across the 1,500ft. deep gorge near Cameron, Arizona, was the highest one Nik had ever attempted. A slight misstep would have resulted in him plunging a distance longer then the height of New York's Empire State Building - And given that he had no harness attached nor a safety net placed underneath, it would certainly not have been a good outcome.
But as has been the case each time he does one of these heart-stopping stunts, the 34-year-old did not disappoint. With the world watching it live on the Discovery Channel, Nik used his stick to balance himself and then slowly but surely made his way across, completing the seemingly impossible feat in 22 minutes, 54 seconds. And while he made it look easy, even he admitted it was anything but that.
His biggest challenge was battling the strong wind that made the cable sway, as he tried to make his way across. Nik says it took tremendous focus to keep balanced, so much so, that twice during the walk, he had to kneel down to regain his walking rhythm - It was no wonder that his hands were aching, by the time he finally made it to the end. Besides breaking yet another Guinness World Record, Nik also helped Discovery Channel break a ratings record with 13 million people tuning in to watch - 'Skywire with Nik Wallenda' live. It was the network's most watched special, since the airing of 'Walking with Dinosaurs', in 2000.
So what's next for this daredevil, who has also tightroped across two towers in San Juan and ridden a bicycle on a high-wire 260 feet above the ocean in the Bahamas? Tightroping across New York City's Chrysler and Empire State buildings, with millions of fans watching from beneath - So stay tuned!