Flying Wallenda Survives Amazing Canyon Stunt

He crosses quarter-mile gorge with no harness

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 24, 2013 2:39 AM CDT

(Newser) – Nik Wallenda has sealed his place in daredevil history with a heart-stopping tightrope walk over a gorge near the Grand Canyon—with no safety harness. The 34-year-old took 22 minutes to cross the quarter-mile, balancing on a 2-inch thick cable 1,500 feet above the Colorado River Gorge, the AP reports. He could be heard praying almost non-stop as he inched across, buffeted by winds. The stunt was aired live by the Discovery Channel, with a 10-second delay.

"It was a dream come true," Wallenda said after making it across "This is what my family has done for 200 years, so it's part of my legacy. " His great-grandfather and several other members of the Flying Wallenda clan died performing similar stunts. Wallenda—who says he'll give up the tightrope-walking if his wife and kids ask him to— aims to walk between New York's Chrysler Building and Empire State Building for his next stunt, Reuters reports.

Daredevil Nik Wallenda crosses a tightrope 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River Gorge, Ariz..
Daredevil Nik Wallenda crosses a tightrope 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River Gorge, Ariz..   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Daredevil Nik Wallenda smiles during a news conference after crossing a tightrope 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River Gorge Sunday, June 23, 2013.
Daredevil Nik Wallenda smiles during a news conference after crossing a tightrope 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River Gorge Sunday, June 23, 2013.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Daredevil Nik Wallenda crosses a tightrope 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River Gorge Sunday, June 23, 2013.
Daredevil Nik Wallenda crosses a tightrope 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River Gorge Sunday, June 23, 2013.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Nik Wallenda embraces his wife, Erendira, after completing his 1500 foot high walk across the Grand Canyon, Sunday, June 23, 2013.
Nik Wallenda embraces his wife, Erendira, after completing his 1500 foot high walk across the Grand Canyon, Sunday, June 23, 2013.   (Tiffany Brown/AP Images for Discovery Communications)
Nik Wallenda kisses the ground after walking a 2-inch-thick steel cable that took him a quarter mile over the Little Colorado River Gorge on Sunday, June 23, 2013.
Nik Wallenda kisses the ground after walking a 2-inch-thick steel cable that took him a quarter mile over the Little Colorado River Gorge on Sunday, June 23, 2013.   (AP Photos/Discovery Channel, Tiffany Brown)
Nik Wallenda crosses a tightrope 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River Gorge, Ariz., on Sunday, June 23, 2013.
Nik Wallenda crosses a tightrope 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River Gorge, Ariz., on Sunday, June 23, 2013.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Preacher Joel Osteen leads prayer with Nik and Erendira Wallenda ahead of Nik's 1400 foot walk across the Grand Canyon on Sunday, June 23, 2013 at the Grand Canyon.
Preacher Joel Osteen leads prayer with Nik and Erendira Wallenda ahead of Nik's 1400 foot walk across the Grand Canyon on Sunday, June 23, 2013 at the Grand Canyon.   (Tiffany Brown/AP Images for Discovery Communications)
In this photo provided by the Discovery Channel, aerialist Nik Wallenda walks a 2-inch-thick steel cable taking him a quarter mile over the Little Colorado River Gorge, Ariz.
In this photo provided by the Discovery Channel, aerialist Nik Wallenda walks a 2-inch-thick steel cable taking him a quarter mile over the Little Colorado River Gorge, Ariz.   (AP Photos/Discovery Channel, Tiffany Brown)
Daredevil Nik Wallenda smiles during a news conference after crossing a tightrope 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River Gorge.
Daredevil Nik Wallenda smiles during a news conference after crossing a tightrope 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River Gorge.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Aerialist Nik Wallenda near the end of his quarter mile walk over the Little Colorado River Gorge in northeastern Arizona.
Aerialist Nik Wallenda near the end of his quarter mile walk over the Little Colorado River Gorge in northeastern Arizona.   (AP Photos/Discovery Channel, Tiffany Brown)
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