Monday, June 24, 2013

"I'm Not A Daredevil"

Nik looks at the chasm he is about to cross.
Well, that's what Nik Wallenda said, both before and after his record breaking stunt last night, but I might have to beg to differ with him.

In case you missed it, last night Wallenda set a new world record.  He is now the only person ever to have walked across the Grand Canyon on a high wire.

He successfully walked across the Devil's Bend part of the canyon on a two inch cable.  He carried only a balancing rod, and a camera taped onto the front of his shirt.  There was no tether.  No safety strap.  One mis-step and he would have fallen to his death.

Prior to his walk, the newspeople gave some background on how the cable was installed, how the stunt was made to be as "safe" as possible, and how the weather and winds would be monitored and reported to him while doing his walk.

A diagram indicated that the cable was 1500 feet above the bottom of the canyon - the height of the Empire State Building.  The distance Wallenda would be walking across was the length of four football fields, or almost a quarter of a mile.

One of the pendulums
The cable was pulled taught at 62,000 pounds, and after Nik walked it, he said 65,000 would have been better and less dangerous.  There wouldn't have been as much swaying from wind and his cadence if it had been tighter.  Even so, pendulums were hung at about every 90 feet to help stabilize the cable from wind and updrafts.

After the family's pastor gathered the family together and offered a prayer for safety, Nik picked up his balancing rod, got up on the wire, and took the first step of his dangerous walk.  His family was waiting for him on the other side.

As you look at the series of photos, the amount of time he has been on the wire is shown in the upper left corner.

At the beginning
Nik's view looking down

About halfway
Nik's wife and oldest son watch from the far side.
Nik's father, his safety coach, watches and updates Nik on wind gusts.

Nik's wife watches the last two minutes as he walks towards her.
Almost across
Nik jogged the last few yards, once he was over the land again.
An emotional Nik enjoys his success.
An emotional reunion with his family

The entire walk took Nik just under 23 minutes, yet watching it live and not knowing the outcome, to me it felt much longer than that.
I was certainly saying my prayers for his safety, and everyone around the world that was watching this live stunt was also hearing Nik constantly praying and thanking God for this wonderful opportunity as he walked across the canyon.  

I'm glad he was successful and is now on terra firma.  As for me, I probably lost a year of my life just watching. 

You can see my previous post about Nik Wallenda's June 2012 tethered walk across the Niagara Falls if you click here.


  1. I just cannot even imagine doing something like this. I certainly do not have that gene in me. I couldn't watch him do the walk. But I am so grateful he made it safely across and all prayers were answered.

  2. When I was young, i walked pipes over revines and climbed trees and cliffs. Now that I am old, two feet off the ground and I start to get dizzy. Maybe that is why they call me Dizzy?