Grand Canyon Crossed By Tightrope Walker

Grand Canyon Crossed By Tightrope Walker

Daredevil Nik Wallenda has successfully completed a high-wire walk across the Grand Canyon without a safety harness.

The Florida aerialist performed the quarter-mile crossing on a two-inch thick steel cable, 1,500ft above the Little Colorado River Gorge in Arizona.

The 34-year-old took around 22 minutes to finish the feat, kneeling twice to "get the rhythm out of the rope" and murmuring prayers to Jesus almost constantly along the way.

He stepped slowly and steadily most of the way, but jogged and hopped the last few steps.

The father-of-three wore a microphone and two cameras, one looking down and one facing straight ahead.

His leather shoes, which had an elk-skin sole, helped him keep a grip on the cable as he moved across.

Mr Wallenda said he had wondered what it would be like to cross the Grand Canyon since he was a teenager.

The stunt comes a year after he traversed the Niagara Falls - becoming the first to cross since 1896.

Mr Wallenda is a seventh-generation high-wire artist and is part of the famous Flying Wallendas circus family - a clan that are no strangers to death-defying feats.

His great-grandfather, Karl Wallenda, fell during a performance in Puerto Rico and died at the age of 73.

Several other family members, including a cousin and an uncle, have died while performing wire-walking stunts.

The event was broadcast live on the Discovery Channel.

Mr Wallenda said afterward that he would like to attempt to walk a tightrope between the Chrysler and Empire State buildings in New York City.

But New York's top cop said the stunt between the city's most famous skyscrapers just isn't going to fly.

NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly believes any New York City stunt would be too dangerous, saying thousands of people walking the streets underneath any tightrope could be at risk if there was a fall.