Nik Wallenda

Wallenda Survives Terrifying Grand Canyon Tightrope Walk

He did it! The world watched as Nik Wallenda crossed the Grand Canyon on a wire in less than 23 minutes.  He is the first person to cross the Grand Canyon on a high-wire. The 34-year-old aerialist was not wearing a harness, but had a microphone and two cameras attached.   The event, which was aired on the Discovery channel on Sunday evening, drew in more than 13 million viewers.  The life-or-death stunt shattered records across numerous platforms including social media, where it generated 1.3 million tweets driving it to become the #1 most social show across broadcast and cable in the U.S.

Nik Wallenda at Grand CanyonThe 1,400 feet long and 1,500 feet deep walk took a little over 22 minutes — with winds blowing up to 30 mph. Wallenda knelt twice to wait out the moving wire. As he battled strong winds and balanced a 43 pound pole on a 2-inch wire, Wallenda prayed, asking Jesus to keep the wire calm to keep him safe during his stunt.

Wallenda’s great-grandfather, Karl Wallenda, died on live television trying to do a similar, tether-free walk in Puerto Rico.

The Grand Canyon National Park didn’t allow a stunt like this over the Grand Canyon — so Wallenda settled for the “little Grand Canyon” over the gorge of the Little Colorado River, on Navajo tribal lands.

Nik Wallenda is the seventh generation of the famous Great Wallendas and started tightrope walking at age 2. Together with his family he has performed some of the most dangerous stunts in the world, but no one else has ever attempted to cross the Grand Canyon.

The Grand Canyon attracts more than 5 million visitors each year. The most popular Grand Canyon attraction is the Skywalk, a horseshoe-shaped glass bridge that extends 70 feet from the Grand Canyon wall. Also popular are the many Grand Canyon tours which can involve donkeys and helicopters. But one of the most popular Grand Canyon things to do by far is just taking in the sheer size of this seventh world wonder.


We’d like to know — Did you watch this nail-biting event? Do you think Wallenda should have worn a harness?