Nik Wallenda, the high-wire acrobat who crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope last year, announced Monday that his next daredevil feat will take place with a June 23 stroll over the Grand Canyon – this time without any safety devices protecting him.
“It’s just another one in the bucket list. This is a dream of mine, as was Niagara Falls,” he said on TODAY. “It’s just the next chapter in my book, if you will.”
Wallenda was forced to wear a safety harness while crossing Niagara Falls because of contractual obligations to ABC, which televised the stunt live last June.
Wallenda called wearing the tether a “setback” to the event.
“Its was my dream to walk over Niagara Falls since I was about 5 or 6 years old, but part of that dream was taken away because I had to wear that harness,” he said. “The exciting thing about this event is that I will not be wearing any tether or any safety whatsoever.”
Wallenda’s walk across the Grand Canyon, which will air live on Discovery, will be his highest walk ever. He will cross at a location about 1,500 feet above the Colorado River and walk across about 1,500 feet in a remote section of the national park operated by the Navajo Nation, which granted permission for the event.
Wallenda said he has been using wind machines in practice drills at his Florida training facility to reproduce conditions similar to those found in the Grand Canyon. He’ll also be working at a hurricane re-enactment facility to help him prepare.
“There’s a lot of updrafts and downdrafts, and the winds are hard to predict, but I’ll be doing a lot of specific training for that,” he said.
Wallenda already is looking ahead to other feats he wants to accomplish.
“I want to walk from one continent to another, Europe to Asia, over in Turkey,” he said. “And there are many other locations that I want to walk for sure.”