You may recall the Wire Rope Exchange featuring Nik Wallenda and O’Connell Electric last year as they prepared for a traverse along a two inch wire rope from the U.S. to Canada across Niagara Falls. Once again, the two are teaming up together on June 23rd – this time to walk over the Grand Canyon. As reported by News 13 WHAM in Rochester, New York, O’Connell Electric will be setting up the cable just as it did for the walk across Niagara Falls a year ago. In fact, it will be the very same cable.
The walk will air live on June 23rd on Discovery Channel at 8pm ET.
Randy Fletcher is the general foreman for the Grand Canyon walk. He also set up the Niagara Falls walk when Wallenda used a safety harness. This time Wallenda has chosen not to wear a harness or have a safety net. Fletcher says he’s not surprised. “If you ever saw him walk and you were there personally and see him walk you’d realize he doesn’t need a safety. He’s more sure footed on the wire than we are on the ground.”
Fletcher and his crew will actually be up on the Grand Canyon cable before Wallenda is. They’ll be in carts to hang pendulums every 75 feet to stabilize the wire. Without the pendulums, the cable could twist and blow out from under Wallenda’s feet in the 20-mile an hour winds. That will be 1,500 feet up over the Canyon floor. “The stakes don’t get much higher than this,” said Wallenda on a Discovery Channel blog leading up to the event . “The only thing that stands between me and the bottom of the canyon is a two-inch thick wire. I’m looking forward to showing the audience a view of the canyon they’ve never seen before.”
Afterward, the famous stretch of cable will go to Wallenda’s house in Florida as a souvenir.