24 Jun 2013

Daredevil crosses Grand Canyon on tightrope

8:43 pm on 24 June 2013

American daredevil Nik Wallenda has became the first man to cross the Grand Canyon on a tightrope, completing his latest record-breaking feat in just under 23 minutes.

The 34-year-old, who walked across the Niagara Falls last year, prayed repeatedly as he crossed a tributary gorge of the United States landmark on a high wire some 457 metres above the Little Colorado River on Sunday.

Wind guests were higher than expected, and he twice crouched down on the wire. "Those winds (were) so unpredictable ... just out of the blue there would be a 35 miles (56km) an hour gust," he said.

"My arms are aching like you couldn't believe," he added, hugging his wife and children after the nerve-wracking walk over the stunning gorge in eastern Arizona, broadcast live around the world, AFP reports.

Organisers said he took 22 minutes and 54 seconds to cross the 426 metres - faster than anticipated - giving a thumbs up and half-running the last several yards to reach the other side.

He had been planning the walk for about four years, homing in on a remote location at the eastern end of the mighty geological chasm on land operated by Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation.

Mr Wallenda was rigged up with a microphone and live cameras, including one on his chest looking straight downwards to the canyon floor below.

Asked what his next stunt would be, he said: "My dream for my next stunt is to walk between two skyscrapers in New York City."