Daring Niagara Falls tightrope walk on Friday

Posted on: 6:12 pm, June 14, 2012, by , updated on: 10:01pm, June 14, 2012

(CBC, Adrienne Arsenault reporting) Stuntman Nik Wallenda, age 33, plans to make a daring tightrope attempt later this week, a daring walk high above Niagara Falls. 

The engineering and safety details have been tweaked until this eleventh hour.

The helicopter plans very nearly didn’t work out, but finally there is connection of a seven ton cable strung across Niagara Falls.

It sounds so big, but imagine how tiny it will feel under the feet of wire walker Nik Wallenda.

Between the height and the distance and the mist and these swirling winds there is a lot for a wire walker to worry about.

But somehow, Wallenda doesn’t seem bothered by any of that. In fact, if anything is set to scuttle the stunt, it’s what’s happening right here on the ground.”

Although he should be training, he’s spent that past few days talking, texting, and negotiating to help pay for the walk.

“We are well over a million dollars into our budget at this point,” said Wallenda. “And the network is not covering anywhere near that.”

He said there is a chance he will end up in the hole, from the finances.

Yet, others will certainly be capitalizing off this historic event.

Wallenda is frustrated by hotels and businesses on both sides of the border than want to capitalize on the walk, but won’t chip in to pay.

“We live in a disgusting world full of greed.. and that’s just the way it is,” he said.

He has some bitterness about more than money–it’s also about what’s happening in his dad’s garage too. 

His dad has been busy at work making a dreaded tether that Wallenda has been forced to wear by the network broadcasting the walk.

“If Nik were to fall of the cable, they would pull it upside down and keep this hanging like this,” said his father.

It could save his life, sure, but the Wallendas are opposed to it, especially his mother. Nik is a seventh-generation member of the Flying Wallendas.

“The wind resistance, the weight of it, the feeling of it, it’s not something natural that we use so it’s’ going to be uncomfortable and a mental thing,” she said.

The costs, which Wallenda estimates between $1.2 and $1.3 million, include fabrication and installation of the custom-made steel wire, permits and security on both sides of the border, as well as travel and marketing costs.  

Wallenda is fundraising though a website called Indiegogo which has raised $19,711 toward a $50,000 goal. You can see that here: http://www.indiegogo.com/nik-wallenda-niagara-falls?c=activity

You can check out his promotional video here: