High Wire Artist Nik Wallenda Crosses Arizona Canyon

PHOTO: In this photo provided by the Discovery Channel, aerialist Nik Wallenda walks a 2-inch-thick steel cable taking him a quarter mile over the Little Colorado River Gorge, Ariz. on Sunday, June 23, 2013.
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Famed daredevil and tightrope walker Nik Wallenda successfully crossed the Little Colorado River Gorge in Arizona tonight, without using either a tether or a safety harness.

Wallenda walked along a quarter-mile stretch of two-inch steel cable, 1,500 feet in the air.

"I've had a dream to be the first person in the world to walk a tight rope directly above the Grand Canyon," Wallenda said in a video statement on his website, where he announced his intended feat.

But despite his claim that he would be crossing the Grand Canyon, Wallenda, 34, of Sarasota, Fla., actually walked over a gorge near the canyon.

"Mr. Wallenda needs to buy a GPS or somebody give this guy a map," Milton Tso, president of the Cameron Chapter of the Navajo Nation, told The Associated Press. "He's not walking across the Grand Canyon, he's walking across the Little Colorado River Gorge on the Navajo Nation. It's misleading and false advertising."

According to the AP, some members of Navajo Nation were troubled by the thought of using the dangerous feat as a publicity stunt.

But Geri Hongeva, spokeswoman for the tribe's Division of Natural Resources, told the AP she thought the event would be a positive thing for the Navajo.

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"When people watch this, our main thing is we want the world to know who Navajo people are, our culture, traditions and language are still very much alive," she said.

The Discovery Channel broadcast the walk live, using a 10-second delay, according to a Discovery Channel spokesman.

Wallenda said he is confident he will make the walk safely.

"I have a wife and three kids that I love very dearly, and I wouldn't be doing it if I thought I would lose my life," Wallenda said in his statement.

According to the AP, Wallenda wore elk-skin shoes to help him grip the steel cable. He was outfitted with two cameras that allowed viewers at home to watch the walk from his perspective.

Wallenda, a seventh-generation tight rope walker, became the first tight rope artist to walk over Niagra Falls on a high wire when he accomplished the feat in 2012, bringing him his seventh Guiness world record. The event was broadcast live on ABC.

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