Walking across Niagara on a tightrope

Story here

I thought the space above the Falls resembled Grand Central Station these days, crowds jostling back and forth on tightropes constantly, but apparently the walk on high wire directly above the Falls has never been done before and Nik Wallenda will be the first if he manages it on Friday.

OK, good for him. Here’s the thing though. Because ABC will be televising it live the network has insisted that Wallenda be tethered to the tightrope so if he falls he falls not like Lucifer, never to rise again, but dangling in an undignified manner from the rope patiently awaiting rescue.

To be fair to Wallenda, this isn’t what he wanted, but the only way to get the financing from ABC was to agree to those terms/

Here’s the rub though, at least for me. Without any risk the whole exercise becomes mundane and rather pointless. He might as well ride across sitting comfortably in a chopper. Remember that French guy who set up a tightrope between the Twin Towers and walked back and forth while his buddy filmed, no safety devices whatsoever? That was incredible viewing. Screw ABC, one of the cable channels should have approached Wallenda and said if you’re willing to risk your life then we’re willing to film you

I wonder if it will be on the internet. If anyone knows of a live stream…

You know, in Chicago there are water taxis run by a company called “Wendella Boats.” I always thought, “Wow, I wonder how that tightrope walking family got involved in that,” until I recently heard about tonight’s event and paid close attention to the name.

Feh. The only reason to watch The Falling Wallendas is the thrill of “will they fall?”

No interest in watching The Bungee-Jumping Wallendas.

Seems to me that a long tether, subject to wind and forces of its own, will make it more likely he’ll fall.

Maybe they can compromise. He has to wear a tether, but his end of it is on a noose around his neck.

It would be awesome if he just undid the tether halfway across. What would abc do then?

Hey may have never done it directly above the falls, but when I read the title I immediately thought of The Great Farini

Online stream here: http://www.cp24.com/live/

What a bunch of crap. A steaming pile of crap.

I heard he “might” have to wear a tether, but was not in favour of it.

As soon as I saw the tether (within .03 microseconds) I realized we’d all been had. This was Evil Fucking Knievel with training wheels.

Blow me.

Before bath time…

I read that ABC insisted on it since they didn’t want the risk of anyone dying on real TV. One link I read said that if he refused to wear it, they were going to stop the production immediately.

So he may have been faced with the choice of wearing it or not having the TV coverage, in which case, I can understand why he’d wear one.

Found it.

That doesn’t sound to me like he “might” have had to wear one, sounds to me like he had no choice in the matter.

I do, Philippe Petit.

CMC fnord!

There is an outstanding documentary about the Twin Towers tightrope adventure called Man on Wire. They filmed a surprising amount of the planning and rehearsals they did for it in the years before finally pulling it off. Petit also covertly entered and wire-walked from many noted public buildings around the word, but none IMO came close to his WTC escapade. My (oddly) favorite thing is the on his way out the door from detention by the NYPD, he let himself get picked up by a mystery woman who fucked his brains out that night.

It’s available streaming on Netflix.

I was skimming the thread titles and with an idle glance thought this thread was,

Walking across Nigeria on a tightrope.

This is the only reason I opened it.

In actuality the tether made his walk all the more difficult. It’s not a matte of falling but a matter of the skill involved to be successful. To me if he failed he would be just another statistic. However, he did under constraints. Good for him.

The tether slightly mars the accomplishment. But I think this guy would have done it without the tether, he just didn’t have a choice. I just have one piece of advice for the Wallendas, send your kids to regular school, not circus school. I admire this family’s dedication to art, but it’s a dedication that makes it remarkable that the Wallenda line even continues. They have a century of deadly and crippling falls behind them.

I think it has been done before but not for a long time. BBC is saying it’s the first time in a century.

Missed the Edit window: Looking at the story linked to in the OP, I’m wondering if the BBC got confused about tightrope acts at other parts of the falls.

I saw him cross The Great Falls of Paterson when I was a kid.