Wallanda tightrope Grand CanyonNik Wallanda recently crossed the Little Colorado River Gorge in north eastern Arizona on a tight wire. The tight wire specialist wore no safety harness as he walked the wire almost 500m (1,500 feet) above the dry river below.

Wallanda completed the stunt on a gusty day using a 2 inch (5cm) wire and balance pole. The canyon he traversed is in the Navajo Nation near the Grand Canyon, USA. The walk took him 22 minutes and the “unpredictable” winds forced him to crouch and wait twice along the way. Wallanda also told the Discovery Channel later that dust had been blown into his contact lenses making the walk even more treacherous.

"It was way more windy [than expected], and it took every bit of me to stay focused the entire time," Wallanda said.

Nik Wallanda performed a similarly spectacular feat last year when he crossed Niagara Walls on a tighwire.

Wallanda comes from a family famous for high-wire stunts. The “Flying Wallandas” have been performing on tightropes for seven generations and have lost several family members to fatal accidents.

Around 600 people, watching a big screen not far from the canyon, cheered Wallanda on. However, he was not without his critics.

The area is sacred to some Native American tribes and members of the Navajos and Hopis, among others, held a small protest before the event. Others also criticised the local area’s government, the Navajo Nation, saying that they shouldn't be promoting the gambling of one man's life for the benefit of tourism.

Wallanda hopes his next major tightrope walk will be between the Empire State building and the Chrysler building in New York.