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High-Wire Artist Nik Wallenda To Cross Arizona Gorge

Aerialist Nik Wallenda traversing Niagara Falls last June.

Nik Wallenda, scion of the famous "Flying Wallendas" family, plans to set out suspended 1,500 feet above the Colorado River Gorge in Arizona with only his legendary sense of balance and a 2-inch-thick cable between him and certain death.

Wallenda, 34, will walk the quarter-mile across the gorge, which is located near the Grand Canyon. The stunt comes a year after he successfully traversed Niagara Falls, earning a seventh Guinness World Record in the process.

One key difference between Sunday's attempted feat and last year's Niagara crossing is that this time Wallenda will dispense with his safety harness.

The Associated Press writes that "Wallenda is a seventh-generation high-wire artist. ... His great-grandfather, Karl Wallenda, fell during a performance in Puerto Rico and died at the age of 73. Several other family members, including a cousin and an uncle, have perished while performing wire walking stunts."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit www.npr.org.

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