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In The News

KJZZ: Professional slackliner walks on tightrope between 2 hot air balloons

October 24, 2018

KJZZ: Professional slackliner walks on tightrope between 2 hot air balloons

Think for a moment about your morning. Maybe you woke up, ate breakfast, commuted to work. Well, Niklas Winter spent his morning preparing to walk across a slackline suspended between two hot air balloons.

These balloons will float nearly 5,000 feet in the air above Monument Valley, on the Arizona-Utah border. Now that’s a way to start the day.

High winds, however, foiled the first attempt Wednesday morning. They touched back down and looked for another location to try again, but winds were still too strong. They’ll keep trying throughout the week.

Winter is a German slackliner hoping to break a world record for distance walked between two hot air balloons. This will be his third time walking between balloons on nothing but that thin, buoyant line. Not an activity for any of us who are afraid of heights, but Winter said he loves it.

“It’s just a really unique feeling because you’re kind of flying or floating through the air,” he said. “And if you do it between two hot air balloons, you’re even more in the middle of nowhere, and you feel free and you don’t think about any problems.”

Wednesday’s record-breaking attempt is part of a yearlong festival put on by the German government to celebrate the country’s friendship with the United States — Winter will walk between a balloon with an American flag design, and another with a German flag.

Whether Winter breaks the record Wednesday is still up in the air. Either way, we wish him a safe return back down to Earth.

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