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article imageVideo: Dean Potter, slackline walker, crosses Enshi Grand Canyon

By JohnThomas Didymus     Apr 24, 2012 in Lifestyle
A slackline walker, Dean Potter, crossed the Enshi Grand Canyon in China's Hubei Province on a rope just 2 centimeters thick. The American crossed a distance of 40 m (132 ft) in about 2 minutes at a dizzying height of 1,800m (5905 ft) above sea level.
Huffington Post reports the 40-year-old completed the crossing barefoot without any safety equipment. The video shows him walking the slackline with headphones on, apparently listening to music.
BBC reports that crossing Enshi Grand Canyon on a slackline is more challenging than crossing on a tightrope because the line is not held completely taut and may stretch and bounce while walking on it.
According to The Huffington Post, his most notable accomplishment was in August 2009 when he set the world record for longest BASE jump by leaping off Switzerland's Eiger, a mountain in the Bernese Alps, with an elevation of 13,025 ft. In a three minute-long wingsuit flight, he floated 9,000 vertical feet over a distance of about four miles.
Herald Sun reports he is also known as an accomplished rock climber. The Sun reports he has scaled some of the world’s toughest rock faces without ropes or a harness.
Viewers of the video have been reacting to Potter's stunts. Most viewers disapprove of what they consider a man risking his life unnecessarily. A viewer davoo338, comments on The Sun: "Skill is being able to walk across the Niagara Falls on a tightrope. Intelligence is not trying."
Another viewer, Goonergirl123, said: "When he falls and kills himself everyone will be saying what a lovely guy he was - just a shame a fit young man like this couldn't put his time to better use in serving others rather then tempting fate and ultimately killing himself."
ScotLeRoche, however, disagrees with Potter's critics. He says: "Really funny how much negativity there is on here . He lives more in those few minutes than all of us do in a lifetime. Taking risks is what makes life exciting , you's should try it sometime , you might learn something about yourselves!"
Global Post reports that Potter, in a February 2012 interview with ABC News, "Nightline," said: “In some way, I wonder if it’s healthy what I do. I’m not even trying to say what I do is good. I go back and forth to asking myself those questions. Dean, man, is this healthy? You’re obsessed on this thing that might kill you.”
ABC News reports he said: “I’m forced to think about my mortality. I don’t want to die until I’m an old, old man...I absolutely don’t want to die falling...I am very afraid of that. But somehow I have an even deeper draw within me to keep going towards my fears.”
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