We might say “Don’t try this at home,” but then what are the chances your home is anywhere near an almost 4,000-foot-long bridge with a peak height of more than 1,000 feet?
We’re talking about the rough, completely terrifying dimensions of the recently completed (in 2011) Aizhai suspension bridge in central China’s Hunan province — ranked the sixth highest bridge in the world — where Norwegian acrobat Eskil Ronningsbakken decided to do considerably more than sightsee.
Instead, he opted to travel on foot out to the bridge’s center — the highest part, overlooking the lush Dehang Canyon — descend from the bridge’s deck to stand on a lattice of red-painted steel girders, then perform strength-related balancing stunts — without safety cables or tethers — on chairs, jutting cables and other industrial protuberances that’d probably frighten away the steeliest Cirque tumbler.
And then he slid out onto a rope ladder dangling from a hot air balloon while wearing a blindfold of some sort, occasionally balancing like a tightrope walker, at other moments hanging upside-down like a trapeze artist. And he did all that despite fairly strong winds.
“The flag is moving quite a lot,” says Ronningsbakken in the video, indicating a briskly rippling red flag in the background. “Ideally for a balloon it should be still.”