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Canadian Walks on Wire Rope Above Yangtze River at Three Gorges

October 28, 1995

BEIJING (AP) _ Jay Cochrane stepped off a mountain Saturday and walked 2,098 feet along a steel rope a quarter-mile above China’s mightiest river to the other side.

Cochrane had no safety net or harness as he walked 1,350 feet above the river as it flows swiftly through one of the scenic Three Gorges _ Qutang in southwestern Sichuan province.

``To me it was just another day at the office, but a bigger office,″ the 51-year-old Cochrane said in a telephone interview.

Although others have done longer tightrope walks and at higher altitudes, Cochrane said no one had walked such a distance that high up.

Cochrane has been tightrope-walking since 1971, when he walked between two 40-story buildings in Toronto, his hometown. He began learning the skill as a circus performer when he was 14.

Chinese sports officials invited him to walk across the Yangtze at the Three Gorges, one of the country’s tourist attractions.

Cochrane said his plans include a walk above Pittsburgh next summer. He also is trying to arrange a walk across Niagara Falls.

In 1988, Michel Menin of France walked a tightrope 3,304 feet above Angel Falls in Venezuela, according to the Guinness Book of Records. In 1985, Ashley Brophy of Australia walked a total of 7.18 miles back and forth on a wire 147 feet long.

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