Into the Grand Canyon with Nick Knowles | Preview (Channel 5)
Nick goes on a wild adventure through the perilous landscape of the Grand Canyon. From the zipline on the South Rim, past the Bright Angel Trail to the Navajo Bridge on the North Rim, Nick Knowles is on a journey of exploration.
At the West Rim of the Grand Canyon Nick gets his first glimpse of the 277 mile long canyon, an awe-inspiring sight. Standing over the Canyon’s edge, Nick shares a moment of astonishment at its sheer scale before pushing himself off on a zipline a third of mile long over the mile-deep Grand Canyon.
What a start to his journey. Six million tourists visit the canyon each year. On average there are 12 fatalities from heat stroke, falls (sometimes due to over-zealous selfies) and other medical emergencies. Nick experiences first-hand how Search and Rescue is carried out in this inhospitable environment.
Next he delves underground, 21 stories below the surface into the Grand Canyon caves. There he finds the emergency rations stored for civil defence during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
Down there too is a wedding chapel, a stage for rock bands and a hotel room, complete with double bed, bathroom, TV and a toilet – with only a limited number of flushes allowed per night!
Back on the surface, Nick finally braves the Skywalk, a semi-circular platform which juts out thousands of feet above the Canyon floor. Vertigo threatens to defeat him - but Nick is determined to examine the Canyon from every vantage point.
One encounter is particularly important to him – a meeting with the elders of the Hualapai tribe whose ancestors used to roam the Canyon. He hears how their ancient rights to this land were eroded, and how they clung on and survived.
An exchange of gifts is traditional and Nick has brought two very British contributions, to their delight. Finally, he journeys past the Vermilion Cliffs to find the conservation breeding programme which is successfully bringing back endangered condors to the Canyon.
Nick has the extraordinary pleasure of helping release one of these magnificent birds back into the wild, giving him hope for the birds - and for the canyon.
Into the Grand Canyon with Nick Knowles begins Thursday 2nd March on Channel 5.