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Swiss daredevil to walk Zugspitze cable line

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Swiss daredevil to walk Zugspitze cable line
A file photo of Nock walking a cable car line. Photo: DPA
10:31 CEST+02:00
Swiss extreme tightrope artist Freddy Nock will walk a cable car line up to the peak of the Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain, in an attempt to break a world record this Saturday.

“I am walking up the highest mountain in Germany – something that has never been done before,” Freddy Nock told The Local.

Born in 1964 into the Nock family, who have been involved with circus art since 1770, Freddy started on the tightrope at age 11. Now 44, Nock continues to break daredevil records in various extreme sports, including tightrope walking.

This weekend Freddy, whose full name is Alfredo Nock, will attempt to climb the cable from the Sonnalpin station at an altitude of 348 metres to the 2943-metre high mountain station atop the famous peak. This stunt will require him to negotiate a cable just 5 centimetres wide that runs at a 56 percent incline at its steepest points.

“I have been planning this walk for a long time. We talked to the authorities and they let me do it. We had to do a lot to prepare – it's been about two years now,” Freddy said.

At the Zugspitze, Nock will be collecting money for the charity “Menschen für Menschen” (Humans for Humans), which was established to help Ethiopian students by Austrian actor Karlheinz Böhm.

“I'm not just doing this walk for myself – the charity works with schools, and the children in these schools need help. I want to do this walk to show people that we mustn't forget what is happening in Ethiopia,” he said.

According to a report in German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, Freddy has practised for the cable walk just twice. This is partly because, in the run up to this world record attempt, he is taking part in another separate event involving his famous iron motorcycle sphere at the Europa-Park in Rust.

When The Local spoke to Freddy, he still had four shows left on Thursday afternoon alone.

“The event at the Europa-Park will finish on the August 31, so it overlaps with the walk by two days,” he explained.

With him at the Europa-Park is Stefanie, his 19-year old daughter.

“She is the one who likes show business, so she stays with me, and will probably carry on my interests into the next generation. But my children must choose for themselves what they want to do – the others are in school and one is learning hairdressing. I don't want to push the children – they know what they like to do,” he said.

“My children have to trust me – they know what I am doing, and that I am doing it safely,” he added.

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