World Trade Center – August 7. 1974

This is by far the worst wire installation we have ever done. The cable is completely crooked and one of the guide wires (cavaletti) is backwards. For the first time since Philippe and I have been working together, my heart is filled with terror. There is hardly any wind, and I know the altitude has no effect on Philippe, but because of the catastrophic rigging circumstances this is nowhere near the perfect line he’s grown accustomed to walking.

It could be the difficulty of the last seven hours combined with my desperation and exhaustion that are making me so anxious. It could also be the ways that Alan had betrayed me. We had agreed that I would be the only photographer to shoot the walk, but Alan decided not only to rest while I pulled the wire all night alone, but to bring his camera in spite of our agreement, and stole my exclusive rights.

The victory is slightly bitter, in fact it doesn’t really feel like a victory. Philippe has only taken a few steps and he seems tense. The wire is stable; I’m quite certain it won’t budge, but this is the first time Philippe has ever zigzaged across the sky.

Crooked Pass