Nik Wallenda Successfully Completes High-Wire Walk Across Active Volcano


Nik Wallenda has done it again.

The high-wire stuntman, 41, successfully completed his walk across an active volcano on Wednesday in a special hosted by The Bachelor‘s Chris Harrison.

With only a gas mask and a harness for protection from the dangerous elements, Wallenda traversed the mouth of the active Masaya Volcano in Nicaragua. He made his way from the north side of the volcano to its south side in 31 minutes.

“I can actually sleep tonight,” he said after his dangerous walk.

“The winds were unpredictable,” he continued, “but I just put myself in my backyard training.”

Wallenda noted that while his eyes did burn while crossing the volcano, his gas mask worked “incredibly well” in helping filter out dangerous gases.

“It was amazing,” he added of his journey.

According to Wallenda, he spent months rehearsing and preparing for his walk. As he said “there’s no way to train for a volcano erupting,” the athlete practiced walking on a high-wire with a smoke machine to simulate the smoke.

Wallenda’s amazing feat was aired live as part of a two-hour special on ABC, which placed him across an 1,800-foot stretch of tightrope above a lava-filled lake in the vent below.

Also during the special, Wallenda’s wife Erendira did an aerial performance above the volcano.

Ahead of the walk, Wallenda spoke to PEOPLE about his prep for the stunt, explaining, “I went around researching volcanoes for the last six or seven years, visiting several of them in person.”

He said, “It was very important to me that it had an active lava lake at the bottom … [I wanted the] sound of it as that lava smacks.”

Wednesday’s walk was the longest and highest high-wire walk that Wallenda — a seventh-generation member of the Great Wallendas — ever attempted. He is also the first person to walk across the volcano, which is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire.

“It’s not as though, like last week I was like, ‘Hey, let’s do this,’ ” joked Wallenda to PEOPLE. “This is to hopefully inspire people, and encourage people to constantly push themselves … and that’s really what it’s about. In order to do that I’ve got to continue to push myself, and that’s why I choose locations like this. I’m challenging myself to be better.”

Volcano Live! With Nik Wallenda aired Wednesday, March 4, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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