They are some the toughest, most extreme survivalists that Alaska has to offer. Going head to head, eight men of a rare breed are about to take the ultimate test of survival in Arctic conditions that only National Geographic could inspire. Dropped in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness by bush plane, with only their raw, mountain-man ingenuity, they’ll navigate through treacherous glaciated river valleys, barren ridgelines, and high mountain peaks, battling hunger, hostile predators, and perilous weather conditions along the way. Like the original National Geographic explorers, for those who succeed there is no grand prize, just the well-fought pride of having conquered the grueling challenges that Mother Nature can throw at them. It's an epic competition series where the only prize is survival.
In the first leg of the 13-leg competition, four teams battle their way to the summit of Mount Gerdine. To get there, they must cross a rapidly thawing lake, traverse a crevasse-filled glacier and claw their way up walls of crumbing ice. On the second leg of the competition, teams are dropped near the top of a towering mountain peak and provided with skis, snowboards and climbing rope. The mission is clear: Descend the mountain in any way possible.
On the second leg of the competition, teams are dropped near the top of a towering mountain peak and provided with skis, snowboards and climbing rope. The mission is clear: Descend the mountain in any way possible.
On leg three, teams descend 2,000 feet of snowy ridges, bush-covered slopes and spongy swamps to reach the LZ (landing zone) at Talachulitna Lake. At the insertion flag, the adventurers find a cache of dogsleds, skis, snowshoes and packrafts.
On leg four, the teams travel by land and water as they charge toward the extraction LZ on an ocean inlet. The adventurers choose to either take boats down Six Mile Creek — one of the most notoriously dangerous rivers in Alaska — or make a grueling trek over a mountain pass.
Riding on the historic Alaskan Railroad, the teams are inserted into a remote river valley. To reach extraction, the adventurers traverse mountains, canyons, glaciers and an iceberg-filled lake.
In leg six, the teams are inserted into the heart of Alaskan gold country. Slashing through a thorny gantlet of devil’s club, they charge for the insertion flag. After reading their maps, some head for the high ground to escape the dungeon of thorns, while others bushwhack directly through the forest.
The teams begin leg seven on remote tundra in the shadow of Mount McKinley. The area is known for being some of the most brutal, inhospitable terrain in Alaska. It’s also known as the final resting place of Chris McCandless, whose tragic story of adventure and demise was made famous by the book and movie “Into the Wild.”
The teams are dropped on the banks of the Tazlina River and tasked with building log rafts. Faced with punishing rocks and class four whitewater, their designs are crucial to their success and survival.
Dropped on Kodiak Island, the hunters become the hunted, as the teams face their fiercest challenge yet — Kodiak brown bears.
In leg 10, the teams continue their adventure in the Kodiak Islands, this time with the choice of traveling by land or by sea. The competitors are dropped on a remote beach, where they race to the insertion flag and find a cache of sea kayaks.
Eleven legs in, the competitors are starting to feel the pain as Alaska pushes them over the edge. The four teams are dropped below a steep peak high in the Alaska Range, and as they climb to find the insertion flag, the elevation takes its toll. Once they reach the flag, they find that they must descend 2,000 feet to the Triumvirate Glacier, then battle 24 miles of ice fields, frigid rivers and rugged terrain to reach the LZ at Beluga Lake.