WOODSMEN. MOUNTAINEERS. MILITARY. ENDURANCE ATHLETES.
FOUR TEAMS OF EXTREME SURVIVALISTS COMPETE IN SOME OF THE HARSHEST TERRAIN ON EARTH, IN ONE HARD-CORE, 11-LEG ADVENTURE: "ULTIMATE SURVIVAL ALASKA"
Season Two of Ultimate Survival Alaska Premieres
Sunday, Dec. 15, at 9 PM ET/PT on National Geographic Channel
(WASHINGTON, D.C. - Thursday, November 21, 2013) They are some of the toughest, most extreme survivalists from across the nation. Four teams - woodsmen, mountaineers, military veterans and endurance athletes - go head-to-head in an epic arctic competition that only National Geographic could inspire. Eleven legs across 1,500 miles of Alaska's wild. Only the gear on their backs.
Starting Sunday, Dec. 15, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, go off the grid in the second season of National Geographic Channel's (NGC's) Ultimate Survival Alaska (View trailer). Hailed by the Wall Street Journal as "genuinely exciting," adding, "the fate of some of these contenders literally hangs in the balance," this season incorporates a new team format. Twelve rugged outdoorsmen (including one woman) are dropped in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness by bush plane and given 60 hours to make their way to the landing zone for that leg of the expedition. No naked gimmicks. No comfy hotels between takes. No electronic devices or even "reality show" prize at the end. Like the original National Geographic explorers, this is about well-fought pride.
Using raw, die-hard ingenuity, they'll push their way through some of the most hostile territory on the planet with only two pounds of beans and rice per leg. From glaciated river valleys to barren ridgelines and high mountain peaks, watch the teams face off against hostile predators, hunger, perilous weather and hypothermic threats along the way.
In just the first leg of the 11-leg competition, the teams race across a 30-mile stretch of treacherous glacier, plunge down a 2,000-foot gully, and battle 15 miles of raging whitewater rapids to the extraction point in Berners Bay. "Snow coffins" will be built to sleep in. Sled dogs will be raced. Squirrels become dinner. Teams get trapped knee-deep in ice water. One contender falls into a hidden glacial crevasse. Another nearly drowns in the rapids after flipping his raft.
The race is only getting started.
Meet the Teams:
TEAM MILITARY: Grady Powell, former U.S. Green Beret and expert land navigator; Jared Ogden, former U.S. Navy SEAL; and Rudy Reyes, former U.S. Marine Corps recon sniper and veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
TEAM ENDURANCE: Dallas Seavey, the youngest person ever to win the Iditarod, a grueling thousand-mile race across Alaska; Sean Burch, who holds six world records for climbing mountains; and Eddie Ahyakak, a native Alaskan marathon runner.
TEAM MOUNTAINEERS: Marty Raney, a veteran mountain guide who has led more than 20 expeditions on and around Denali, the highest peak in North America; and extreme climbers Tyler Johnson and Thomas Ginn.
TEAM WOODSMEN: Jimmy Gaydos, an off-the-grid survivalist; Yote Robertson, a wilderness guide; and "Timber" Tina Scheer, a competitive lumberjack and the only woman in the competition.
Follow the Race
"Arctic Battleground" Sunday, Dec. 15, at 9 p.m. ET/PT
Mission: Race across a 30-mile stretch of treacherous glacier, plunge down a 2,000-foot gully and battle 15 miles of whitewater rapids to the extraction point in Berners Bay.
The survivalists are in Dallas' territory: dog mushing. Dallas and the rest of the Endurance athletes are the first to arrive and harness their team of dogs. Not familiar with dog mushing and not wanting to waste any time, the Military team skips the dogs altogether and walks. The Woodsmen and Mountaineers catch up, get their dogs ready and start the race. While mushing, three of the teams become trapped knee-deep in a frigid glacial river. After pulling through and continuing on foot, Sean Burch falls waist-deep into a hidden crevasse on a snow-covered glacier. Not only that, when they begin rafting on the whitewater rapids, Sean's raft flips and he gets stuck in a fallen tree across a river. The rapids prove equally dangerous for Jimmy Gaydos, the oldest competitor, who flips his raft in a nasty section of rapids and gets washed downstream and out of sight.
"Savage Beasts" Sunday, Dec. 22, at 9 p.m. ET/PT
Mission: Set out on Chichagof Island, home to more brown bears per square mile than any other place on earth, to reach the extraction in the fishing town of Pelican.
The Military team takes the shortest route across Chichagof Island - straight through the heart of bear country. When they accidentally rappel near a bear den, they're greeted as unwelcomed guests. The Mountaineers stumble upon a homesteader who loans them his rowboat, and they begin fashioning a mast and sail out of logs and a tarp. Five miles inland, the Endurance team heads for higher ground where they're less likely to encounter bears. But as they traverse a stretch of icy terrain, Sean loses his footing and tumbles into an icy glacial lake. The Mountaineers are sailing to the extraction point, but when they hit the high winds and rough waters, the boat capsizes. Making matters worse, Marty puts a hole in the boat (after shooting a monster halibut he reeled in), and water pours in. The Woodsmen follow the coastline, 60 miles around the island, gathering food as they head to the landing zone. When they come across an abandoned boat, the chance to take the lead is theirs.
"Over the Falls" Sunday, Dec. 29, at 9 p.m. ET/PT
Mission: Bushwhack through 45 miles of dense forest at Tongass National Forest, plunge down steep, 70-foot waterfalls and battle the violent open ocean waters at Steven's Passage to hit the extraction landing zone on Admiralty Island.
With the Woodsmen and Military teams tied for first place, the Endurance athletes are eager to build an early lead. After finding a quick route through the Tongass National Forest, they must rappel down the waterfall and Dallas nearly slips off his rope. Meanwhile, Grady leaps from a 50-foot cliff to reach his Military teammates and gain ground in the race. The last-place Mountaineers have stopped to fish, believing the extra protein will give them an edge. And when a massive thunderstorm rolls in, they are forced to take shelter under their canoe. Preparing to cross the unpredictable waters of Stephens Passage, Team Endurance suffers a setback when their paddle goes missing. Team Woodsmen have constructed an outrigger for their canoe and are surging into the lead. Arriving first on Admiralty Island, they forge into the rain forest on foot. But when Jimmy takes a wrong step, the Woodsmen are brought to their knees.
Ultimate Survival Alaska is produced by Brian Catalina Entertainment for the National Geographic Channel. For Brian Catalina Entertainment, Brian Catalina is executive producer. For National Geographic Channel, Executive Producer is Robert Palumbo; Senior Vice President of Programming and Development is Alan Eyres; Executive Vice President of Programming is Heather Moran; and President is Howard T. Owens.
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