What You Missed on Ultimate Survival Alaska: Over the Falls

WARNING SPOILERS! If you haven’t watched episode three, stop reading now!

In the third leg of Season Two, the teams are dropped into Turner Lake at a remote corner of Tongass National Forrest. Once across the lake, the teams will have cross thick forest, waterfalls, and navigate the rough open waters of Steven’s Passage to reach the extraction landing zone on Admiralty Island.

Endurance is still smarting from not having a win and determined to grab and keep a lead in this leg. It’s a nice thought, but Military finds an immediate advantage. Using a trek pole and snow shoes to make a third paddle, the extra manpower gives them a narrow lead.

The Woodsmen decide to take it slow and easy, banking on the fact that another team might make a disastrous decision that gives them the lead. (And maybe jinxed themselves by saying this.) Mountaineers, in last place, decide it’s more important to wet a fishing line and energize with some protein. Fortunately, they can do it from the shore. It would be best if Marty to didn’t shoot another boat. Meanwhile, they aren’t the only ones worrying about keeping their boats in one piece.

THE MOUNTAINEERS manage to keep their boat intact this episode.
THE MOUNTAINEERS manage to keep their boat intact this episode.

Endurance is staring down a canoe-smashing waterfall. Dallas decides to rappel down first, setting a line to send down the canoe. Easing down the seventy foot drop while being pummeled by water is no easy feat. The team watches in horror as Dallas takes a slip and has a bad fall. Fortunately, Dallas is close to the bottom and when he finds himself unscathed, shakes it off.

Meanwhile, Military takes a big gamble on one of the waterfalls. Rather than lower the canoe down, Rudy suggests they throw it over to save time. It may be the only way to regain the lead, so Jared and Grady think good thoughts and chuck the canoe, which amazingly survives whole.

On Day Two Endurance holds onto first place with Military bringing in a close second. The Woodsmen are in third, but use their pack rafts to make an outrigger for the canoe, giving it more stability for ocean paddling. With a solid canoe, they are looking like they’ll quickly catch up. Military, looking to scout a route to Steven’s Passage, sends Grady up a steep cliff for a bird’s eye view. His slow and careful climb takes time they don’t have to lose, which becomes apparent when they realize that The Mountaineers are paddling up fast. Grady makes a split second decision to leap from the cliff into the water. (Just watching it will make you shiver.) He swims for the boat and for a moment they stay ahead.

Day Three leaves the four teams in a tight race to the extraction point. First place Endurance and second place Moutaineers are taking a longer, but faster route to the LZ while close behind, third place Military and fourth place Woodsmen take a direct but difficult route through dense forest. Unfortunately for Endurance, the tide takes one of their paddles. Going in circles won’t get them anywhere, so they find a piece of driftwood that they  craft into a makeshift second paddle and hit the water.

Finding themselves "up the creek without a paddle" TEAM ENDURANCE crafts a new one.
Finding themselves “up the creek without a paddle” TEAM ENDURANCE crafts a new one.

The Woodsmen are quickly taking the lead on the way to the LZ with their gussied up canoe. They are the first to hit Admiralty Island. However, the dense forest they choose to bushwhack through proves too much for Jimmy. He takes a nasty fall, twisting his knee so badly that he can no longer walk. The team agonizes over what to do, but there is no choice but to call for Jimmy to be extracted. There are hugs and tears, but we all know that it’s game over for The Woodsmen.

Floundering with their makeshift paddle, The Endurance Team watches in frustration as The Mountaineers blast past. Using their lead, The Mountaineers are the first to an old railroad cart which they use to speed their canoe to the other side of the mountains. Endurance has the same plan, Sean can run ahead and bring back the cart. Sean is not amused that Marty has hidden the cart in the brush, but at least he finds it.

It looks like it could be any of the remaining three team’s race, but it’s The Military who gets the bear barrel full of snacks and takes first place. The Mountaineers pull up close behind. Endurance arrives with only minutes to spare and plenty of frustration in third.

As the plane arrives, the teams realize that The Woodsmen aren’t going to make it, but Alaska is hard and unforgiving place. Marty notes that it’s a humble reminder that any of them could be taken off the board at any time.

So will the remaining three teams survive the next leg? With the competitors facing jagged peaks, snow-covered glaciers and deadly canyon crossings, anyone could make a mistake. Tune in to Ultimate Survival Alaska: Climb From Hell on Sunday, January 5 9PM et/pt and don’t miss it!


  1. Guy Owens
    Thorne Bay, AK
    December 30, 2013, 5:56 pm

    Really! Shoot an ‘obviously already dead’ Halibut in the bottom of a boat. How did the Producers talk that Marty fellow into that? Or, is he as big an idiot as the producers? I watch the show for laughs.

  2. nancy
    December 30, 2013, 10:11 pm

    the military team used 2 different boats- one of the canoes had a square stern (the start and end of the trip), but that wasn’t the canoe that they threw over the waterfall. What’s up with that?

  3. Charlie frisby
    S.E Alaska
    December 31, 2013, 2:34 am

    I understand reality shows need to be somewhat realistic, but don’t embarrass us with Caucasians trying to live like us. I’ve grew up on prince of whales island and would love to see anybody follow my cousins and I on a hunt. It’s definitely not for the week!

  4. Bill Wise
    January 1, 2014, 10:20 pm

    Why was the Military canoe switched out for the drop over the waterfall? That was not the canoe that they started with or ended with. What gives? Not really trustworthy.

  5. Gary O
    January 2, 2014, 12:26 pm

    There are way too many inconsistencies. This is so scripted which is unfortunate because the concept of the show is great and it would be awesome to watch even if it wasn’t scripted. I don’t even know where to begin, so many things are scripted it’s ridiculous.

  6. SNumber6
    New Jersey
    January 5, 2014, 10:10 pm

    Last year Marty just happens to find people who need horses transported to the LZ … This year just happens to find some who wants a boat transported to the LZ … and tonight … just so happens to find skis … scripted ?? Unless one is gullible

  7. Katherine
    Florida USA
    January 6, 2014, 3:50 am

    On episode 05jan2014, it looked like a gravesite was desecrated at a mountaintop for skies, etc for a CONTEST!? If true, I’m very disappointed in NatGeo’s and participant’s morals.

  8. David
    New Hampshire
    January 6, 2014, 12:59 pm

    I have been an avid follower since the beginning (season one). I liked season one better, than the current season, because there was comradelier between participants and I think less staged segments. This season, episode two in particular, with the whole “found” boat segment, with PFD’s and paddles, on a remote beach with the owner not around seems a little scripted? Season two does nothing for me, very boring and predictable so far. Shame on you Nat Geo, you can do a lot better and keep it real!

  9. Brooks
    Anderson sc
    January 10, 2014, 10:27 pm

    This show is so unrealistic I can’t believe there is even a discussion. These guys are paid actors and they’re not very good at it. Somebody will comment and say how tough they are and how dumb I am because Dallas won the iditarod but that’s just a dogsled race. The dogs are tough but any Alaskan would last longer than Dallas on this show if it was real and so would a country boy like me

  10. Mike
    August 23, 2014, 2:42 pm

    I want to see a season 3. At the end on the 2nd season, Jared on the military team said he wanted a rematch. I wonder if they are gonna do a season 3 with the same teams from season 2.

  11. Tiffany
    February 9, 2015, 1:42 am

    I am so happy for team Lower 48 to finally get ride of Sweeny. He has been the most negative, demeaning, ungrateful, lazy, unmotivated, non-team player I’ve ever heard speak on any reality TV show ever. I know they are really struggling right now with the moral, but I think with Sweeny gone no matter what happens from here on out they will be 110% better off without him. I don’t even know how he made it on the show. He is NOT an example of a wilderness survivalist. With the positive attitude that has been shown by Cluck & Kasha I’ll be sending my prayers to them to keep up their spirits. They are true examples of what team members should be doing no matter how bad the situation is they continue to have a positive outlook even when it seems impossible. Good luck Lower 48 & just remember you guys are more then 110% better without him. Good luck!!!

  12. Tiffany
    February 9, 2015, 1:50 am

    Oh and I’m not saying to start a fight or make you feel like you may not be able to make it on this show, but Brooks they may be paid to do this show, but that doesn’t mean they are not who they say they are or have not accomplished more than you probably have, but have a little respect considering they are real people & have accomplished more than you have I’m sure. If your so great & have done so much why couldn’t or didn’t you apply to be a contestant if your so tough & have accomplished so much more then all the people on the show? You can’t talk the talk until you can prove you can walk the walk..just saying.