What You Missed on Ultimate Survival Alaska: Deep Dark Woods

In the tenth leg of Ultimate Survival Alaska the three remaining teams land on Kodiak Island, the second largest island in the United States. The guys will have to fight their way through 37 miles of thick forest to reach the extraction landing zone at Deer Bay.

Endurance is once again in a must-win position. Fortunately, they are feeling strong, have plenty of food and are ready to give it all they’ve got. They plan to hug the coastline as long as possible before cutting across the island. Military and The Mountaineers immediately hit the game trails to cross the island.

Mountaineers and Military stumble onto a couple of locals who are subsistence hunting. By hunting with their new friends, the teams can pick up some protein of their own while helping the hunters put food on their tables for the winter. The two teams split up to hunt deer.

Meanwhile, Endurance finds themselves at the edge of a lake and they need to be on the other side. Rather than walking around and wasting precious time, they make a slippery crossing on mossy logs.  Dallas takes a spill and winds up soaked to the bone, but makes it to shore and the team keeps moving. They keep going as long as they can, but they need to get Dallas dry and warm.

Warming up is going to be a challenge. Dallas’ sleeping bag is sopping wet. So Dallas makes a cozy nest out of heated rocks and a sod blanket. This makeshift bed brings new meaning to taking a dirt nap, but it turns out to be plenty warm.

The other two teams are still on the hunt for black-tailed deer. Thomas takes a shot, but misses and his rifle jams. Elsewhere, Military soon discovers that they are the ones being hunted—by a giant bear. The team has to fire a warning shot, which scares off the bear, but also scatters the dear.

Mountaineers Cut through Game Trails Hoping to Hunt for Protein
Mountaineers Cut through Game Trails Hoping to Hunt for Protein

On day two, Military is out hunting once more and this time, Jared shoots a deer. The men immediately field dress the deer.  Local hunter, Dick, offers the guys the best cuts of meat, the loins and the back strap, citing Alaskan hospitality. The rest of the deer will feed Dick’s family. Having venison is a boon, but it also makes the team walking bear bait. (Check out how they keep their camp and meat safe for the night.)

The Mountaineers are still hunting, and haven’t had any luck… but at least they haven’t lost any time. The local hunter they are with gives them a heads up about a shortcut trail that is to sure to save them a lot of time. Just as they are about to part ways, Thomas stumbles on a deer, takes a shot and The Mountaineers have protein as well. Growing up as a subsistence hunter, Thomas is proud to help feed his team. (Watch the hunt.)

Endurance is maintaining their lead, but the other two teams aren’t that far behind. Endurance manages to find some food of their own on the run, as well, fresh water clams. Quickly gathering several pounds of clams, they are set for dinner.

On day three, Endurance remains in first, with Military in second and The Mountaineers in third. All three teams are charging in, contemplating how far they have come and what it will take to win.  Endurance is only five miles from the LZ, but find themselves looking over the edge of a cliff. Not wanting to waste time, they repel down without harnesses. The journey down is hairy and Dallas nearly takes a fall, but they make it to the bottom in one piece and hit the ground running.

The three teams reach the vicinity of the extraction zone at the same time. It’s a foot race to the finish, but again, it’s Endurance who reaches the bear barrel first. Inside the barrel is the best reward so far, donuts! Who wouldn’t sprint for donuts? Now all three teams are tied with three wins each. Whoever wins the final leg, wins the competition.

The last leg promises to be grueling as the teams navigate massive ice walls, raging rapids, waterfalls and an active volcano. Keep your eye on the leaderboard, vote for your favorite team and tune in next week March 2 at 10PM et/pt to Ultimate Survival Alaska: The Last Battle.


  1. Royal Hohl
    Kansas and Texas
    February 24, 2014, 2:31 pm

    Ultimate Survival Alaska is so heavily scripted that it has ruined the believability of the show. Nobody in their right mind is going to shoot a fish in the bottom of their boat with a .44 mag revolver or open a map on the side of a cliff in a windstorm. The teams and the race is so fake that I doubt they could survive 10 days in a fully stocked Wal-Mart store. I didn’t even need a script to predict every stupid move they were suppose to make. I have lost all the respect I have ever had for Nat Geo. I am 74 and crippled but I could acted out the “Scenes” so they were at least believable.

  2. Bill Corbin
    Tucson, Az
    February 24, 2014, 7:25 pm

    Really I’m supposed to believe an expert subsistence hunter (native Alaskan no less)sees a deer jumps up while his friends yell “get him” fakes a shot and surprise surprise misses. Then you show a Cow Elk running away. I guess you didn’t consider slow motion advance. You need new writers or at least ones who have spent time surviving and hunting. My wife laughs as I predict just about everything that is going to happen. Oh and I really don’t believe a real subsistence hunter would waist his tag to give away the meat that will keep his family alive for the winter. How much did you pay the guy? You started out being real then went Hollywood. Congrats on another scripted mostly fake show.

  3. eve
    February 24, 2014, 8:40 pm

    This show started off ok, but as it has progressed it is obvious that Team Endurance is slated to win because of Alaska’s “favorite son” Dallas Seaver. I also think the military team had to get rid of one of their teammates under the guise of breaking his (Rudy) ankle in order to give the other teams an edge. On the credits they name about 20 professional guides being on location. Yes, it’s fake and I bet donuts to dollars Team Endurance “wins”. Oh well..it is somewhat entertaining.

  4. Lee
    February 25, 2014, 4:53 pm

    I love how the deer had 2 points when he was viewing thru scope and then 4 to 5 points when they were getting the carcass. My son and I always poke fun how someone”falls” before every commercial.

  5. gary
    March 2, 2014, 10:04 pm

    There is no way Marty & the Mountaineers belong on this show no matter how scripted. What qualifies him? Being stupid? Shooting a hole in the boat, screaming when stuck in quicksand, yelling when a teammate is trying to shoot. The military team saved the Mountaineers when one was swept away by the river even though the mountain men caused an avalanche with the military below them then actually thought they deserved to win that leg. Not a good representation of native Alaskans. Wouldn’t hire these a##es to guide me out of a parking lot.

  6. Jeff Beeman
    Richmond, CA
    March 6, 2014, 11:34 pm

    OK, OK, it’s TV after all. There’s camera people all over the place that we don’t see, certainly there’s radios to call for help, some of the wildlife scenes are undoubtedly quick clips from other sources., etc. BUT – take it for what it’s worth – incredible scenery, some pretty gnarly feats of strength and hardship. Just skip through the manufactured drama and enjoy the shots of guys climbing vertical glacier walls. It’s a lot better than rotting your brain with the Kardashians. C’mon, people.

  7. Tommy
    August 30, 2014, 9:54 am

    Live it