After the long harsh winter, spring breakup strikes, bringing rising temperatures and mounting challenges for remote Alaskans. The thaw marks the start of the most taxing time of year in Alaska. Those living off the grid must work there hardest to hunt, gather, and harvest vital resources before the freeze takes hold again.
On the North Slope, Sue Aikens has survived her first year as owner of Kavik River Camp, but the thaw has thrown her and her business new obstacles. As temperatures rise, Sue must battle floodwaters that threaten her equipment and her most profitable season before it even begins. In order to harvest and protect her own food source from nearby predators, Sue creates a housing for her first crop. And with the late caribou migration, Sue must seek out new areas and game to fill her freezer for winter.
Chip & Agnes Hailstone move their family south to summer camping grounds on the Kiwalik River. An early breakup on the river has The Hailstone family seizing every opportunity to stack fresh camp meat. The family looks to the skies as well as the river to harvest a variety of food for survival. Tingmaq and Idi, the older of the Hailstone girls, pass down subsistence knowledge to their younger sisters, as they work together in hopes of yielding enough bounty to feed their family over the coming winter.
Andy and Kate have survived the Yukon River breakup, but the work to sustain their remote homestead has only begun. Springtime projects begin, the first being to secure a working shelter from the elements and a fence to protect their vital yearly crop. A spring black bear interrupts Andy amidst a back-saving build. Changes on the Yukon River create new challenges for the remote couple, forcing them to try an untested fishing method to sustain their main food source. In order to continue to build their dream home, Andy and Kate must rely on the river for their building resources. Nature’s obstacles test their will to continue their projects, but the dream must live on.
Glenn Villeneuve is faced with the obstacles inherent of break-up on the lake and is forced to carve a new path in order to find spring food sources. Having no modern conveniences, Glenn must travel the high mountains and surrounding valleys completely on foot. Icy cold waters and limited resources, has Glenn attempting a more traditional means of fishing in a new area. In continuing his life of solace in the Brooks Range, Glenn must build upon his camp, using only hand tools and sheer labor, in order to sustain his most basic needs for survival in preparation of the oncoming freeze.
Erik Salitan and his new wife, Martha Mae, are living in Iliamna, an area largely populated with grizzly bears, newly awake due to spring. With a limited time before his guiding season begins, Erik must venture out on his first predator hunt of the spring season. In order to survive his new climate, Erik must adapt to a new means of acquiring fresh catch by boating on a nearby river, as him and Martha work together to acquire their much needed stock of food.
Tune in to the season premiere of Life Below Zero: The Thaw tonight at 9/8c.