A New Season of Life Below Zero: The Thaw Premieres Tonight!

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.


  1. Vera Smith
    Vista, Ca. 92084
    November 5, 2014, 12:45 am

    I have waited to watch the new season of Life Below Zera. To my disappointment it did not come on my Direct TV. I am so disgusted with Direct tv and I certainly plan to find a cable company that will show it. HAD SAD, Direct TV lied.

  2. Vera Smith
    November 5, 2014, 12:48 am

    What happened to LIFE BELOW ZERO tonight the 4th of November 9:oo PM????

  3. Mada & Lee
    November 5, 2014, 1:04 am

    Love watching every single one of them, so much challenges.So interest in the different seasons that they deal with. How they survive, hunt and preserve.

  4. Lloyd Norris
    November 5, 2014, 2:43 pm

    SUE AIKENS,,, lived in New River Arizona as a child and had neighbors AIKENS and I knew a SUe….am currently watching you all the time.. YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION,, and you have my support….. go girl..Lloyd from arizona

  5. RIchard Alexander
    United States
    November 6, 2014, 11:14 pm

    Please, Chip Hailstone, stop all the talking to hear yourself talk. We’re not idiots out here we know what your doing. You don’t have to describe ever little detail of everything. Thanks!

    PS — Any chance of you getting your firearms back?

  6. Festivus Johnson
    November 14, 2014, 12:00 am

    As natives I would think that these people would have more appreciation for the animals that they take for food. You would think by watching them shoot caribou or seals that they are in a firefight with an enemy rather than hunting. I wonder how many caribou they shot and wounded before they dropped two. Same thing with them seal hunting in last seasons episodes, with one of the son’s, lots of indiscriminate shots. It appears that they could care less where the rounds land as long as they end up with what they want.

  7. Mary Tofstad
    November 14, 2014, 8:52 am

    Love the program and love the quote I believe Kate says on an ad for “Life Below Zero” and am looking for the correct wording. It goes something like-“we want to keep doing it until our bodies say otherwise and our souls drift down the river”. Is this correct?

  8. David Powell
    February 19, 2015, 2:38 pm

    How are Andy and Kate subsistence living? Sawmill, bulldozer, generators, extra $10,000 boat and tank to go get water, etc,etc,etc. I fast-forward through them every time. I have been by their spread and Eagle Village is far poorer but the traditionaI residents are more like the Hailstones. I could live like Glenn and would if my wife would go North, and I’ve pleaded for 30 years. But my child is grown and I didn’t just wander off selfishly to be with nature 9 months out of the year.
    The Hailstones get my vote for the show’s only truly subsistence dwellers. Sue is mostly solitary and relies on game for most of her food, but is not living by hunting and gathering for the winter ahead, since that season is her business season. Eric is a businessman who shoots all his own meat but runs a lucrative outdoor business. I love the show, never miss an episode, but I don’t have solitude and some hunting for free meat and trapping for some extra cash confused with subsistence life. Hurrah Hailstones!

  9. Jean O'Reilly
    Wayne, New Jersey
    May 2, 2015, 1:59 pm

    Not much of Kate? Wondering if she tired of Andy’s hissy fits.
    Love the show however I have more questions than are answered. How did Glenn get that 16′ foot extension ladder out there? Did he carry it the sixty miles he walks from to get there from the road?
    The Hailstones rock however the glee at killing everything they see is a little unsettling.

  10. Jenny Freedlund
    May 21, 2015, 8:50 pm

    Love watching “Life below Zero”, tonite is May 21st and we are not seeing Kate? Andy keeps talking about his dogs and he are alone? Did Kate have enough of him yelling at her?

  11. Kay Keith
    Claremore, OK
    June 11, 2015, 10:33 pm

    Kate left alright, guess she got tired of getting treated like a dog. No, actually he treated the dogs better than her. Just got tired of his bullshit.

  12. Marian Peyton
    Big Bear Lake, CA
    October 3, 2015, 5:05 pm

    Just love all you guys, and can’t wait until the new season. My favorite show on TV. Wish the season was longer, never want it to end. Stay safe and God bless.