Life Below Zero Is Back–And Up Here, Summer Is All About Winter

When the Ice Melts, the Work Begins

With light returning across Alaska, our seasoned bush dwellers must venture across the thawing terrain, combating waking predators and unpredictable weather, to stake their claim on the limited summer harvest. The clock is ticking and the tasks surmounting, with each day bringing them closer to winter’s icy grip. The land is alive and there is no rest for those who choose a life in the extreme wilderness of the Alaskan bush. A new season of Life Below Zero: Thaw Thaw returns tonight at 9/8c.

After recovering from collarbone surgery, Sue Aikens must venture back to Kavik to battle waking predators and thawing conditions to reclaim her business or risk losing her camp. Without power, heat, running water, and her Bobcat in disrepair, Sue is limited due to her injury and is forced to call in help, seeking out trusted family members to assist with the heavy lifting. With clients expected to arrive, Sue is under pressure to transform Kavik to a fully functioning business. And in order to sustain her subsistence lifestyle in Kavik, Sue must get back in the saddle, learning how to shoot a lefty rifle.

Kiwalik, AK, USA: The Hailstone family sets up camp in Kiwalik, AK.  (Photo Credit: BBC Worldwide/David Lovejoy)
Kiwalik, AK, USA: The Hailstone family sets up camp in Kiwalik, AK.

The Hailstone family returns to the Kiwalik and must work together to re-build their summer home due to recent flooding. With caribou migrating near camp, they try their hand at pursuing the herd along the thawing landscape. Due to the lack of fish, the family seeks the opportunity to search for protein in the form of seagull eggs. The family’s eldest son Jon heads out to the Kiwalik to help them source seal oil on the ice flows of the Kotzebue Sound. But stormy weather and high winds have the Hailstones battening down the hatches and harvesting vital supplies before they hunker down to wait out the weather.

Chandalar, AK, USA: Glenn Villeneuve treks through the woods in Chandalar, AK.

In the Brooks Range, Glenn Villeneuve hunts along the thawing lake in search of passing ducks gathering in the moats, forced to create a new retrieval system to avoid the icy waters or risk losing his newly harvested meat. Thawing terrain opens up the path to an old trappers cabin where Glenn harvests valuable materials and repurposes the tools for use while away from his homestead. In preparation for fall, Glenn braves the treacherous peaks and high winds to scout sheep and build a remote campsite. Spring break up on the lake forces Glenn to seek out a new area rich in resources, setting his canoe out on it’s first venture of the summer season before heading out to Fairbanks to spend time with his family.

Nenana, AK, USA: Jessie Holmes takes his newly refurbished boat for a ride in Nenana, AK.

Jessie Holmes, a lone musher along the Nenana River, must work tirelessly throughout the summer season in order to prepare for the long winter ahead for him and his dog team. With the river navigable, his first task is to get his boat seaworthy before the summer fish run begins. In order to sustain his competitive mushing team, he must build a remote fishing camp using locally collected resources to secure his spot on the river. Jessie battles low tide waters, working alone to get his old beaten down fish wheel in the water before it’s land locked and unable to be used. And with the wheel in disrepair, he sets a fish net in hopes of collecting a vital summer food source, as he awaits the impending chum salmon run.

Later this season, Erik Salitan tests his hand at a new skill–hunting using a traditional bow and arrow in search of spring black bear. The couple divides and conquers, with Martha Mae Salitan taking to the waterways of Iliamna to harvest timely spring resources available. Working together before the start to their busy fishing season ahead, they must source a viable location to secure a fresh catch for themselves and the livelihood of their business before the salmon season hits.

Don’t miss the season premiere of Life Below Zero: The Resurrection tonight at 9/8c.


  1. Jim
    November 24, 2015, 9:59 pm

    Is it legal for Glen to “Arkansas” ducks off the water? Do people on the show need hunting licenses? Thank you.

  2. SallyDuluthMN
    Duluth, Minnesota
    March 28, 7:24 pm

    How did/does Glen get butter and/or margarine up there? In tonite’s episode, which is an old re-run, he bakes a loaf of bread, and then has a slice, warm with butter/margarine clearly in evidence.