Education and Communications

Through The Gauntlet – Behind The Scenes | Life Below Zero

NARRATOR: We are here
to document the lives of people living in Alaska. The harsh reality is the
environment we’re up against. It makes it tough to do our job. Get out of there! NARRATOR: Working on “Life Below
Zero” can be very dangerous. Gun’s here. Camera’s here. Never know what to expect. ALASKAN 1: Hey, hey! You [bleep] that. NARRATOR: It’s
going to be tough, but we’re going to get the shot. Every scenario, we’ve
got to prepare for this. ALASKAN 2: But
we’re still smiling. We’re having fun. Still making “Life Below Zero.” Yes. Bring it on. [theme music] TERRY PRATT: Well,
we’re back at Andy’s. Now we got to get
the necessities for us, which is some heat. We’re expecting temperatures
anywhere from minus 20, 30. When it gets this cold, you
burn a lot of wood to stay warm. BRET BOHN: We’re going
to drop this tree right down there is the
plan, in between these two big spruces here. TERRY PRATT: You don’t want
to just cut down any tree. You need to find a good
dead tree, that standing dead tree which is nice dry wood
which will burn like a monster. [chain saw revving] [bleep] This is not good. TERRY PRATT: What are you doing? It’s kind of leaning
towards that crotch there. TERRY PRATT: Oh, [bleep]. Oh, it’s going to
have enough weight. It’s going to punch
right through it, bro. I’m going to try to cut
it over here and leave all the wood over here
and try to put it right where I want it, though. TERRY PRATT: All right. [chain saw revving] There it is. Yeah, buddy. Timber. Well, I got it on that side. Yeah, you did. Boom. Took it down. And that literally,
that one tree is going to keep us going
for probably nearly a week. It depends how cold it gets. TERRY PRATT: So Bret just
felled quite a big tree. He’s bucking it up now until
like eight foot lengths. I’m going to pull
the snowmobile around and just start loading it up. And we hope to get
it 3, 4 feet high. Before we can get comfy
and start our filming here, we need to be able to have
enough heat to maintain us for a couple of days, at least,
before we have to stop again and replenish our supplies. I think Andy’s going
to be impressed. That’s all I have to say. As you can see, one tree
really does the job, huh, Bret? We aren’t even done
with that tree, right? Another load like
this, probably. No, we do. We have another
load [inaudible].. It was hard work,
knee deep in the snow, and hefting these
logs on your shoulders and moving them around. At least we can
start up a roaring fire right when we get back. It’s cold. It’s unpredictable. And we don’t know what
we’re going to get here. This is the challenge
of working in the Arctic. SIMEON HOUTMAN: We are
currently in [inaudible].. We’re out filming Sue as she
takes her generator to Chevak. This is the crew one that
we’re filming in right now. But we’ve literally
got three miles in and we’ve just got it stuck. So it’s going to
be a long journey. But first things first. We’re going to need to help
get this thing unstuck. It’s cold out. Warm up, boys. As you can see, we
are pretty much stuck. We have come out
with two tuckers. This is the river right here. And we just sunk into
some serious overflow. So Sue’s the one
who is going to have to try and get us out
right now because obviously we ain’t going nowhere. That’s pretty deep. Actually, not entirely
sure whether it was going to get out at all. The wind’s picking up. It’s about minus 15 right now. They need to get it out of here
before it freezes in there. Otherwise, it ain’t
moving at all. There’s a big rush
against time right now. So they’re going to try and
dig out all the excess snow and going to get
it out there quick. See all this overflow? If it freezes, it ain’t moving. [dramatic music] Wahoo! We got it out. Freaking awesome. Look at that hole it made. That’s a sinkhole right there. ROB POLLARD: So
just a few minutes ago, this was fully submerged. So it got a bunch of snow
piled up inside this track. You got to free this up so
that this thing could move and the track could do its job. All that snow is off this track. They’ll have roughly 70
miles to go in this journey. So hopefully, we’ll just be
able to carry on to Chevak, pray that we don’t run
into any more overflow or any other obstacles. Last thing you want is to be
stuck in the middle of nowhere. Hopefully, we can just
keep chugging along and get to Chevak and
finish out our story.
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