On tonight’s episode of “Life below Zero,” those who live above and below the Arctic Circle experience different lifestyles, but nonetheless, they all love their way of life and are happy in this extreme environment. This episode is titled “Falling Apart” and begins in Noorvik, 19 miles north of the Arctic Circle where the Hailstones are preparing to hunt for caribou. Their son Jon is coming with them. They need meat to sustain them for the winter and large animals like caribou will help fill their freezer.
At the Kavik River Camp, 197 miles north of the Arctic Circle Sue Aikens is saying good-bye to her last clients before the winter leaving her totally alone. She has a lot of work to do before the night becomes a long period of darkness. She needs 48 barrels of fuel to keep her warm for the winter and must inspect every barrel to verify there are no leaks. In the protected environment, a fuel spill is not allowed.
In Nenana by the river 138 miles south of the Arctic Circle, Jesse Holmes must catch fish to feed his dogs for the long winter. He is using the fish wheel and putting up a gate to steer the fish into the wheel.
In Chandalar, 65 miles north of the Arctic Circle, Glenn Villeneuve must go to where he killed a moose for his winter food supply. If he does not bring it back, scavengers will devour it. He has his sled to bring it back today, but must be vigilant to be sure there are no predators in the area. As his sled is gliding through the icy terrain, it gets away and nearly runs him over. He applies the brake and keeps it in check.
Jesse comes to the fish wheel to see what he caught, and the jackpot is a lot of fish. He needs about eighteen a day to feed the dogs. It is a lot of work, but it is something he loves and so do the dogs.
Sue has checked all 48 barrels, now she must fill them with fuel. Her Bobcat is starting to smell like something is burning. She refills the oil and notices the anti-freeze is leaking.
Glenn has his moose meat back in camp but must put it high enough so the predators cannot reach it. Jesse is building a new rack to keep the fish high above the ground, but suddenly the racks fall with nearly a thousand fish hitting the ground. Now he has to secure the racks, so they do not fall again.
Sue counts her years in winters that she is surviving. She must get the barrels filled even though the Bobcat is running hot. In Noorvik, the Hailstones have arrived at a familiar hunting spot. The ice on the river is thick in some spots and thicker in others. Chip takes another route rather than take a chance on needing more fuel. They realize that the caribou will not be crossing where the ice is, so they will return tomorrow.
Glenn is cooking some of the moose steaks and needs the fat to keep him warm. He put a lot of work into getting this meal, which made him enjoy it more. Jesse must keep working to get the fish racks back up when he hears a tree cracking. If it falls on his fish rack, it will be a disaster. He diverts the tree from falling on his camp and chops it up for more stability for the racks.
The Hailstones are back out, but Agnes is not feeling well and remains in camp. They are heading home because they did not see any caribou. Nature is in charge; Chip knows not to get upset because this is the way it goes when hunting. Sue has just filled the last barrel that will give her heat for the long winter on this episode of “Life Below Zero.”