Episode 8: “The Ascent”
Episode 7 ended with Justin ready to ascend a nearby mountain on day 22 in honor of the 22 veterans a day that commit suicide in this country. His hope by climbing to the top of the nearby mountain is to give all veterans hope — to never give up.
“Why wilderness? Because we like the taste of freedom, because we like the smell of danger.” -Edward Abbey
5 People Remain
- Jose Martinez Amoedo
- Nicole Apelian
- David McIntyre
- Justin Vititoe
- Larry Roberts
As Episode 8 Begins…
David shows off his fun side and jokes about how cool it would be to have a lightsaber as a tool or a weapon on Vancouver Island. The conversation quickly turns serious as he talks about missing loved ones. He then checks his gill net and realizes he has no fish. He spots a large log in the water and tries to move the log away from his gill net, but due to low energy he has a difficult time.
Jose has completed his boat and uses a tarp to complete the ‘skin’ of the boat. As he is attaching the tarp he discusses what wilderness survival means to him. He then expresses his concern that he may be missing the last salmon run and finishing the boat in time is crucial.
Justin has started his climb to the top of the nearby mountain. He struggles with the landscape of the mountain with fallen limbs and the slick ground. At one point his foot becomes caught in between two rocks and he suffers a slight knee injury. Despite the mishap, he shows great determination and presses on. After climbing 1,300 feet he makes it to the top. The following scene was an emotional one as he looks into the camera and speaks directly to the veterans who may watching. His words of encouragement “to never give up hope” and “to keep fighting” transcended deeply to every viewer of Alone that night.
Nicole takes advantage of the break in the rain to check her gill net. She spots a male black bear close by. The bear makes it to the gill net before Nicole and starts to sniff around. The bear quickly loses interest in the net and starts to walk in Nicole’s direction, but decides to go back in the woods.
As Episode 8 Continues…
Justin is gearing up and getting ready for moving day. If you recall, in Episode 7, Justin discovers standing water throughout his shelter. He is now moving to a dryer, more elevated location. As he disassembles his shelter he talks about how climbing the mountain gave him a ‘recharge’ to keep going.
Nicole finds another big salmon in her gill net and makes breakfast. She then goes exploring for edible and medicinal plants. On her walk she discovers evidence of recent bear activity — a half eaten fish and bear tracks. She then heads to a nearby creek and discovers salmon spawning in the water. She continues her forage and discovers more edible and medicinal plants. Nicole talks about the benefits of knowing these local plants and how beneficial it has been for her journey on Alone thus far. The following morning she discovers yet another salmon in her gill net, but decides to let it go due to her having enough food to last her throughout the day.
David awoke to both of his gill nets destroyed by the rough waters during the night. He then makes a successful attempt to repair one of the gill nets. As he puts the net back into the water he discusses the importance of not taking food for granted – how the average Ame-rican family throws away more food in a day then what he has consumed in the three weeks he has been on Vancouver Island. Later in the day, he discovers yet another issue with one of the gill nets: another heavy log has floated towards the shore and has landed on top of one of the nets. David talks about the lack of food and how he misses his kids — the reason why he refuses to give up.
Jose discovers a sea lion bone that has been in the water for quite some time, which made the bone soft enough to carve out to make a needle. He then uses the needle to sew and finish attaching the ‘skin’ (tarp) to the completed boat frame.
For more information on how you can help veterans transitioning to civilian life, click here.
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