On tonight’s episode of Discovery hit series The Last Alaskans, we see young cast member Charlie Jagow using a long ax to test the ice in the elbow of a river to cross safely and save a bit of time.
As he carefully walks the ice, he says: “So that’s right there it’s over six inches,” as he whacks the ice hard to see how deep it is and if he can go further on.
Charlie says: “Right now I’m crossing an elbow on the river just going cross-country… gonna cut down on the amount of area I gotta travel to get to the cabin. Cut it in half actually.”
The dangers are real.
He says: “Anytime you’re crossing a river for the first time on ice that you can’t visually see is quite solid you need to…you know… take the proper precautions. You gotta have a long pole in case you fall through to help keep you above the ice line so you don’t get washed underneath.”
He adds: “And then check the ice with an ax, check the depth. I guess I’d be lying if I said I don’t have fears. “
Explaining why he does this, Charlie says: “Obviously this isn’t an easy lifestyle. The old-timers who trapped and lived this lifestyle thirty, forty, even fifty years. They just had to endure it… so much struggle and effort in the past.”
He notes the legacy of the late Bob Harte. “There’s a lot of guys that don’t last in this game but Bob Harte did,” Jagow says.
Recalling some anecdote involving Harte, he says: “I always heard all these crazy stories about boat accidents falling through the ice with the snow machine. And he [Harte] didn’t ever seem to be down about having a really
really bad, hard luck.”
He says: “If there’s anything you can take away from that, its that living out here has its risks… but I think the risks are worth it.”
Charlie Jagow is in his early 20’s and is a true child of the Arctic, and as the youngest ANWR permit
Growing up in his parents’ rustic cabin on the eastern edge of Alaska National Wildlife Reserve, he is now building a cabin of his own.
Charlie also flies his own plane too and acts and seems many years older than his age.
Also on tonight’s gripping episode, in a mad dash to finish the trapping season, Heimo Korth discovers an amazing catch, a wolf.
Plus, Tyler takes on the challenge of getting their hunting cabin ready for next season.
The Last Alaskans airs Sunday at 10 p on Discovery.