The History Channel has taken six of Onlystrongest participants and challenged them to survive 50 days in the icy wilderness of Labrador, Canada, the setting for Only season nine – para Solo: Frozen. The new Only spin-off has a few twists that set it apart from the series that spawned it, the most notable being that the survivors are dropped in the desert later in the season than in any season of Only.
The survivors have very little time to explore their areas and build adequate shelters before the devastating cold of the North Atlantic winter arrives. Also, instead of a single winner, any participant in Solo: Frozen Whoever survives 50 days will share in the $500,000 cash prize. The six trying to hang on are Greg Ovens (season three), Woniya Thibeault (season six), Callie Russell (season seven), Mark D’Ambrosio (season seven), Amós Rodríguez (season seven), and Michelle Finn (season eight).
In addition to rain and winds, survivors will face the threat of polar bears and black bears that call the area home.
Here is a summary of Solo: Frozen first episode of the first season, “50 Day Freeze”, airing on August 11, 2022. The season begins with six survivors, and by the end of the first episode, only five are attempting to make it to 50 days.
There are spoilers ahead, you have been warned!
Callie Russell, 34, Montana – Season 7, survived 89 days
49 days left: Callie doesn’t want to complain, but her camp will be in a north-facing location. Across the bay, she can see the sun hitting the hills, but her area will be cold all the time. She was hoping to see the sun from time to time, but it’s not going to happen.
Callie learned a lot about herself and the earth in season seven. She was ready to stay the whole time, but she had frostbite on all four of her toes and had to leave before irreversible damage was done.
She raises goats and is happy now, but she had a difficult time as a child after the death of two of her brothers. She realized that we only have a short life to live, and she vowed to live it fully for her and her siblings.
Immediately after being dropped off, explore the area and spot a game trail along with a huge pile of bear poop. Given that there are 10,000 black bears in Labrador, it’s a guarantee that one is nearby. Anyone who kills a bear will be able to last the 50 days. Black bear meat is a good source of protein, but more importantly, it’s loaded with fat.
Tonight, he’ll have to sleep near the bear trail because he doesn’t have time to find a better spot before dark.
48 days left: a squirrel screeches and Callie jokes that it’s her alarm. Her plan is to explore the land for fresh water and a decent place for her to shelter. She loves to scavenge and does more than hunt. She trips over a piece of wood and uses it as a cutting board. Callie also finds some rope.
Callie once existed for a year with no cuts of meat to be thrown away. She is used to surviving with what others throw away and with run over animals.
He finds what he thinks is the perfect little clearing surrounded by trees to build his shelter. There is no time to waste doing it. Wind chill and humidity will make it feel colder than the Arctic.
47 days left: Callie warns viewers not to panic and turns the camera to the ocean where a humpback whale splashes. (Labrador has the largest population of humpback whales in the world.) That’s great, but she needs to focus on getting food and going for a walk.
Since it is low tide, he hopes to collect algae and clams. He slips a bit while walking through the seaweed and then scares away some crows. They fly away and leave behind a large piece of sealskin. It still has some fat on it and he wonders if this is what’s left of a killer whale’s seal meal. It still smells fresh, and he goes to work cutting it up into little pieces.
Callie puts the seal on the fire and makes seal blubber soup for dinner. She takes a sip and immediately reacts with, “Wow, that’s pure fat!” She doesn’t taste stale, and she decides it’s pretty good. Callie notes that fat is the hardest thing to find and she has already found a lot.
Amos Rodríguez, 41, Indiana – Season 7, survived 58 days
49 days to go: The sun is already preparing to set when Amos is dropped off, so he is forced to set up a quick temporary shelter. Amos caught a lot of fish in season seven, but no big game. He was forced to tap because his fat stores were depleted. Also, he accidentally burned down his shelter.
He believes his time in season seven was transformational and he has grown as a person. Amos has a young daughter and his goal is to create a better future for her.
Shelter, fire, water, and food are the basics needed to survive in Alone, but the show is so much more than that. The first night he lights a fire as he explains that he hopes to be a good example and role model.
48 days left: Amos has collected a pot full of clams to cook while working in his shelter. He keeps an eye out for the hunt as he gathers supplies for his shelter. A bird catches his attention and he shoots. He hits it, but manages to fly into a tree with his arrow.
He sees some feathers and follows them, as they tell us that ptarmigan meat has six times more protein and 10 times more iron than chicken soup. He feels sorry for the bird, but he has to give up to go back to work on finding the place for him to shelter.
This area receives 13 feet of snow, so it’s important for all survivors to set up decent shelter.
Amos’ daughter, Mitzi, is turning four and he wishes he could be there to help her celebrate. But he is on the show to work on becoming the best version of himself.
46 days left: It is raining as Amos sits under his tarp. His shelter is not finished and he is still thinking about the bird and hoping that he is not suffering.
His plan for the day is to check his 12 traps and hunt. Amos explains that he has found much healing in the past when he went for a walk while hunting.
One of his traps caught a snowshoe hare that he will cook for lunch. Amos likes to have a connection to his food, and hunting gives him that connection. He believes that he is more ethical this way.
He cooks the rabbit and describes it as tasting like chicken.
Mark D’Ambrosio, 36, Washington – Season 7, survived 44 days
49 days left: Mark has fallen on a beach with swamps and notices that everything around him is wet. He realizes that he will have to be patient and knows that this will be one of the hardest things he has ever done.
Mark remembers getting to a point on day 35 of season seven where he wasn’t having a great time. However, a parasite that got into his heart and other organs is what ultimately caused him to drop out of the competition and nearly killed him.
Mark is a veteran who served in the Marine Corps as a scout sniper. Now, he is a father with a three-year-old son. He’s doing this season to show his son that he shouldn’t give up and he sees this season as redemption.
The elements are dangerous and the area is known for its polar bears. “But I don’t want to die doing the bare minimum my whole life,” says Mark. He wants to challenge himself, but he will take things slowly so as not to make mistakes.
On his first night, he sets up a crude shelter and announces that his goal is to see how quickly he can build his true shelter over the next few days. As she speaks, wolves can be heard howling in the distance.
45 days left: Mark insists he shouldn’t go anywhere without waterproof pants, and the area gets more than 3 feet of precipitation each year. His area is full of swamps and it’s time to go out and find the best place to set up his shelter. He realized that he can’t compare how fast he built his shelter in season seven to this season because it’s a completely different environment. This area is much more unforgiving.
He heads to higher ground and finds an area large enough to set up his shelter. First, he’s going to clean everything. It will be a lot of work, but he plans to build a triangular hut that can keep the bears out and that he can smoke inside.
Mark wants to enjoy his time this season and sees success as being happy.
He busies himself with cutting down trees for his cabin and starts working on the walls as he confesses that it’s not easy leaving his family behind. She feels different this time. In season seven, her shelter had an amazing view, sunny days, and plenty of fresh water.
Here, you can’t see much other than willows. He is not sure what he expected and, although being in nature is calm, he is already thinking about going home. He’s gotten to that point right now where he really just wants to be with his family and gives up.
Mark didn’t expect to get out of this so quickly, but since he’s not having much fun, he doesn’t want to be away from his son. He is going to withdraw from all this ridiculousness and leave the house for long trips.
Mark doesn’t see it as giving up, but as starting a new chapter.