Segments in this Video

Aspiring to Isolation (03:23)


Grace and Christine plan to live in Svalbard indefinitely, hoping to move off grid into the remote wilderness; they attempt mastery of arctic survival skills. She has been training for the Trappers Trail race for weeks.

Aging and Arguing (04:46)

Wiggo asserts that people cannot be buried in Svalbard due to permafrost; his doctor has recommended he quit smoking, triggering conversation about mortality. He receives a vape pipe in the mail; he and Claudia banter as they piece it together.

Racing Disappointment (02:53)

One of Christine and Grace’s dogs injures a leg; they express disappointment at not being able to participate in Trappers Trail. Their lead, Frantz, is older and will not be able to run next year; she discusses how dead pets go to landfill, and considers allowing his skin and fur to be used for clothing.

Death and Injury (03:36)

Medical Constultant Doctor Martin explains that buried corpses are eventually pushed above ground by permafrost; no one is supposed to die in Svalbard, but be transferred to the mainland. He works in Longyearbyen hospital and recalls treating conditions specific to the arctic.

Trappers Trail: Course and Start (05:31)

Christine and Grace volunteer to marshal for the dog sledding event, requiring that they stay overnight at the halfway point. She assists friends with preparing their team. The 70 kilometer race takes two days; 25 teams compete in different classes.

Emergency Training (05:01)

Doctor Martin discusses challenges of working under extreme conditions and with limited resources; the nearest mainland hospital is over 1000 kilometers away. He participates in a helicopter rescue drill and describes similarly saving a fisherman from a small island.

Trappers Trail: First Leg (05:02)

Grace and Christine snowmobile to the race’s halfway point and prepare for arrivals; they put up a tent and argue. The first sleds arrive; her friends are leading their class. The dogs roll in the snow to cool themselves and eat whale meat.

Fourth Generation Svalbard (03:02)

Wiggo and Claudia prepare to watch the last leg of Trappers Trail; she struggles with donning her snowsuit. He describes his employment background in Army reconnaissance and his family history; his ancestors were among the first to settle in the area.

Injured at Sea (03:31)

Doctor Martin tends to an emergency patient, a woman that has broken her arm on a cruise. He does not have resources to operate; he gives her pain medication and pulls the fracture into position. He applies a transport cast, recommending surgery when she reaches the mainland.

Trappers Trail: Longyear Glacier (05:49)

The dog sledding race’s final leg includes a 640 meter climb up Longyearbyen pass, testing participant endurance. Christine and Grace marshal, clearing spectators from the trail. Wiggo and Claudia snowmobile to the perfect viewing place, cheering teams as they struggle up the course.

Trappers Trail: Finish Line (02:58)

Dog sledding teams reach the homestretch of the 70 kilometer race; all arrive exhausted. Crowds gather to cheer them on; Christine discusses the community and unique lifestyle in Svalbard. Her friends finish in second place.

Credits: People Die Here (00:32)

Credits: People Die Here

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Ice Town - Life On The Edge: People Die Here

Part of the Series : Ice Town - Life On The Edge
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
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Christine and her lead dog Frantz prepare for the Trappers Trail, Svalbard's biggest dog sled race. Sixty-six-year-old taxi driver Wiggo is aiming to quit smoking tobacco with the help of an e-cigarette. Doctor Martin Eckhardt explains how his small team has dealt with frostbite, polar bear attacks, and emergency rescues.

Length: 48 minutes

Item#: BVL187637

ISBN: 978-1-64867-159-3

Copyright date: ©2016

Closed Captioned

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