Bear Grylls and Les Stroud are now facing the ultimate challenge to find out: Who is the ultimate survivor? Today, our heroes begin their journey.
Sapporo, Japan. It’s winter, as both men enter a large helicopter, bound for the wilderness of Northern Hokkaido, near the center of the island.
Pilot: Everyone check your gear! we’re gonna be heading down soon!
Bear: (to camera): Hokkaido is a beautiful landscape, but it’s also deadly. Of the 3 million people who visit the island each year, four need rescuing.
Les: That doesn’t sound very intimidating…
Bear: I wasn’t finished!
Les: Sorry, Shakespeare.
Bear: …And more than 100 tourists die from hypothermia, volcanic activity, bear attacks, the yakuza, and even Pokemon.
Les: Okay, now you’re just making s— up.
Bear: Maybe you won’t be laughing tonight, when I have Pikachu for dinner!
Les: Not sure that’s a good idea. Last I checked, Anime characters have no calories.
Bear: Sure they do! You just have to cook it right. They have top be one of the worst things I’ve ever tasted, though. Whats the worst thing you’ve ever tasted?
Les: Celine Di-
Bear: You know what, I probably don’t want to hear about that.
Pilot: You guys have to check your gear! We’re going down!
Bear: Right, right.
Les: Lessee. I’ve got, multitool, aboot…3 raisins, an extra pair of waterproof pants, and of course, my trusty harmonica.
Bear: What are you gonna do with that, annoy the fish to death?
Les: Them, no. You, maybe.
Pilot: 30 seconds, 100 feet from the ground!
Bear: Knife, check. Water, check. Flint, check. Parachute, check.
Bear: Yeah, why?
Les: Didn’t you hear the pilot?
Pilot: Five feet above the ground! Let’s go!
Bear: (climbs out helicopter, hangs on to edge, looks into camera) This is going to be my toughest survival challenge yet!
(blesses himself, jumps off skydive style with his back facing the ground)
(lands flat on his back five feet later)
(after three seconds, parachute deploys)
Les: Idiot. (nonchalantly walks out of helicopter, steps on Grylls’ stomach)
Bear: Um, they’re gonna bring another one…right?
Les: Dude, it’s the Discovery Channel. That helicopter was worth more than the entire network.
Bear: I guess we’re really alone now.
Cameraman #1: (waves for attention)
Les: You guys don’t count!
Our heroes are at the top of a cliff, 5,000 feet up a mountain side, 30 miles southwest of the Shiretoko Peninsula. The helicopter just crashed in a nearby lake; our heroes now have absolutely no backup. They are completely alone.
Bear: That’s what I just said! Be original for chrissakes!
Sorry about that.
Bear: (to camera) I’m off to find my bearings. I’m just gonna use a few of these cords to hunt or fish, but I’ve got to get to that ledge 2 miles away. That’ll give me a good vantage point but getting there won’t be easy.
(30 minutes later) To get to that little peak up there, I’m gonna have to climb up this cliff. Now when climbing a rock face like this, always remember to keep at least three points of contact, and to use your legs to drive you up, and your arms for balance.
(slips, falls onto rock outcrop between his legs)
Uuuuughhhh… also, remember, that if you’re a bloke, your man part should definitely not be your third point of contact with the cliff.(At the top)
Okay. From here I can get a good look at the sun, which is about to set right now, and of the terrain. The mountain sides that are facing me, they are completely covered with snow, and that means, that they are north facing. So that direction is southwest where Sapporo is, but my better bet is to the north, where I can get to the sea, and hopefully find a fishing settlement or something. But the sun is setting fast, and I have to get back to camp with Les.
Meanwhile, Les Stroud has taken the remainder of the parachute and turned into a tent, a campfire, hunting gear, fishing gear, climbing gear, a pot for boiling food, and the pimped-out ride you see below, all before nightfall.
The night has fallen, and Bear is still far from camp. He must now find another place to sleep for the night.
Bear: Well, I’ve found this little ice cave on one of these north faces. It’s not ideal, but I really don’t have any other option. The weather is starting to get really bad, and I have to get out of the wind.
Unfortunately, I can’t make a fire here, because these ice caves can be very delicate, and a lot of heat could melt the ice, and cause some chunks to come crashing down onto you, and there’s actually a story about a tourist from Tokyo, who got lost here, and tried to make a fire in an ice cave just like this. While he was sleeping, the heat from the fire, cracked the roof, and a 2-ton piece of ice came right onto his body. He stood no chance. And that’s why you have to be so careful in these things. It looks like it’s going to be a very cold night for me. At least, the ice will provide me with some fresh water to drink. I’m gonna try and get some sleep now.
Meanwhile, Les has turned Bear’s parachute into much more comfortable accommodations.
Les: I’m feeling pretty good about tonight. I’ve got a good shelter, and a good fire, and the gear to find some food tomorrow. But still, I feel uneasy with all the legends of the creatures that live here. Luckily, I have my little harmonica to put me at a little more ease. Remember, the most important part of survival is to keep a cool head.
Les begins to play a basic blues tune on his harmonica. Off in the distance, he hears two Japanese Shamisen playing. A Deliverance-style musical duel ensues.
Bear hears this music off into the the distance. While the music is beautiful, just as in Deliverance it is a bad omen of things to come. Both men are now scared out of their wits. They try in vain to fall asleep as the moon rises in Hokkaido…on the first night of the Survive-Off .
POLL UPDATE: More than 160 votes for the Survive-Off have been cast on Ballhype. After reading the preview article, 52% of you think Bear Grylls will win, and 48% of you think Les Stroud will win. Bear was leading handily until the news that he might be faking some aspects of his survival journey. After watching how day one played out, it’s time for you to vote again…
Stay tuned for the Survive-Off Day 2, as our heroes face new and unforeseen challenges, such as volcanic activity, unforgiving weather, and…Doritos?