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Let’s be honest: A lot of us have done a lot of weird things in pursuit of climbing over the years. Grubby living situations, questionable food, and long days outdoors are all standard fare for the average dirtbag. But an upcoming new TV show promises to make dirtbagging, well, more elevated.
Introducing Survival from Above, a climbing-focused reality series based in the South American rainforest. Think, Ultimate Survival Alaska, but in the jungle. Naked and Afraid, but in the trees. (For the record, Executive Casting and Talent Producer Charlie Pheby says clothing is recommended.) The only main rule? You can’t touch the ground.
Except, unlike the Netflix dumpster fire that was The Floor is Lava, this series promises more educational tidbits, better scenery, and a whole lot more climbing. In fact, Pheby says he’s specifically looking for rock climbers, ice climbers, arborists, and climbing instructors to apply.
That’s in part because the show was invented with climbers in mind.
“The idea grew out of the fact that climbing has been on the up year after year in both the UK and America,” says Pheby. (The international production company behind the show, Caravan Media, is based in the UK.) “We’ve seen more and more people adventuring outdoors and climbing, and it just seemed like the right fit.”
Botanists, survivalists, military folk, and a range of other specialists will likely appear on screen alongside climbers. However, given that this is a solo survival challenge based entirely within a forest canopy—well, I’d put my money on the climbers.
“What I’m most excited about for this show is to see how people take the skills they’ve developed for a long time, and then transplant them into a new place,” Pheby says. “We’re doing something that hasn’t been done before—we’ve seen people climb in survival shows, but we’ve never had an entire season in the trees like this.”
At the start of Survival from Above, contestants will have a brief opportunity to scavenge supplies from the forest floor before taking to the trees for the remainder of the show. Contestants will be given basic climbing equipment and survival tools to build shelter, hunt, and fish, and given four weeks in the treetops to outlast their competitors. Filming will take place in September 2022. Travel expenses will be covered, and some compensation will be provided, though the exact numbers are yet to be determined.
A few other details are still TBD at this point. The prize money situation, for one thing. The name of the “major streaming service” where the show will be available to watch, for another. And though the exact filming location has been selected, it’s not yet been released.
In the meantime, the online application is open, and the casting process is in full swing. May the odds be ever in your favor.