On June 17, 2007, narrator Thom Beers intoned with suitable drama:
“At the top of the world, there’s an outpost like no other… and a job only a few would dare. The mission: To haul critical supplies across 350 miles of frozen lakes to Canada’s remote billion-dollar diamond mines. The challenge: To transport 10,000 loads in 60 days — before the road disappears. The rewards are great; the risks even greater. These are the men who make their living on thin ice.”
Now, nine years and 118 episodes later, “Ice Road Truckers” returns for a milestone 10th season tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern and 9 p.m. Central.
The History Channel’s reality TV show following several truck drivers across the normally frozen and always challenging temporary winter roads cut through remote stretches of Canada returns Thursday, Aug. 4 at 10 p.m. Eastern, 9 p.m. Central. The title of the season-opening episode is, as it should be, a foreboding, “Against All Odds.”
Season Nine began with Lisa Kelly and Darrell Ward forming a partnership, which was an extension of the last episode of Season Eight when Kelly backed up Ward on one last perilous late-season run.
And, last season ended like this:
- Todd Dewey and Kelly combined forces to make an unconventional and first-of-its-kind for IRT haul across frozen — mostly, that is — Hudson Bay. Todd made it with an assist from a backup driver riding in the track digger being hauled.
- Ward made a mad dash over a rapidly thawing trail to deliver a load of sheet rock to Pikangikum before the site closed at 4 p.m. He made it with moments to spare, unload and headed back to Winnipeg.
- Alex Debogorski, who has been on the ice roads for all 10 seasons, had a modest collision with a tanker on his last run but made it without too many dents or too much pain.
- Finally, Art Burke made his season-ending run with his typical trauma and skillful bleeping by the show’s technical crew.
Just before IRT Season Nine faded to black, Ward gave Kelly a jacket emblazoned with “Team Lisa & Darrell.”
The History Channel has said nothing official about who’s driving the ice roads in the season about to debut, but activity on their Facebook pages indicate Ward, Kelly and Dewey are back. During an interview at the Mid-America Truck Show last spring, Debogorski gave Truckers News what details he could about his 10th year on the show.
To get up to speed completely, rewatch all of Season Nine.
And, be sure to follow Truckers News episode-by-episode coverage throughout the shows 2016 run.