Sam sends a Summit Favorite Home

As severe weather sees the group evacuated off the mountain, the hikers must contend with a new threat to their survival: The Chaser. With the power to remove one hiker, steal their cash and take their place on the mountain, Sam is out for blood. Anyone could be a target, and Sam is determined to make the right choice to ensure his future survival on the mountain. On one hand, he could target a weaker player, such as Trisha, Tiffani, Simmone or Charlotte who might not get to the summit anyway. Or, he could make a power play and take out one of the leaders of the group – Mat or Phil.

But Phil is determined to stay on the mountain and shares with Sam his harrowing Bali bombing story in an attempt to demonstrate his worthiness for reaching the summit. But Sam’s entry into the game also presents a dilemma for Phil, who is harbouring a secret: an extra 230k in his backpack which the group gave him the responsibility of carrying. The extra cash is a poisoned chalice and Phil is unsure if he should keep it a secret. If he tells Sam, it will potentially keep him safe at the checkpoint. But he’s also concerned that the money could have the opposite effect if Sam is bold enough to take the money for himself.  Meanwhile, Mat has his own plans to shape the game to his advantage and keep the target off his back. Unwilling to sit back and let fate play out, he seeks out Sam to make a proposition. Mat promises to keep Sam safe if he agrees to work with him and he offers up Trisha’s name as a potential kill for Sam, suggesting she is not strong enough to make it up.

After another night at the safe camp, the group finally get the all clear to head back on the mountain. After being dropped off by the evacuation chopper, the group will need to travel 13 kilometres to make it to the next checkpoint. But in their path to the checkpoint lies a terrifying obstacle perched over a deep chasm: The Sky Ladder. With their backpacks on, each hiker will need to scale 114 gruelling rungs to make it to the top. And with Sam watching on, the obstacle is a massive test. Sam offers to go first to show the group how it’s done. And while his resolve is tested, on the rickety ladder, he makes it to the top. Tiffani, a mum of 6 kids is next: against incredible odds, she draws on the strength of her kids and her drive to find herself on this mountain to get to the top. Trisha, already on Sam’s radar, is less fortunate. Halfway up the ladder, she is met with a visit from The Mountain’s Keeper.After reaching breaking point, she manages to regain her composure and claw her way to the top. But with Sam watching closely, she’s worried that her performance could spell disaster for her at the checkpoint. Simmone, Charlotte, Taylor and Phil all make it to the top. Ava, as one of the strongest and most nimble on the mountain, gets up with ease, and as the final hiker Mat climbs up, she takes the opportunity to get in Sam’s ear to put Mat’s forwardin an attempt to keep herself safe.

Having made it through the obstacle, the hikers are back on their way. But as they edge closer to the checkpoint, nerves are growing among the group: Sam will soon be making his decision and kicking one player off the mountain. For Phil, the pressure is too much to bear, and he decides to tell Sam about the extra money in a bid to keep himself safe. Sam, aware of the stakes, is unsure if taking out Phil would be a good or a bad call.

Finally, the group arrive at the checkpoint, and it’s anyone’s guess which way Sam will vote. Mat is hoping that he’s done enough to shift the target on to Trisha, who is worried after her performance on the obstacle. For Sam, with an impossible decision to make, is riddled with anxiety. And when Jai arrives to remind the group of the stakes, they all know that very soon, one of them will be going home.

Jai leaves the group and asks Sam to make his decision. But before he does, Sam invites each individual to share with him their reasons for being here and why they want to get to the top. Each hiker makes a heartfelt plea for survival, bearing their souls in the hope of swaying Sam’s decision at the eleventh hour. Tiffani breaks down in an emotional and vulnerable speech about her struggles to regain a sense of self after 16 years raising 6 kids. Phil reminds us of what he has had to overcome to be here today and his reasons for wanting to make it to the top. Trisha shares that she’s here to show her mob and her family that they can be anything they want to be if they put their minds to it. Mat draws on his father’s struggles with mental health as a reason to help others be the best they can be.

Having heard the hikers’ pleas, Sam will now make his decision. He commends Charlotte for her strength and wants to see her get to the top. He praises Mat for his warmth and likability among the group. He is awed by Tiffani and Simmone’s determination, and recognises Taylor and Ava for the bonds they have shared with him. The final two left are Phil and Trisha, and in an unexpected and brutal decision, he decides to send Phil packing, citing their lack of connection and Phil’s last ditch attempt to save himself by telling Sam about the money.

The group is left reeling from the decision. $230k along with Phil’s own money will now go into Sam’s position. Sam is thrilled to have pocketed the extra cash but recognises that it’s not his until he reaches the top. Phil is devastated that his journey has come to an end with so much more to prove. Mat is furious that Sam’s short-sighted greediness has seen his friend Phil sent off the mountain, and vows to avenge hisdeparture.


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