The Summit Takes out Tiff

The game of survival has reached its twelfth day with six remaining hikers, each vying for a share of a prize pool worth over 160 thousand dollars. Since Sam’s departure yesterday a clear power dynamic is in play, with Matt at the helm, his three best friends Charlotte, Taylor and Simmone by his side and Tiffani and Trish on the outer.

It snowed at the camp ground last night and while Trish is excited, she and Tiff are becoming increasingly aware of just how vulnerable they are in the game. However, there’s a wild-card in the form of the Mountain’s Keeper, whose regular deliveries of bags, items and instructions never fails to disrupt the status quo. Could this be their one hope of survival?

Sure enough, the Mountain’s Keeper appears swiftly – this time with a huge timber box containing a screen. The hikers are immediately overwhelmed with emotion as they anticipate video messages from home. In fact, it’s a live video call with family members – prompting a wave of excitement and tears. Tiffani is overjoyed to share with her kids that she is now a seasoned camper, and Trish finds her family’s words of encouragement a godsend after many days feeling vulnerable and exposed. But Taylor is thrown a curve ball when his partner fails to appear on the call, leaving him distraught and uncertain about their future.

The group begins the next leg of the hike in turmoil. Following their recent evacuation from the mountain, they are half a day behind schedule, and it’s slow going on the hilly and blustery terrain. There’s also the question of the very heavy bag of stolen cash, currently falling to Matt to carry – can he continue to bare the brunt of the load? And Taylor appears extremely distracted, as he continues to grapple with the events of the morning.

There is also an obstacle in their path: an unusual rope crossing that relies on two people traversing a single rope in order to pull a second, looser rope tight. Once the second rope is in play, it must be held and anchored as each of the remaining hikers makes the crossing.

Matt makes fast work of the single line crossing, but Taylor is in his head, second guessing his technique and struggling to stay motivated without his partner’s support at home. But after some serious soul searching, Taylor recognises the importance of staying motivated for himself, fostering a sense of self belief he hopes will take him all the way to the end – and he finds his groove on the rope as well.

Now it’s just a simple case of Matt and Taylor pulling and anchoring the second rope while the remaining four hikers cross. But the mountain suprises everyone with a sudden, dramatic change in conditions, just as Charlotte begins to cross. She successfully battles gale force winds in a hair raising effort, but the gusts are only getting worse. For Tiffani who is last to cross, the obstacle is a feat of strength and resilience that reminds her just how far she has come in the past 12 days.

Tiffani’s spirits are so high she offers to help Matt by carrying the heavy bag of cash on the last leg of the hike, oblivious to his intention to offload it anyway – he is already anticipating a reappearance of the Mountain’s Keeper.

Matt’s instincts are right, the Mountain’s Keeper is back – this time with a plan to get the hikers back on schedule. A bag containing instructions is dropped, and a dramatic chase ensues. With Matt and his three buddies at the front and heavily weighed down Tiff and best friend Trish making up the rear, the importance of getting to the bag first has never been greater.

The foursome is faced with a note, detailing a difficult scenario. A night hike will ensure the group makes up their lost time – but as always, there’s a catch. The Mountain’s Keeper demands a sacrificial lamb in return: someone must be left behind at camp, unknowing, as the others sneak out under cover of nightfall.

As Charlotte and Simmone make a case for leaving Trish behind, Matt overrules them and chooses Tiff – the person he is least connected to. Charlotte and Simmone are heartbroken and confused – yet quickly accept they’re not calling the shots and have little say in the matter.

Back at camp, the group informs Trish of the plan to leave Tiff behind overnight, and she soon finds herself in her ow heartbreaking dilemma – to abandon her friend and push on willingly, or break silence and tell Tiff what’s in store for her later. After grappling with the issue late into the night, Trish makes her decision and doesn’t inform Tiff who wakes up to a nice letter.


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