From the very first episode of Trailblazers, viewers quickly realized that what the trailblazers and their teams of scientists are attempting is extremely dangerous. One Trailblazers group was headed up by Nick Koumalatsos, who was guiding them through the jungles of Bolivia. His tactical and survival skills were invaluable when it came to helping safely trailblaze, guide, and protect the scientists during their hazardous journey. After sustaining a serious injury to his hand, the team suddenly found themselves without their expedition leader. In an instant, everything changed, but fortunately Chris Gillette was able to step up and continue to guide the team forward.
As one sneak-peek video states, extreme science requires extreme guides. Each guide on Trailblazers faces their own set of unique challenges and circumstances. One Trailblazers team is led by Gary Humphrey, who is guiding his team through the jungles of Papua New Guinea. He quickly discovers that trying to get everyone in his Trailblazers group safely across a treacherous river is no easy feat. One slip or one tiny moment of distraction can result in someone instantly finding themselves in some serious danger.
Nothing about their journey on Trailblazers is easy, and Broadway World shared that with Gary Humphrey as their guide, the scientists are in good hands. Humphrey has 17-years of experience after serving in the Royal Marines and the U.K. Special Forces. As a trailblazer, his survival skills are impressive and have been tested in almost every type of environment imaginable, from the Arctic to dense jungles and unforgiving deserts. If the first episode of Trailblazers is any indication, his knowledge and skills will definitely be put to the test.
Overall, this Trailblazers team seems to have meshed well together, and Humphrey recently posted to his Facebook page that a “tight professional team, with determination, belief, teamwork and humor can conquer unlimited heights.”
There is an unique species of bat found nowhere else in the world, and in a video interview for Trailblazers conducted by Fox 2 in Detroit, bat expert Rob Mies (Organization for Bat Conservation) explains what he hopes to find on Trailblazers.
“We’re hoping to get medicines and cures for major human diseases,” Mies said. “I don’t know anything about this outdoor survival, so I’ve hired Gary to help me get to those bats.”
Besides Mies, other members of this Trailblazers team include geologist John Lane (Chico Environmental), who is also quite knowledgeable about plants. According to Humphrey, he also likes to go looking for danger, and he certainly should have gotten his fill as a part of the Trailblazers team.
Trailblazers’ Tom McElroy (Tom McElroy Survival School), is a survival and primitive skills expert. He excels at primitive fire and shelter making, trapping, hunting, bow-making, water purification and tracking. As Humphrey’s right-hand man on Trailblazers, his skills will definitely be a major asset to the team. This Trailblazers expert guide has also taught and shared his vast survival knowledge to more than 10,000 students worldwide over the past 20 years.
Jess Kolstad (Chico Environmental) was the only woman on Humphrey’s Trailblazers team, and she served as their scientific researcher. Humphrey noted that she is also the one who kept them all in order, and that she was always smiling.
Besides the inherent dangers that stem from the local flora and fauna, Humphrey’s team will also face a potential threat of the human kind on Trailblazers. This week’s episode, titled “Baptism by Fire,” finds Humphrey and the rest of his Trailblazers team attempting to communicate with the local people they encounter in order to win passage through tribal areas.
As for the other Trailblazers groups, Gillette will continue to lead his team, who are somewhat dubious of his skills. This Trailblazers group is searching for a type of crocodile known as a caiman, and since Gillette is a professional animal handler, he is more than qualified to deliver what his team needs.
The third Trailblazers team, led by Shaun Keilen, will face their own dangers on the slopes of Ecuador’s active Reventador volcano, located in the east Andes. A lightning storm traps this Trailblazers group on the stratovolcano, seriously jeopardizing their safety and their mission. Hopefully, Keilen will be able to figure out a way to get his Trailblazers group down safely.
Did you watch the first episode of Trailblazers? Would you even try to do what these brave men and women are attempting on Trailblazers? Leave your comments, thoughts and opinions below. Trailblazers airs on Friday’s at 10 p.m. ET on the Discovery Channel.
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