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NBC’s ‘Running Wild’ shoots segment in N.H.’s White Mountains

  • Actor Don Cheadle (right) and host TV Bear Grylls are seen in a segment of “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” shot in N.H. Courtesy

  • Actor Don Cheadler on "Running Wild with Bear Grylls" around Frankenstein Cliffs in New Hampshire. Program airs June 18, 2018. Courtesy—NBC

  • Actor Don Cheadler on "Running Wild with Bear Grylls" around Frankenstein Cliffs in New Hampshire. Program airs June 18, 2018. Courtesy—NBC

  • Actor Don Cheadler on "Running Wild with Bear Grylls" around Frankenstein Cliffs in New Hampshire. Program airs June 18, 2018. Courtesy—NBC



Monitor staff
Friday, June 15, 2018

When a TV program makes its name taking celebrities to interesting places and filming them doing dangerous things, perhaps it was only a matter of time before it would show up in the White Mountains.

Just in case, Jake St. Pierre was there to give it a push.

“I always thought that it would be cool to bring one home,” said St. Pierre, a Loudon resident and former Bow police officer who works as a location scout for the program, Running Wild with Bear Grylls.

The program began in 2014 as a sort of successor to Grylls’s survivalist show, Man vs. Wild.

The New Hampshire segment will run Monday at 10 p.m. It features Grylls in the White Mountains with actor Don Cheadle, who has starred in many films, including Hotel Rwanda, but is best known for his role as War Avenger in the Avengers movie franchise.

Few details are released in advance, but from publicity photos it appears that Cheadle rappelled down Frankenstein Cliffs in Crawford Notch and climbed the adjacent railroad trestle (something that authorities frown on when done by non-famous people).

The footage was shot last spring, said St. Pierre.

“We didn’t tell people what we were doing. We hired a lot of locals, like EMTs, had to have them all sign (a non-disclosure agreement),” he said. “We always try to make it like we were never even here.”

St. Pierre, 40, has long been known locally as a climber and outdoorsman – for example, he was the featured guest at an installment of the Wings of Knowledge program at NHTI in April, talking about his many treks to Nepal and Mt. Everest. He teaches survival at Bear Grylls Survival Academy in upstate New York, which is where he got connected as a safety advisor and scout for the TV show.

St. Pierre said he is glad the program will show the White Mountains to a national audience that may not realize New Hampshire’s relatively small peaks – even lofty Mount Washington is less than half the height of scores of mountains out west – hold a lot of promise as well as peril.

“These mountains, they’re no joke. A lot of people train on these mountains before the big peaks. It’s a great training ground, and it’s beautiful,” he said. “What they lack in height they make up for in severity of weather that can come
in at any second, and unforgiving terrain. ... Here you can see temperatures in the 80s, start hiking and three hours later you can see some snow. You never really know what you’re going to get.”

“I love the Whites, and that’s why I wanted to see a show be filmed there.”

(David Brooks can be reached at 369-3313 or dbrooks@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @GraniteGeek.)