Snowed in, and unable to get their wagons over the Sierra Nevadas, the Donner Party set up camp by Truckee Lake and waited for the winter of 1846 to pass. Food stores running low, a handful of able-bodied settlers make one last ditch effort to fetch help. As they wait for rescue, the members of the Donner Party are faced with a horrible decision: When we run out of food, do we cook and eat our dead?
When the stakes are life and death, you'd be surprised at the lengths you’d go to survive. Pain, hunger, and fear can seem like paralyzing obstacles, but in the face of real danger, they’re actually what keeps us alive. Every week, we'll follow a different survivor's visceral and inspiring fight for life, and examine how the trauma impacted them forever. These are the stories of what happens when the human self-preservation instinct is pushed to its limit, through the eyes of the world's most resilient survivors. Survival is a production of Cutler Media and part of the Parcast Network.