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Why Ice Road Truckers Was Banned From Filming On One Iconic Road

Considering the popularity of "Ice Road Truckers" during its 11 seasons on the History Channel, you would think that the show would be able to film just about anywhere in the great frozen north it wanted to. Like "Deadliest Catch," "Ice Road Truckers" became a phenomenon whose unlikely success revolved around the dramatic portrayal of a real-life, insanely dangerous job. Sure enough, the rave reviews "Ice Road Truckers" received compared it to its crab-fishing counterpart (via New York Times).

And, of course, there's no shortage of frozen roads up north every winter, particularly for the communities and mining companies that operate in the remotest parts of Canada and Alaska, most of which are in constant need of basic supplies. If the settlements need truckers willing to drive over hundreds of miles of frozen ice, and the show needs to film the same, then apparent logic would dictate that those who operate the roads would have been eager to have "Ice Road Truckers" as their guests.

That wasn't the case, though. In fact, there is at least one famous winter road that outright banned "Ice Road Truckers" from filming there. And anyone else, for that matter.

The owners of the Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road banned IRT from filming there

The Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road is based in the far north of Canada's Nunavut and Northwest Territories provinces, joining together several gold and diamond mines with rest stops and supply stations. It is the longest winter road in the world and, like most others, is also privately run. The Tibbitt to Contwoyto is constructed and operated every year by Nuna Group of Companies. Longtime viewers of "Ice Road Truckers" may also remember that it is the primary setting for the show's very first season.

According to a short 2008 piece in Landline Magazine –- a business magazine for professional truckers -– the company that runs the Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road was dissatisfied with the way the road was portrayed in the very first season of "Ice Road Truckers," exaggerating its hazards and dangers. As a result, a new rule was enacted prohibiting filming there (via the Wayback Machine).

Season 2 was filmed on the Toktoyaktuk Winter Road, also in the Northwest Territories. Though the Tibbitt Contwoyto is still in existence, the Toktoyaktuk was replaced in 2013 by a permanent, all-season highway (via CBC). By then, "Ice Road Truckers" had once again moved on to other frigid routes.