They are some the toughest, most extreme survivalists that Alaska has to offer. Going head to head, eight men of a rare breed are about to take the ultimate test of survival in Arctic conditions that only National Geographic could inspire. No tent, phone, watch or GPS. Three thousand miles across Alaska’s wild. This is hardcore. This is old school adventure. Now bring it on.
Starting this Sunday at 10 p.m., go off the grid with Ultimate Survival Alaska, an epic new series that follows these survival experts on a 10-leg expedition in the brutal and dangerous Alaska terrain. The opponents’ only goal is to make it out alive using just the gear they can carry in their packs.
Dropped in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness by bush plane, they have 72 hours to make their way to the finish point for that leg of the expedition. Using raw, mountain-man ingenuity, they’ll navigate through treacherous glaciated river valleys, barren ridgelines and high mountain peaks, battling hunger, hostile predators and perilous weather conditions along the way.
Says Willi, one of the eight explorers, “I’ve done so many big peaks on basically all the world’s continents. I’ve done six Everest expeditions. All of us that do this sort of thing. At some fundamental level, we’re not normal, well-adjusted, modern civilized human beings. We’re all throwbacks. Because modern life is not enough of a test for us.”
Navigating risky routes that traverse some of the most hostile territory on the planet, they’ll rely on hard survival skills passed down through generations. Like the original National Geographic explorers, for those who succeed there is no grand prize, just the well-fought pride of having conquered the grueling challenges that a beastly Mother Nature can throw at them.
Now, meet Alaska’s most formidable challengers:
Dallas Seavey, 26 years old: The youngest person to ever to win the Iditarod, a grueling thousand-mile race across the state of Alaska through some of the world’s toughest conditions.
Tyrell Seavey, 28 years old: Like his brother Dallas, he hails from a legendary family, known by many as Alaskan royalty. He has run the Iditarod twice and won the Jr. Iditarod.
Marty Raney, 56 years old: A veteran mountain guide who has led more than 20 expeditions on and around Denali, the highest peak in North America.
Matt Raney, 30 years old: Marty’s son and an expert in survival. He helped build his family home with Marty with nothing but a chainsaw and the logs on their property.
Tyler Johnson, 36 years old: From exploring Kathmandu to climbing 27,000 feet with no oxygen in Nepal, Tyler is fearless.
Austin Manelick, 24 years old: Since the age of 5, he has practiced subsistence hunting under the watchful eye of his Alaskan wilderness guide father.
Willi Prittie, 57 years old: A professional mountain guide for almost 38 years, Willi is considered to be one of the leading climbing and logistical experts in the region.
Brent Sass, 32 years old: He’s done six 1,000-mile dog sledding expeditions for the Yukon Quest, and has guided excursions through any and all of Alaska’s many landscapes.