For Team Alaskans, trekking across the backcountry is what they do. These savvy mountain veterans are in their element at high elevations and treacherous terrain. Armed with ice axes and climbing ropes, the highest peaks can’t keep these expert climbers from flourishing in their environment, seeking out direct routes to win challenges as fast as they can.
Back for their third season, mountain man Marty Raney and pig-peak racer Tyler Johnson are joined by the world-renowned mountaineer and old friend, Vern Tejas. Get to know the team below.
He climbs, skis, rafts and survives — Tyler Johnson can do it all. The Alaskans’ youngest member, Tyler’s career as an adventure specialist has taken him to the ends of the earth, whether he’s climbing and skiing over 27,000 feet without oxygen, journeying with packraft expeditions or surreptitiously crossing foreign borders.
Johnson’s survivalist instincts, sharp wit and navigating prowess make him an ideal Ultimate Survival Alaska competitor, but he’s also flourished in his latest journey, one that’s a little more personal. After traversing the Earth in its toughest conditions, he says the biggest adventure of his life has been being a father to his 10-year old daughter.
Marty Raney describes himself as many things: log builder, stone mason, explorer. But first and foremost, Marty is an experienced mountain guide, who’s been leading mountain expeditions and adventures for over 40 years across Alaska. Raney has led 17 trips to the summit of Denali, the highest peak in North America, and well over a dozen expeditions on Mt. McKinley, all with a guitar on his back.
After losing a friend to the treacherous McKinley climb, Marty knows all too well that living a life of adventure can come at a cost. Raney knows the best and worst that the Alaskan wilderness has to offer, and can contribute his weathered perspective to Team Alaskans’ strengths. Marty’s words of wisdom: “The turtle goes nowhere unless he sticks his neck out.”
Adventure is Vern Tejas‘ vocation. Originally hailing from Texas, Vern moved to Alaska in search of adventure, pursuing the rush of the mountains. An expert mountain guide, Vern became the first person ever to climb Denali alone in the winter. In addition to climbing, Vern is an accomplished whitewater rafter, sea kayaker and ski guide, with mountain biking and high-altitude paragliding also among his skills.
In addition to his decades of skills, Vern brings an infectious spirit and positive attitude to his adventures. Plus, who else on Ultimate Survival Alaska can say he’s climbed the highest mountains in Europe, Africa and Antarctica naked?
Learn more about Team Alaskans in the video profile below, and don’t miss the Ultimate Survival Alaska premiere THIS Sunday, January 4 at 9/8c.