One-on-One With Ultimate Survival Alaska’s Tyler Johnson

February 12, 2014

Tyler Johnson is anything but a one-trick pony. This Ultimate Survival Alaska contender and Tordrillo Mountain Lodge staffer has a resume that makes Survivor Man’s Les Stroud look like an amateur.

Growing up in the small town of Soldonta, Alaska, Tyler took to hunting, fishing and cross-country skiing but always had his eye on the mountains to the north. In high school, he picked up big mountain skiing, combined it with his ice climbing passion and became a true mountaineer. He’s done some amazing campaigns in the mountains, including his “IRS Trip” in which he summited Alaska’s Mt. Iliamna, Mt. Redouth and Mt. Spur in just one month. These are the three volcanoes you can see from Anchorage. His next mission: ski the remaining peaks visible from the Alaskan skyline: Hunter, Denali and Foraker.

Mountaineering can be viewed as a cold and miserable sport. Simply put, many of us live for the powdery descent, not the bitter cold, demanding climb that can come beforehand.

Tyler sees it differently, “I think being an engineer plays into it. When I look at a challenging ascent or ski route, I think of it as solving a puzzle and skiing down is the dessert.”  

Tyler’s not one to brag, so when we asked him about his “stardom” on Ultimate Survivor Alaska we had to do a little probing.

“The biggest challenge wasn’t really the physical demand; it was being on camera,” he said. “I had to get used to speaking without sounding too stiff.” After a few weeks, he was able to shake off the stage fright. The most difficult aspect says Tyler, was being away from his family for so long.

Currently, the second season of Ultimate Survival Alaska is airing and as a member of Team Mountaineers, Tyler’s been able to put his experience in the Alaskan backcountry to the test. His ice climbing and rafting skills have saved his team from some dangerous situations.

Thankfully for Tordrillo Mountain Lodge, his experience on the show is what led him here, as many episodes were filmed in the Tordrillo Mountains. Last season, he helped the staff with various civil engineering projects.

“After only one month at Tordrillo Mountain Lodge I fell in love with the area, the people and the experience,” said Tyler. He quickly became a friendly face and the staff is excited for him to return. Tyler is currently working towards more avalanche and snow safety certifications. His goal is to become heli guide at the lodge.

Keep up with Tyler and Team Mountaineers on Ultimate Survival Alaska here.

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