Myself on the Shield headwall during the first ascent of Severance Ridge on Trango II, Karakoram
Photo: Jeremy Frimer
My name is Samuel Johnson - Just another Alaskan in the biggest state in the union. I grew up in an active family, based primarily out of Anchorage, Alaska. My father Barry is a British traveler, sportsman, and adventurer of many years. A blue collar traditional line-type printer and graphic artist, now retired, he worked his way through many different newspaper settings around the world throughout his travels. My mother Joyce is from the East Coast and comes from a long line of ivy league educated physicists, lawyers, and educators. These days she is a municipal attorney representing the municipality of Anchorage. Following their independent travel to Alaska in search of adventure, dad in the 1960s and mom in the 1970s, this unlikely union was formed and formalized among the newspaper workers of the now defunct Anchorage Times. They married in 1978 and quickly began producing myself and my two sisters Diana and Sally (aka Sarah).

Throughout our lives my father always talked about the importance of adventure and exploration, exemplifying this for us kids by starting his own wilderness raft guiding business, Alaska Fishing Adventures, my parents dragging us out into the woods, rivers, and mountains whenever they could. I began commercial fishing at age 15 and have put in about 12 seasons over the years in set gillnet and purse seine fisheries. Despite some challenges that we experienced as children, my sisters and I all turned out to be positive citizens of the world in many senses. I share all this here because we are all a product of, and a complement to our environments. We live in a constructivist universe, and our parents did their best to help us construct ours with a positive outlook and hope for the future.

I discovered climbing in 1996 and haven't looked back. Climbing has taken me all around the world in pursuit of rarefied experiences and my personal potential. My journey of climbing is currently tempered by learning in other areas as I explore yet another year of graduate school, pursuing a doctorate in the helping professions: Psychology in the UAF-UAA Joint Psychology Ph.D Program. While I love climbing in all forms, my outdoor loves also include backcountry skiing, running, cross country skiing, hiking, rafting, and many others.

I have pursued various climbing and skiing objectives from Alaska, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Europe, and Asia including the far reaches of the Karakoram in the Trango Towers and the Latok group. My personal favorite areas have been the Arrigetch, various areas of the extended Alaska Range, and the Karakoram. Some of those trips are documented here, though many older ones are not. Many thanks to the people, companies, and alpine organizations that have supported me along the way. I could not accompish anything without the solid supports from which I have benefitted. I will do my best to give back in any way I can.

Enjoy and look me up if you are heading to Alaska to climb.


email: alpineessence@gmail.com
phone: 001.907.529.6728

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