Frostbit Ears. The Bio.

“Some people have an adventure of a lifetime; in Alaska, I’ve had a lifetime of adventure.” ~Marty Raney

 

Marty Raney’s adventures began in 1974 in the logging camps of Southeast Alaska. Marty’s very first home in Alaska was not only off grid, it was off land: a floating logging camp off of Prince of Wales Island. After getting married to Mollee Roestel, the Raneys moved to an extremely remote homestead in Haines, Alaska, surrounded by a very high concentration of Alaskan brown bears. This is where their first child, Melanee, was born. Mollee’s water broke in the middle of nowhere: no hospitals, no doctors. The baby was breach. This resulted in an emergency bush plane ride to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. Shortly after the small plane touched down, a healthy Melanee Raney was born. She’s Canadian. Miles and Misty Raney were born in Sitka, Alaska. Lastly, Matthew was born in Anchorage.When the kids were 2, 4, 6, and 8, the family trekked the full length of the notorious Chilkoot Pass, following the historic steps of the miners of the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush. Little did those four kids know, they would all one day climb Denali (aka Mt. McKinley: 20,320′).

Alaskan life is not always easy. The family often lived without power, water, plumbing, or heat. Some would call this “roughing it,” but make no mistake about it, it builds character. Living without modern conveniences inspires creativity, ingenuity, resourcefulness, and an innate appreciation for all things simple. It bonds families. Subsistence, living off the land, is an integral part of the Raney’s lifestyle. Dip netting salmon, and annual moose, caribou, and sheep hunts, are done as a family. Tradition.

Melanee owns Chugach Adventures, a successful rafting business in Girdwood, Alaska. It is fully off grid, and only remotely accessed by the Alaskan Railroad. Miles may be the most traveled human being in the world. To date, he has traveled over 200,000 km on a mountain bike. Alone. All on the road less traveled. Over 100 countries. Misty built her own solid river rock house at the base of Hatcher Pass, Alaska. Matt is a master stone mason. All are competent hunter-gatherers. All are musicians. All are accomplished mountaineers. All are highly skilled Alaskan survivalists. All have served as mountain guides, safety guides, and logistics coordinators. Certified.

Marty climbed Denali for the first time in 1986. Subsequently, he began guiding expeditions in 1988. He climbs with a guitar on his back and has played multiple times on the summit. He is one of the few climbers whose climbing career has spanned over four decades and still continues today. These climbs are dangerous. Over 100 people have died in an attempt to reach Denali’s summit. These expeditions take off grid to the next level. 21 days long. 20,320′ high. Extreme.

Marty grew up off grid in North Bend, Washington. He quit school and left home at the age of 16. From an early age, hard work has been the only life he has ever known. At 18, he ventured to Alaska. The children grew up in the family business: Alaska Stone and Log. Stone work. Log work. Natural building materials from the land. They peeled logs, they quarried stone, they learned the value of hard work, they learned old world craftsmanship.

The Raneys live an artisan lifestyle building beautiful cabins, homes, and structures with the simplest of tools, which is the essence of off grid construction. They have left a legacy of craftsmanship across Alaska. It’s set in stone. And log.