Outdoor Explorer

On “Outdoor Explorer” we invite you to step outside into Alaska. Follow us to a new trail or fishing hole, learn what to pack, when to go and most importantly, how to stay safe. Learn about life-long fitness and get inspired to go outside in the back country or on the bike trails.

We’ll hear from the people who know the land best – outdoor guides, park rangers, coaches, authors, lodge owners, bush pilots, educators and you, the explorer. Listen Thursdays at 2:00 & 8:00 pm on KSKA FM, streaming live at alaskapublic.org.

We’re looking for your show ideas! Please send your thoughts for upcoming shows to: bork@alaskapublic.org

Alyeska Volunteer Ski Patrol stories | Outdoor Explorer

Alyeska decided to end their volunteer ski patrol last fall. To celebrate the patrol's history, folks gathered to tell stories and reminisce.

Ice skating on Solstice in Southcentral Alaska | Outdoor Explorer

Host Paul Twardock visited the Anchorage Solstice Festival at the Cuddy Family Midtown Park interviewing organizers, politicians and the events and ice rink founders.

Hiking in Yukon Territory | Outdoor Explorer

The Yukon is a land of vast wilderness. Sometimes you need a little guidance in a wild landscape.

What’s New in Avalanche Forecasting for Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula? | Outdoor Explorer

With record amounts of snow comes lots of interest in recreating in the mountains. Hear from avalanche experts about staying safe outside.

Becoming a sustainable runner | Outdoor Explorer

Zoë Rom is an elite ultra runner and author. She discusses climate activism and running, the importance of community and how to stay active.

‘A Fine Line: Searching for Balance Among Mountains’ | Outdoor Explorer

Graham Zimmerman, professional climber and author, talks about his epic climbs, facing danger and the lessons he's learned along the way.
Skiers head down a snowy valley.

“Snow Stories” | Outdoor Explorer

Get stoked on winter with these stories about avalanches, skiing and mountaineering.

Hope for Prince William Sound | Outdoor Explorer

The Prince William Sound Stewardship Foundation and Mission Blue have teamed up to designate PWS an Ocean Blue "Hope Spot."
Outdoor Explorer

How a love of design helps this graphic artist promote outdoor accessibility | Outdoor Explorer

Along with placing winter single track trails, Aurora Hablett uses geographic data to create maps in shapes with GPS visualization.

Made in Alaska: Revelate Designs | Outdoor Explorer

Eric Parsons started designing bags that fit on bike frames to enable his epic trips. Eventually he quit his day job and made it a business.
A log cabin with a green metal roof with two birch trees in a snowy clearing.

Public use cabins and huts in Alaska | Outdoor Explorer

There is a rich history of public cabins in Alaska. Hear how two organizations are working to make more huts and cabins available to the public.

Outdoor Explorer: New book examines how hunting and being outdoors with your dog can nurture the human spirt

Authors of "The Land We Share" discuss their holistic approach hunting and their relationship to the natural world.

Outdoor Explorer: Creating an outdoor clothing company in Alaska

Jen Loofbourrow started Alpine Fit to produce base layers for Alaskans. She discusses her path to building a thriving business.

Outdoor Explorer: The Chugach Park Fund

On this episode of Outdoor Explorer we're joined by Haley Johnston, the co-chair of the Chugach Park Fund’s Citizens Advisory Board. The Chugach Park Fund was established in 2016 under the umbrella of The Alaska Community Foundation and since that time has been a critical part of improving trails, signs and facilities in Chugach State Park. Haley fills us in on past, present and future projects.

Outdoor Explorer: Hear what the Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage has planned for the upcoming season

Our guest on this episode of Outdoor Explorer is Kikkan Randall, executive director of the Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage. The conversation is wide-ranging, from the programs and events NSAA has planned for the upcoming ski season to impacts of climate change and NSAA's upcming 60th anniversary.

Outdoor Explorer: Burning Man 2023

Every year at the end of August in the Black Rock Desert of northwest Nevada, Black Rock City is built. For about a week it becomes the third largest city in Nevada, with around 60,000 inhabitants. It is the host city for the annual event called Burning Man. On this episode of Outdoor Explorer, host Adam Verrier speaks with the race director of the annual Burning Man Ultramarathon and two artists who used recycled and biodegradable materials to create and art piece.

Outdoor Explorer: What makes an outdoor trip successful?

What makes an outdoor expedition successful? Most trips in the outdoors, whether one day or two weeks, are enjoyable and fun, that's why Alaskans, even on wet summers like this one, flock to the outdoors. But some outings turn into epics and even tragedy. On this Outdoor Explorer host Paul Twardock talks about what makes a good expedition happen with retired Denali Mountaineering ranger Daryl Miller and current South District Ranger for Denali National Park Tucker Chenoweth. They discuss what made some of their expeditions succeed despite life-threatening weather and what they've learned advising and observing expeditions on Denali.

Outdoor Explorer: Author Don Rearden on writing about Alaska

Alaska author Don Rearden grew up in Southwest Alaska living and observing rural life. His books "Raven's Gift," a novel, and "Without A Paddle," a collection of poems, reflect his Alaska experiences and life. Don also co-authored books featuring two of Alaska's professional military rescuers. Don joins host Paul Twardock to discuss Alaska's culture, history and environment and how they influenced his writing.

Outdoor Explorer: Mountain biking Eagle River and the Mat-Su, the Alaska Mountain Bike Summit

On this Outdoor Explorer host Paul Twardock welcomes Will Taygan with the Chugach Mountain Bike Riders and Rene Dervaes with the Valley Mountain Bikers and Hikers to discuss what is happening in Mat-Su Valley and Chugiak/Eagle River and the upcoming Alaska Mountain Bike Summit.

Outdoor Explorer: A field geologist’s life with Joe Kurtak

Joe Kurtak embodies a modern day Alaskan. He was raised at a remote mining camp in eastern California, went to college, then came to Alaska in 1971 for a summer job. He quickly fell for everything the Great Land had to offer, especially its geology. Joe worked for 40 years mapping Alaska's geology while working for both private firms and the federal government. Along the way he also pursued his love of skiing and sea kayaking. On this Outdoor Explorer Joe shares his wealth of knowledge of Alaska's geology, including Prince William Sound, and some of his many adventures with host Paul Twardock.