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

The Equinox Marathon and other extreme Fairbanks events

KSKA: Thursday, Oct. 6, at 2:00 p.m. The Equinox Marathon is one of the most challenging anywhere, as it climbs up over Ester Dome in Fairbanks. We’ll also hear an interview recorded in Fairbanks with a trails volunteer, who’ll tell us about the many routes and races that make that community a great place to visit. LISTEN NOW

Iditarod doping, ski prep & the Eklutna dam

KSKA: Thursday, Jan. 04, at 2:00 p.m. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we take a look at one of the biggest sports and outdoor stories in Alaska in the last year: the Iditarod drug doping scandal that hit the race in the fall, with a positive drug test and the surrounding controversy.  We’ll also learn about getting your skis ready for the season, and about a big dam removal project in Anchorage, which was funded completely by donations. LISTEN HERE

Outdoor photography

On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll be discussing outdoor photography with mountain photographer Charlie Renfro. There's a lot to talk about. Later in the show, we’ll be talking with Gus Schumacher, an Anchorage cross-country skier who recently won gold at the World Junior Championships. Thanks for listening!

Ski swaps and Hatcher Pass Lodge

Winter is coming, and that means it’s ski swap time! This week on Outdoor Explorer, we'll talk to Sparky Anderson about how to buy and sell your outdoor winter gear at your local ski swap. Sparky is the head coach of the UAA Ski Team. And in the second half of the show, we’ll be speaking with Hap Wurlizer, proprietor of the Hatcher Pass Lodge.
Pioneer Peak

Preparing for winter recreation

Winter has arrived in Alaska and it's time to play in the snow! On this Outdoor Explorer we'll have Alli Harvey, Anchorage Daily News columnist and Rick Roth from Alaska Mountaineering and Hiking answering questions about winter recreation.
Aaron Leggett

The First People in what is now Chugach State Park

In this Outdoor Explorer, we will learn about the First People in what is now Chugach State Park. My guest will be Aaron Leggett, Senior Curator of Alaska History & Indigenous Culture at the Anchorage Museum and President of the Tribal Council of the Native Village of Eklutna.
Caribou Trails in the Brooks Range

Wild Trails with Brad Meiklejohn

What is it like to be an avalanche specialist? A conservationist? A wilderness traveler? A Buddhist? Brad Meiklejohn is a long time Alaskan who has written a new book titled The Wild Trails that explores these topics and more. Join host Paul Twardock and Brad for this great conversation.

Geocaching

Geocaching is sort of like outdoor treasure hunting, and it's getting really big in Anchorage. Host Charles Wohlforth recently gave it a try with his daughter. They had an iPhone app and a mission to look for hidden caches logged on a website powered by GPS equipment. The result? A fun, and somewhat addicting, new hobby. Join us on air to learn more about geocaching. KSKA: Thursday, Sept. 18, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

Avalanche equipment and rescue

KSKA: Thursday, Jan. 19, at 2:00 p.m. Everyone knows that winter backcountry travelers need to know how to avoid avalanches, how to prepare for them, and what to do if someone is caught in one. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we talk to experts about the right gear and how to use it, we'll also get a step-by-step scenario of what an avalanche recovery is like and what you should do in that terrible event. LISTEN NOW

Inclusive playgrounds and museum summer activities

On the next Outdoor Explorer, we'll meet an 11 year old girl and her mother who made a huge change in our city. When Anna Boltz was a toddler, her mother Leah realized that the city’s playgrounds, although meeting the law, were not truly accessible to a child like her who uses a wheelchair. Nine years later, Anchorage has a dozen inclusive playgrounds, with facilities that invite and engage people of every ability. We'll also hear about summer activities being hosted by the Anchorage Museum and about training to race in the Boston Marathon in a wheelchair. Thanks for listening!
Photo: National Park Service

Climbing Denali

While most of us are storing our skis for the summer, the Denali climbing season is just beginning. Climbing rangers are putting in Kahiltna Base Camp and the first climbers are on the mountain soon to be followed by 1000s of others. Join us for the next Outdoor Explorer as we talk with two veterans of Denali, climber Colby Coombs and Denali Ranger Melis Coady. Thanks for listening!

Entomophagy: Eating insects

Entomophagists are people who eat insects, and Chris Gilberds is a chef who has a lot to say about why we should start incorporating more bugs into our diet. We even snacked on crickets, ants and scorpions during our talk.
a kettle lake

Emotional intelligence in the outdoors

What is emotional intelligence how does it affect our outdoor activities? This week we'll discuss why it's important in contributing to enjoyable outdoor experiences.
map

The 50th Anniversary of the Hillside ski trails in Anchorage

The first five-kilometer ski loop was cut by Service High School families and coaches in 1971.

Epic Alaskans: Tom Choate the Mountain Goat

Tom Choate came to Alaska in the in the late 1950's exploring and climbing,  and is still at it.  He was a ski infantryman for the Air National guard, the first ranger naturalist in Mt Mckinley National Park, now Denali National Park, climbed or tried to climb Denali in 1963, 1983, 1993, 2003, and in 2013 became the oldest person to summit Denali at the age of 78.  His other significant climbs include the South Face of Sunlight Peak in the Chugach Mountains in 1967, Bellicose Peak in 1990, Mount Torbert in 1988 and has many first ascents around the world.  He has hours of stories and shares some of them and his ideas for a successful long life of adventure on this episode of Outdoor Explorer. 

Outdoor Explorer LIVE!

KSKA: Thursday, June 02, at 2:00 and Thursday, June 09, at 8:00 p.m. On Saturday, May 21st we took to the stage for the first ever live edition of Outdoor Explorer. We recorded our show on-stage at the TapRoot the way we do it in the studio, talking to Luc Mehl and Nancy Pfieffer. We are so happy to share the recorded version of our live show with you. DOWNLOAD AUDIO

Noise and light pollution

KSKA: Thursday, April 20, at 2:00 p.m. One way of thinking about wilderness is to remember what’s not there. Wilderness is never crowded, or full of artificial noise or electric light. Noise and light would cover up the good qualities in nature - the delicate sounds and the bright stars and aurora of a winter night. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re looking at the problem of keeping the wilderness quiet and dark, which unfortunately takes some effort for us, in our bright noisy world. LISTEN HERE

A conversation with Roman Dial

On the next Outdoor Explorer, we spend a full hour sitting with Roman Dial, one of Alaska’s greatest adventurers, to learn about his extraordinary life, and the tragic disappearance of his son, and how that ordeal was horribly exploited by reality TV. We’ll also get into many other tales, including how he helped start wilderness racing and developed the pack raft as a tool for Alaska travel.  Thanks for listening!

The Lavaman Triathlon

Every spring, hundreds of Alaskan triathletes journey to the Big Island of Hawaii for the annual Lavaman Triathlon. At the end of a long winter the race is the draw, but it is really more about Alaskans gathering together in the spirit of Aloha.
Freya Hoffmeister

Paddling around North America

What’s it like to sea kayak around south and north America, including Alaska? On this Outdoor Explorer we’ll talk with German paddler Freya Hoffmeister who is doing just that.