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

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 activity and the human brain

KSKA: Thursday, January 18, at 2 & 8 p.m. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re talking about a key part of the body for your outdoor explorations, the brain. I’m Charles Wohlforth. New research shows that being active can make you smarter, growing parts of the brain, and keep your brain healthy as you age. But we’re also going to talk about brain injuries. We’re learning the serious impact they can have on every aspect of life and how important it is to protect your head when you are doing outdoor sports. LISTEN HERE

Historic Alaska Expeditions

Alaska’s outdoors people may think they’re tough, but how about paddling 40 days in a dugout canoe in the rains of Southeast Alaska in October and November, dressed in wool, without modern gear? That’s what John Muir did, and his writings about the experience changed science and started the Alaska tourism industry. On the next Outdoor Explorer, join host Charles Wohlforth and guests to talk about Muir's historic expedition and others. What these guys did will amaze you. KSKA: Thursday, July 3, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

Recreation on the Ballot

On this Outdoor Explorer we get walked through the recreation propositions on the upcoming Municipal election ballot. Beth Nordlund, from Anchorage Park Foundation, explains the Parks and Recreation bond, and Joe Connolly, from the Glen Alps Road Service Area Board of Supervisors, explains how Proposition 6 will improve access to Chugach State Park.
Crow Pass Trail in Chugach State Park

Chugach State Park

On the next Outdoor Explorer, we will dive deep into the history, planning and development of Chugach State Park with guests Monica Alvarez with the Department of Natural Resources, Ben Corwin the Park’s Chief Ranger, and Ryan Yelle, the Chairman of the Park’s Citizen Advisory Board.
Skier at Karl Eid Jumping Complex.

Ski jumping in Anchorage

On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll be talking about ski jumping with the Anchorage Ski Jumping Club. Our guests will be Karen Compton and Zak Hamill. Karen has been instrumental in the recent dramatic growth of the Anchorage Jumping Club, and she’s also a parent of two ski jumpers. Zak Hamill is the Club’s program director and head coach.
Luc Mehl

Trip planning and risk analysis in Alaska with Luc Mehl

Trip planning and risk analysis are key to safe and successful outings. Luc Mehl joins host Paul Twardock to share his insights gleaned from his life time of adventures in Alaska.

Learning from our elders

The outdoors can teach us many lessons, from skills like pitching a tent and cooking a hot meal to life lessons such as communication and decision making. Alaska is full of women and men of all stripes that have lived full lives in the outdoors. Join your host, Paul Twardock, on the next Outdoor Explorer as he speaks with Alaska ski pioneer Jim Mahaffey and retired Denali Mountaineering Ranger Daryl Miller. Thanks for listening!

Alaska Ski for Women

The Alaska Ski for Women is one of the biggest women’s ski events in the World, and it’s happening in Anchorage on February 5th! This week on Outdoor Explorer, we’ll talk with founder Sally Burkholder, about its beginnings more than two decades ago. And we’ll also talk with Director Molly Mylius about this year’s event.
Jeremy Lane and supporters

2022 Alaska Sports Hall of Fame and 100 Miles in May

On this Outdoor Explorer, Harlow Robinson will catch us up on the 2022 Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Directors’ Awards and the Healthy Futures 100 Miles in May. The Directors’ Awards honor athletes and supporters who have made a significant impact on the culture of sport in Alaska. 100 Miles in May is the annual fundraiser for Healthy Futures.

Wheels on Ice: Cycling in Alaska 1898-2021

This Outdoor Explorer features the book "Wheels on Ice," a collection of stories from the gold rush to present day. The book is a compilation of stories edited by Jessica Cherry and the late Frank Soos. Jessica and author Andromeda Romano-Lax join host Paul Twardock to discuss the book and its stories.

Outdoor art

On this Outdoor Explorer we’re talking about art. Alaska’s nature is a powerful inspiration for many artists, like painter Steve Gordon.  Steve’s vivid images of birch trees and stream banks are among our favorites, capturing the light and grace of quiet places and somehow heightening the feelings they create. Steve will talk about how he makes those paintings and how his many years of boy scout camping trips influenced that work. Thanks for listening!

Winter Sports and Climate Change

If winter defines us as Alaskans, as skiers and outdoor enthusiasts, what happens when we start to lose winter? Strange weather is becoming the new normal and we’re forced to adapt to climate change, because we don’t have a choice. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we'll look at what that means from scientific and a practical perspective. KSKA: Thursday, Jan. 22, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen Now:

Ocean threats, a conversation with two authors

KSKA: Thursday, Nov. 02, at 2:00 p.m. Dramatic changes have happened in the ocean in southcentral Alaska in the last few years. What’s causing them? On this next Outdoor Explorer, we hear from two authors who have done studies and written on the impact of climate change on the marine environment, from increasing acidity to rising sea waters. LISTEN HERE

Beach and Creek Cleanup

A few years ago I got interested in a group that was cleaning up marine debris from beaches in Prince William Sound. I volunteered, and I was blown away by what a rewarding experience it was to pick up trash. On today’s show, we’re talking about beach cleanup, both on the wild, outer coast where stuff is washing up from Japan, and on our beaches here in Anchorage. And we’ll talk about creek cleanup too, which is coming up shortly, and where we get to tend to our own back yard. KSKA: Thursday, May 7, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

Hidden animals in Alaska

Alaska is known for its diversity of wildlife. Yet there are many animals indigenous to Alaska, particularly in the urban areas, that we never...
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.
Jen Aschoff leading Flute Peak

The Chugach 120

For this Outdoor Explorer, our guest is Jen Aschoff, a geology professor who recently became the tenth person and second woman to complete the Chugach 120. The Chugach 120 is the 120 peaks in the Chugach State Park with a prominence of 500 feet or more.

Climate change in Alaska

On this show we hear from several guests about climate change and its impact on the sports and recreational activities that so many of us love. We cover how the climate in Alaska is changing, what these changes mean for all Alaskans, and what we as individuals can do to help combat climate change.
A person kayaks in the ocean.

Paddling into Summer | Outdoor Explorer

After a long winter, kayaks and canoes are finally appearing from beneath piles of snow, rivers are running and the ocean beckons.