cwohlforth (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | About Charles
This week’s Outdoor Explorer comes to you from the Chilkoot Trail, the infamous route used by Klondike gold rushers during the late 1800s. As you walk the trail, signs of that crazy gold rush period are evident, but even more impressive is how a century has erased much of the gold rush’s footprint. Host Charles Wohlforth and friends take on the 33-mile trail over five days of hiking.
KSKA: Thursday, July 24, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m.
In 1967 the Wilcox Expedition attacked Mount McKinley with 12 young men. Only five came back alive. The disaster was the worst in the history of the mountain, and changed many lives and the way people thought about climbing it. Two authors have recently released books on the event, and both join us on the show to rehash what they remember from the deadly event.
KSKA: Thursday, July 17, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
“Leave only footprints” — it’s an ambitious philosophy. Most of us who recreate outdoors like to think we do a good job of this. We pack out our trash. We travel across landscapes with a light footprint. But how good are we? We’ll have some experts in studio to talk about what it really means to leave no trace — from scattering your fire circles to packing out human waste. Minimizing your impact in the outdoors helps ensure others who travel after you get the same wilderness experience.
KSKA: Thursday, July 10, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m.
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.
The marathon is the pinnacle of physical challenges, an event that few are able to finish, much less excel in. But more and more people are taking the challenge to train and to run 26.2 miles, and this weekend Anchorage’s oldest marathon is taking place, the Mayor’s Marathon, which also includes a half-marathon. Join host Charles Wohlforth and guests to discuss tips and training advice, and also the philosophy of the race. Why do something that is so hard?
KSKA: Thursday, June 19, 2:00 and 9:00 p.m.
Our biggest dog park in Anchorage seems to be Chugach State Park. On any sunny day on the trails into the mountains, you will encounter a lot of dogs and their people. Host Charles Wohlforth and guests will talk about enjoying the outdoors with your dog, fun stuff you can do, what to be careful of, and how to avoid being a jerk around non-dog people.
KSKA: Thursday, June 12, 2:00 and 9:00 p.m.
We’ve gotten used to the new face of the Anchorage Museum, the new plaza out front, and the stainless steel boxes in the shape of a man on the corner. Now, with a new director, the museum is working on a plan to determine the next step in its development. We’ll talk about your vision for the Anchorage Museum. It’s our front parlor. How would you like to see it managed?
KSKA: Wednesday, June 11, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m.
Navigating and avoiding getting lost is a bottom-line requirement for spending time in the wilderness. It’s also a sport and a source of competition. We’ll learn about orienteering, and along the way get tips about how to know where you are when you’re traveling in the backcountry. Navigation can be an interesting puzzle, and it can also save your life.
KSKA: Thursday, June 5, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m.
Anchorage has some of the most diverse high schools and neighborhoods in the nation. This is new. In 30 years, the city’s minorities have gone from 15% to 34% of the population. We’ll explore why this change has happened, from the perspective of foreign-born Anchorage residents. What qualities made our town attractive when they were looking for a better life?
KSKA: Wednesday, June 4, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m.
The poet Homer called the ocean a “whale road.” Some people in the town of Homer seem to have a similar inspiration. They are inaugurating a water trail on Kachemak Bay. Join host Charles Wohlforth and guests to learn more about the Kachemak Bay Water Trail, which is about to have its grand opening in early June.
KSKA: Thursday, May 29, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
The Alaska Railroad is facing new challenges. The closure of the Flint Hills refinery in North Pole will reduce freight business that has already been impacted by the price of coal. The bill creating the Alaska Railroad passed Congress a century ago this year. But what does its future hold? Join host Charles Wohlforth and guests to learn more.
KSKA: Wednesday, May 21, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Athletic events in Alaska often have a purpose. The heart run, the ski for women. We look at cause-driven events, and why they’re important to the people involved and to the entire community. Host Charles Wohlforth is joined by a bicyclist who lives with diabetes and rides to help raise money to fight the disease, and a runner who got inspired by Leukemia survivors to help get others involved.
KSKA: Thursday, May 15, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
In Anchorage you head for the mountains, but on the other side of the city there is another wild habitat to explore, summer and winter: the coastal wetlands that extend from Potter’s Marsh to Ship Creek. We’ll talk about the swampy, muddy shoreline of Anchorage, and the many birds and animals that live there.
KSKA: Thursday, May 8, 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
How do you get a pair of polar bears to mate? Very carefully. In fact, the polar bears at the Alaska Zoo were living relatively platonically until recently. Now its hoped that they’ll produce a cub that will help conserve the species. We’ll learn about our zoo, the love life of the polar bears, and the that status of these great animals in the wild.
KSKA: Wednesday, May 7, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
The terror of being attacked by a bear is a nightmare for many outdoors people, and a lot of time is spent worrying and planning for it. We’ll put wildlife hazards in context. What should you know to be safe, how can you improve your chances, and why aren’t you thinking about all the other things that could get you, and that are a lot more common. Join us for an opinionated discussion.
KSKA: Thursday, May 1, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Taking kids on an outdoor vacation can be the most rewarding and memorable time of your life. And the most stressful. Ever been without a campsite with hungry, tired kids when its getting past bedtime? Now THAT’S an extreme sport. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re talking about family trips. Host Charles Wohlforth wrote a book on the subject and he is joined by two other authors of advice on family travel in Alaska and taking kids outdoors.
KSKA: Thursday, April 24, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
The Anchorage Daily News is changing hands, bought by the Alaska Dispatch website and its owner, Alice Rogoff. Tony Hopfinger, who left the Daily News as a reporter to start the Dispatch in his spare bedroom, returns as executive editor. The Daily News sale is the biggest change in Alaska media in more than two decades. Join host Charles Wohlforth as he hashes out the details of what this means for Anchorage with the Daily News’ new leaders.
KSKA: Wednesday, April 23, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
The ice will soon go out soon on our lakes and rivers. The sea otters are ready to pose for our pictures. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re getting ready for paddling season. Host Charles Wohlforth and guests will be talking about canoeing, kayaking, rafting, rivers, lakes and the ocean — gear, safety, planning and packing. We’ll be dreaming about the trips we would love to take, and talking to folks who have done them.
KSKA: Thursday, April 17, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Alaska’s beauty inspires artists and sometimes overwhelms them. It’s hard to convey how you feel about our spectacular country. But its an important part of the wilderness experience. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re talking about wilderness art with artists who have made expeditions to pursue their work, sponsored by some of our public land agencies. Host Charles Wohlforth will be joined by a writer, photographer and a mural artist to talk about expression outdoors.
KSKA: Thursday, April 10, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
We’re sometimes told that America is a Christian nation and Anchorage certainly has a protestant majority, but there are many other faith communities here, too, with different ways of worshiping and different ideas about the meaning of life. Join host Charles Wohlforth an guests to learn more about how people worship. We’ll talk to a Buddhist, a pagan and a Unitarian minister to share the experience of being out of the religious mainstream.
KSKA: Wednesday, April 9, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.