Outdoor Explorer Archive
Backcountry skiing opens more of Alaska to access by muscles alone than any other sport, and can take you to the most awesome and fearsome spots, too, for self-reliant adventure. But it’s complicated. We’ll learn about the several kinds of backcountry skis and techniques — telemark, randonee, touring — what each is best for, and the most reasonable route to find your way into the sport.
KSKA: Thursday, 2/27 at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Antarctica is a land of extremes. Spectrum Radio reporter Glenn Zorpette takes listeners to the world’s southernmost frozen expanse in the hour-long radio documentary, “Antarctica: Life on the Ice.” This piece is a co-production of the National Science Foundation and IEEE Spectrum Radio Programming. Outdoor Explorer will return next week.
KSKA: Thursday 2/20 at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
When Alaskans get lost or hurt in the high country, they rely on a team of volunteers and professionals who are tough enough to come get them in the worst conditions. This week on Outdoor Explorer we’ll find how how they do their work and how we can help as outdoor users when we are lost.
KSKA: Thursday, 2/13 at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
Parents of three Anchorage Olympians join us in the studio. Some of them are headed to Sochi, where the winter games start Friday, so we pre-recorded the show. We’ve heard from athletes, but as a parent it is easier to identify more with the parents: with their pride, and trepidation, and with knowledge of the sacrifices made for a young person to succeed at the highest level. We’ll learn how parents produce an Olympian, and how it feels, good and bad, once you have one in the family.
KSKA: Thursday 2/6 at 2:00 and 9:00 pm
The summer season for sleeping outdoors is short, but there’s still a lot of Alaska out there in the winter with wonderful backcountry recreation and easy travel on snowshoes, when the rivers are frozen and it almost never rains. We’ll be talking about winter camping and snowshoeing. It’s not as crazy as it sounds. You can be comfortable, have great access to the backcountry, and sleep under the most amazing dome of stars.
KSKA: Thursday 1/23 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm
Here’s an Alaska moment. It’s a weekend afternoon, you’ve been stuck indoors all day, you see that beautiful winter light in the sky, and you say, ‘let’s go skating.’ Half an hour later, you’re gliding over a frozen pond with your neighbors, getting rosy cheeks, and looking forward to hot chocolate. We’re talking about ice skating, the casual community kind, where everyone can participate and enjoy a winter day with friends.
KSKA: Thursday 1/16 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm
You don’t have to be an Olympian to participate in a Nordic ski race. Anchorage has races for the rest of us, where fast skiers can duel at the front while older and less competitive skiers push their personal limits. The Tour of Anchorage is the biggest race of the year, with up to 2,000 contestants covering up to 50 kilometers, but local volunteers organize many other cross-country ski races during the winter that are open to anyone willing to try.
KSKA: Thursday 1/9 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm
Most places, bikes get put away in the fall, but Alaskans are using their bikes year round, including in places where only skis or snowshoes used to be able to go. We’ll talk about the many kinds of winter biking– commuting, recreation and racing in town, and expeditions, including distances that boggle the mind. One of my guests biked to Nome and then to Fairbanks. Tune in to learn how we started biking in winter, and why.
KSKA: Thursday, 12/19 at 2:00 and 9:00 pm
They say the most important piece of safety equipment outdoors is your brain, and that is particularly true with staying alive in avalanche country. We’ll address the most dangerous backcountry hazard with an avalanche prediction expert and an educator who specializes in tuning up that safety gear inside your head. We’ll talk about how to recognize danger, how to prepare for winter travel in the backcountry, and when to stay home.
KSKA: Thursday 12/12 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm
For the next Outdoor Explorer we’re in Fairbanks for a kind of adventure that is uniquely arctic and Fairbanks hard-core: long range expeditions by snow machine. We’ll be joined by UAF scientist Matthew Sturm, whose studies of snow led to a career of traveling the breadth of North America on snowmachines with a team of very tough motorheads. We’ll learn about those trips, and how to prepare for motorized travel in some of the most remote spots on the globe.
KSKA: Thursday 12/55 and 2:00 and 9:00 pm.
On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re talking about public use cabins. Why now? Well, they’re open in the winter, and perfect for a ski or snowshoeing weekend. Perhaps more importantly, the season for reserving cabins for summer will soon be upon us. Believe it or not, it’s time to start planning your cabin trips for 2014. We learn about remote cabins you can rent, how to do it, and personal favorites across the region.
KSKA: Thursday 11/21 at 2:00 and 9:00 pm
They’re some of our most inspiring Alaskans, the outdoor athletes who remain active and even competitive in their 70’s and 80’s. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll be talking to elder athletes, finding out what keeps them going, and what advice they have to the rest of us to be where they are when we hit that age. It’s a community inspired show, with guests pulled from listener nominations.
KSKA: Thursday, 11/14 at 2:00 and 9:00 pm
The Crow Pass trail leads from the Girdwood Valley to Eagle River. It’s a great backpacking route, and also a historic portion of the Iditarod Trail that led from Seward to mines in the Interior. What you might not know is that the trail was rebuilt in the 1970s with girl scout labor.We’ll learn about the Crow Pass trail in history and meet a former girl scout who helped remake the trail 40 years ago.
KSKA: Thursday 11/7 at 2:00 and 9:00 pm
It’s the time of year when skiers and snowmachiners obsess about snow, waiting anxiously for that first good blanket that will stick and get us out on the trails and slopes again. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re going to appease the snow gods by learning everything we can about the topic with a trio of experts: the weather patterns of our first snow, the physics of snow crystals, and the technology of sliding surfaces over snow.
KSKA: Thursday 10/31 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm
Starting in Washington, going over the Chilkoot Pass, down the Yukon, through the Bering Sea, up river to Lake Iliamna, finally ending up in Anchorage’s Westchester Lagoon, Bob Vollhaber paddled a canoe five thousand miles in five months. He’d never done anything like the before. On the next Outdoor Explorer, listen to an interview with Bob recorded on September 17th, just days after he completed the extraordinary journey.
KSKA: Thursday 10/24 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm
For outdoor families, it can be tough when children leave elementary school and suddenly don’t want to go outside anymore. There are plenty of exceptions, but middle school coaches and parents of tweens know that this is a critical age to keep young people going outside and active. We’ll be talking with parents and educators about how the outdoors can compete with the screen or the couch in the lives of tweens as we struggle to help them build independent lives that are healthy and active.
KSKA: Thursday 10/17 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm
Even as fall weather gets colder, biking is not over. The sport of cyclocross is nearing its peak of competition. Mountain biking trails are firm and fast in cool weather. And yearround bikers are preparing for winter. We are talking about biking when its cold out, on the cyclocross course or on the street, getting to work, and the equipment and attitude it takes to make sub-arctic bicycling full.
KSKA: Thursday 10/10 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm
The thrown disc, otherwise known as a frisbee, transferred a generation ago from a beach toy to a serious piece of sporting equipment, both in ultimate frisbee leagues and in disc golf. Even if you haven’t played, you’ve noticed disc golf players, usually young adults, walking through the forest from hole to hole. On this edition of Outdoor Explorer, we’ll learn how the sport has grown in Anchorage to be a major feature of our wooded parks.
KSKA: Thursday 10/3 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm
Trap shooting is a sport at which Alaskans excel, having produced a national champion and Olympian in Cory Cogdell, formerly of Eagle River, and other top competitors. On today’s show we learn about the community of trap shooters in Anchorage, how shooters learn to hit the fast-moving targets, and what it takes to get into the sport. Watch Video
KSKA: Thursday 9/26 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm
This is a great time of year to be canoeing on the Swan Lake Canoe Route, when the leaves are turning and the fish are active in the cool weather, in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll also be talking about floating the easy Swanson River, which may be the best float for beginners in our region and great for families. This is a show about one of the best areas to take your first self-guided wilderness trip.
KSKA: Thursday 9/19 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm