Outdoor Explorer

On "Outdoor Explorer" from KSKA-Anchorage 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 2:00 – 3:00 pm on KSKA FM, streaming live at alaskapublic.org. We're looking for your show ideas! Please send your thoughts for upcoming shows to: cwohlforth@alaskapublic.org

KSKA: Thursday, July 27, at 2:00p.m. The next Outdoor Explorer comes from a yurt in Seldovia, Alaska. We met with adventurer Erin McKittrick to talk about a journey she made with her young children, and husband Hig, around Cook Inlet on foot and by pack raft. It’s the region where we live, but can remain hidden from most of us, with 100s of miles of beaches that rarely have a human footprint. We’ll also learn how they raise their backwoods family in such a dynamic, yet modern Alaska.

 IMG_3463

The feel of the air at night has changed. Fall is coming. Time for berry picking. It’s been a great year for berries across Alaska, and on today's show, we will talk in detail about where, how, and what to pick, and how to handle your harvest with experts on the art, science, health and culinary details of berries, and share the warm feeling of this wonderful family tradition. KSKA: Thursday, 8/22 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now

KSKA: Thursday, July 6th, at 2:00 p.m. Imagine sending your 8-year-old over an 80-foot jump on a motorcycle, seeing him crash, and then doing it again? During this show we’ll talk to a dad from Sutton who has done that, and is heading to a national motocross championship with his brave son, who we’ll also have in the studio. We’ll also learn about motocross here in Anchorage, where youth and adult races go on through the summer. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Thursday, Feb. 16, at 2:00 p.m. One of the biggest and best events of the Anchorage winter is a ski race that crosses the whole city, held the same weekend as the Iditarod start. It’s the Tour of Anchorage, and it’s coming up soon, with some of the nation’s best skiers and plenty of regular folks who just want to go the distance. LISTEN NOW

Alaskans are making winter gear here in Alaska that you can buy, tuned for local conditions, often made of Alaskan materials, and decorated with Alaskan artwork. We’ll meet outdoors people who have turned their passion for snow into businesses manufacturing products you can use. We’ll learn about their wares, and the inspiration and struggles of making snow gear locally. KSKA: Thus Dec 10pm at 2 and Thus Dec 17 at 8pm Download Audio

This edition of Outdoor Explorer comes to you from the backcountry of Wrangell St. Elias National Park. Earlier in the summer, Charles flew with friends to a mountain pass in the massive, incredibly spectacular Wrangell mountains where they spent an extended weekend on dayhikes in the alpine environment, near the Russell Glacier. We'll learn about the park, the trip, and how you can do a backcountry adventure in this amazing park. KSKA: Thursday, August 6, at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Listen now:

The bore tide in Turnagain Arm is an amazing phenomenon that is seen few places in the world, a wall of water that rushes in on a clockwork schedule, vast and intimidating. So… why not surf it? On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll meet some of the hearty folks who ride that big wave, and talk about surfing the remote shores and big waves found all over Alaska’s coast. Listen now:

In rural Alaska, you don’t usually see a lot of skiers, but that doesn’t really make sense, because snow is something the Arctic has plenty of. On the next Outdoor explorer, we’ll be talking to Lars Flora, a former olympian who has dedicated himself to spreading skiing across Alaska like a Nordic Johnny Appleseed, Elizabeth Rexford, who is one of his volunteers, and Jim Vordestrasse, who started skiing in Barrow in 1973. KSKA: Thursday, Feb 4, at 2:00 and Thursday, Feb 11, at 8:00 p.m. LISTEN NOW

It’s been a bad year for avalanches in south central Alaska, with several deaths occurring in the mountains. Still, we have more information to avoid avalanches than ever before. On the next Outdoor Explorer we'll visit with the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center to learn how the staff there studies the snow and predicts whether or not backcountry activities will be safe, and what you need to know for your own adventures. KSKA: Thursday, March 17, at 2:00 and Thursday, March 24, at 8:00 p.m. DOWNLOAD AUDIO

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 Listen Now

Nancy Lake Recreation Area is 23,000 acres of boreal forest and more than 100 lakes to explore less than 90 minutes from downtown Anchorage. On this edition of Outdoor Explorer, we’ll share two trips to the Nancy Lake system. We recorded the first half of the show in a canoe on an end-of-season overnight paddle. In the second half, we’ll talk about skating. You can’t do it every year, but when you can it is amazing. KSKA: Thursday, Nov. 5, at 2:00 p.m.; Thursday, Nov. 12, at 8:00 p.m. Listen Now:

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 Listen Now

Alaskan geologists, biologists, archaeologists and lots of other kinds of -ologists cover the wilderness in their work, in search of knowledge but avoiding something many outdoor folks are looking for: adventure. On this show, we’ll hear from field scientists about their challenges studying Alaska, and how they keep safe and work effectively in places where other people go to test themselves against the elements. KSKA: Thursday, Oct. 8, at 2:00 p.m. and Thursday, Oct. 15, at 8:00 p.m. Listen now:

KSKA: Thursday, April 28 @ 2:00 pm. We're reprising one of our favorite interviews with Bob Vollhaber. 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. DOWNLOAD AUDIO

A huge proportion of Alaska is covered with ice. A lot more than has towns and cities or anything man made on it. That’s a lot of country to explore, and its truly beautiful, like another world. On the next Outdoor Explorer the topic is glacier travel. We’ll be talking with a guide who takes newbies on glacier treks, a photographer who specializes in glacier journeys, and a glaciologist who goes to work on glaciers, and knows how they’re made. KSKA: Thursday 6/20 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm Listen Now

At the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, the U.S. went from no medals ever in the sport of nordic combined to a gold and three silvers, more than any other country. Now there’s a push on to keep performing in this combination of jumping and distance skiing, and Anchorage is a key to the effort. On the next Outdoor Explorer, host Charles Wohlforth will be joined by a national team skier and coach, in town to build the athlete pipeline. KSKA: Thursday 4/18 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm

What goes on inside those tents you see on the frozen lakes around town? On the next Outdoor Explorer,we’ll find out. The topic is ice fishing. Folks do it on stocked lakes all through the city--that’s another unique thing about Anchorage--and in the backcountry they catch great big fish through the ice. We’ll find out how to do it and why. What’s the attraction of fishing in the middle of winter when the water is frozen? KSKA: Thursday 1/30 at 2:00 and 9:00 pm Listen Now

Coastal communities are the best thresholds to the wilderness for most of us who live in urban Alaska. That’s because a short boat ride can get you from the small boat harbor to a wild beach many, many miles from the nearest road, a place that likely is inaccessible any other way. On today’s show, we’re going to talk about using water taxis and where they can take you for hiking, paddling, or just setting up camp and enjoying incredibly beautiful, biologically rich places. KSKA: Thursday, April 30, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen Now:
Bear catching fish Alaska News Nightly

KSKA: Thursday, April 27, at 2:00 p.m. In a state with so much wildlife and wilderness, there is one place that is legendary for a most extraordinary bear-viewing experience: McNeil River State Game Sanctuary and Refuge. The sanctuary is celebrating it's 50th anniversary, so we invited in some experts who have spent the most time there to learn how this amazing opportunity came to be and what it's like to spend time with the bears. LISTEN HERE

The air you breathe keeps you alive, and it should always be pure and healthy, but for outdoor athletes, air quality means much more, whether you’re an elite runner or if you are just huffing and puffing up a hill on your bicycle. On today’s show, we’re going to learn about both parts of this equation: the quality of our air in Anchorage and around Alaska, and how our bodies handle the air, including how our lungs respond to pollution. KSKA: Thursday, May 21, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now: