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

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

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 Listen Now

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 Listen Now

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 Listen Now

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

It’s a fair bet that the stampeders who flowed north during the Klondike Gold Rush never thought of mining as recreational, but the hunt for gold is something people do for fun, as well as profit. We’ll find out how and why modern recreational miners persist in sifting Alaska’s streams with pans and other obsolete equipment, going after glittering flakes of gold, and hoping for something much richer. It's a hobby that gets them outdoors, and it's a treasure hunt. KSKA: Thursday 9/5 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now

Photo by US Fish and Wildlife Service Duck hunting season begins September 1, a day that kicks off an outdoor tradition like no other. We’ll have guests who are getting ready for opening day with all the trappings of the sport, talk about hunting memories and traditions, and touch on conservation issues and changes in the land and the sport. KSKA: Thursday 8/29 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now

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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

A cabin off the grid is a private place in the wilderness where the noisy world is far away and the soul of Alaska close at hand. On the next Outdoor Explorer, our host comes to you from his own off-the-grid cabin on Kachemak Bay. Guest Donna Massay will join us from the Trapper Creek area. And we’ll learn about the power, water and communication technology that makes off the grid life easier to do these days. KSKA: Thursday 8/15, at 2:00 and 9:00 pm Listen Now

During the 2012 Mount Marathon race, two runners were terribly injured and one disappeared, never to be found. Organizers hope this year’s race is safer, without losing its adventurous edge. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll talk about the new rules, and about the joy of mountain running and competition with two of the best in Alaska, plus a race organizer. Also new for this week's show, host Charles Wohlforth is in Homer, at KBBI. KSKA: Thursday 6/27 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm Listen Now

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

Memorial Day is upon us, and with it, huge minus tides in lower Cook Inlet. Excellent clam tides are hitting at the same time as the starting weekend of the summer season. But razor clams have been scarce of late. We’ll have a researcher trying to find out why, as well talking about how to pursue razors, and going after steamers and butters, too. Biology, food safety, digging, camping, cooking. You'll even hear some secret recipes on the next Outdoor Explorer. KSKA: Thursday, 5/23 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm Download Audio

© Jim Lavrakas / Far North Photography Fishing season is approaching. We’ll find out what to expect in this year’s salmon runs. Last year was dreadful for kings, poor for silvers, and red hot for reds across Upper Cook Inlet. Do we know why? Will we see a repeat? And how do these predictions get made. KSKA: 5/16 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm Listen Now

A pack raft is a raft you can fit in a pack, and it opens up Alaska in a way that few other inventions ever have done. For skilled paddlers, the raft eliminates the barriers presented by rivers, lakes and even bays when crossing country. But there’s a lot to learn to be safe. We hear from a famous trekker and pack raft pioneer, and a business owner who teaches pack rafting. KSKA: Thursday 5/9 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm Listen Now

hoonah camp 2012_AB Girl Scouts Listen Now The fondest dream of many parents is for our children to love the outdoors as much as we do. Summer is the time for that to happen, but how do you get them off the couch and outside when you’re away at work? On this edition of Outdoor Explorer, the topic is outdoors summer camps. We’ll talk about camp options, and also how to make sure it’s a positive and inspiring experience, even for shy indoor kids.What do you look for in a camp for your kids? KSKA: Thusday 5/2 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm

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On the next Outdoor Explorer: Climbing North America's highest peak. The first climbers of the season are beginning their attempts on Denali.  And in a few weeks, base camp on the Kahiltna glacier will become an international village of mountaineers. Host Annie Feidt will be joined by Denali climbing guides and a National Park Service climbing ranger on the next Outdoor Explorer. KSKA: Thursday 4/25 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm

Mike Kenney surrounded by shorebird flock. Photo by Milo Burchman. It’s a sure sign of spring in coastal Alaska, the arrival of migrating shorebirds that flock so thickly they sometimes look like clouds.  Several communities welcome the birds and visitors who want to see them and learn about them, and its a great chance to get out on the water early in the season and forget winter. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll be talking about the spring migrations and the shorebird festivals coming up in the next week weeks. KSKA: Thursday 4/18 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm

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

For a week or two in mid-April, a remote mountainside in the Alaska Range becomes one of the biggest towns in Alaska. It’s Arctic Man, a kind of Burning Man for the snow machine set, with the craziest extreme skiing competition you’ve ever heard of. We’ll preview Arctic Man, the speed, the parties, the family fun, and the backcountry travel, with an organizer, a competitor, and a spectator. KSKA: Thursday 4/4 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm

anc meetup portage On this Outdoor Explorer we’ll talk about the outdoors as a social space. Some folks think that groups are the best way to experience natural places, to hike, ski, climb or bird. They’ve set up ways to get together and meet new people while exploring and learning. Have you ever thought about finding new friends for an outdoor adventure? Learn how. KSKA: Thursday 3/28 at 2:00 pm and 10:00 pm