Charles Wohlforth

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cwohlforth (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | About Charles

The Chugach Mountains behind Anchorage might be as familiar as your bedroom wall, but they’re still big, rugged peaks with plenty of hard miles in them. Our guests on the next Outdoor Explorer have done those miles. We'll talk with mountain runners who have completed the 12-peak challenge, an incredible ultra-marathon that links a dozen summits in the front range on a single very long day. We'll also hear some personal stories about the local trails we cherish so much. Thanks for listening!

On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll talk about otters and try to understand how they may have changed the coastal ecosystem. We’ll also meet a tribal leader in Sitka who is doing something about it, with a sea otter hunt that also provides furs for Native handicrafts, which seems to be bringing back shellfish.  Thanks for listening!

We have two visions of wilderness a bit different than the gritty version you’re used to hearing. In the first half, we’ll hear from an author and photographer who created a new book about Prince William Sound. We'll also hear about new ways for people with disabilities to get out and enjoy nature. Thanks for listening!

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!

What’s your retirement fantasy? How about sailing from Alaska to Mexico and exploring the warm waters there? On the next Outdoor Explorer, we'll feature a couple who did just that, sailed away the day after finishing work, and returned back into port in Alaska four years later. Along the way, they tested their boat and their marriage. And they came back with the stories and experiences of a lifetime. It's an inspiring tale you won't want to miss. Thanks for listening!

If Alaska were a country, she would be our national hero. Kikkan Randall, the Olympic gold medal skier, joins us on the next Outdoor Explorer. Randall is, of course, a household name in Alaska, where we’ve been watching her progress over the course of an amazing international career. As she retires from skiing and settles down with her family, we’ll have a chance to learn about her life, her racing career, her future--and, of course, that thrilling relay in Korea when she brought home the gold. Thanks for listening!

On this episode of Hometown Alaska, we will meet leaders in the grassroots movement to respond to the opioid crisis. These are recovering addicts, and moms of addicts, who are helping get users into recovery, and working with the political system at all levels to make a change. They're inspiring people and they have a lot to share about dealing with this terrible epidemic. Thanks for listening!

This Outdoor Explorer is dedicated entirely to two of the most impressive people we’ve recently met, both military veterans whose service became deeply linked to the outdoors. We’ll hear from Kirk Alkire, who has made climbing in the Chugach Mountains a form of therapy for other grieving veterans. Then we'll talk with David Shuman, who retired from a long career as a pararescuer, doing the most difficult and daring rescues in Alaska’s wilderness.

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

KSKA: Thursday, Jan. 11, at 2 & 8 p.m. We have some fun people to introduce you to on the next Outdoor Explorer: twin brothers came in to talk with us. They're beer brewers, who are fanatic for snow machine-assisted backcountry skiing. This is where you ski or board remote powder slopes, but without spending the sweat to get there on foot or the money to get there on a helicopter--you ride out on a snow machine. There’s a ton of skill involved and a lot to learn, and these guys are great at talking about it. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Wednesday, March 7, 2 pm and 8 pm. Hometown Alaska will address choices voters will soon make on the future of Anchorage in our next two shows. Coming up first, we'll have both an advocate and opponent of Proposition 1, an ordinance that would regulate gender in public bathrooms by birth certificate rather than identity. It is a divisive topic, but we're planning on a civil and informative discussion and welcome your calls. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Thursday, March 01, at 2 & 8 p.m. We're excited that we got to sit down with the guests on this week’s Outdoor Explorer to learn about the strange, circular ocean currents swirling around the North Pacific. These currents sometimes carry Asian debris to Alaska shores and, as we’ll hear, bring pieces of Alaska shipwrecks to Hawaii. We have a serious beachcomber and an oceanographer who used this information to change our view of how the ocean’s work. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Thursday, Feb. 22, at 2 & 8p.m. Birds of prey are much more than symbols, like the bald eagle, they’re with us as apex predators atop the food web. They’re inspiring in their fierceness and their amazing physical abilities, with their sharp claws and eyes, and they are among the most exiting birds to see in the wild. On the next Outdoor Explorer, join us as we focus on raptors, their natural history and care here in Alaska. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Thursday, February 15, at 2 & 8 p.m. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re focusing on winter sports and, for all those Olympics junkies listening, the question on your mind, how do I get my kid on a Wheatie’s box? The best answer seems to be-- cool it. Those amazing elite athletes create themselves. We’ll learn from the people who know best, with tips on how parents can -- and should -- give kids the opportunity to get outside and compete. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Thursday, Feb. 1, at 2:00 & 8:00 p.m. The winter Olympics are here, and Alaska is sending the most athletes ever. Half the nordic ski team is from Alaska, and six of those skiers are going with their siblings. We’ll talk with America’s top skiing siblings, Erik and Sadie Bjornsen, and their mom, Mary, and I’ll have Rosie Brennan and her mother, and Rose Mancari’s mother, too. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Thursday, February 1, at 2:00 & 8:00 p.m. The next Outdoor Explorer focuses on women, and specifically events for women athletes. The Alaska Ski for Women is coming up soon, and after that the Gold Nugget Triathlon, and there are others too. We’ll be talking with competitors and organizers to find out what these events are like, how they feel different from co-ed races, and why it is important to have events specifically for women. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Thursday, Jan. 25, at 2:00p.m. We’re talking about dogs on the next Outdoor Explorer. Anchorage has a network of dog parks for different kinds of breeds that have different needs. Now there’s a group that wants to build a dog park with play equipment. We also have a guest to talk about dogs and the law. Later in the show, we catch up with our friend Dario Schwoerer, and his family. They've endured some tragedy, since we last spoke to them about their TOPtoTOP program, when a storm in Iceland seriously damaged the ship they live on. It's a harrowing tale to be sure. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2 pm and 8 pm. Our community's crisis with high health care costs is well known. On the next Hometown Alaska, we'll talk about solutions. You may have heard the Alaska Common Ground forums we have been airing. This will be your chance to talk back and share your ideas, and to hear from some of the very smart people involved in putting together those meetings. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Thursday, January 18, at 2:00p.m. On this Outdoor Explorer, we're excited to have two national champions in cross country skiing. Caitlin and Scott Patterson also happen to be siblings, and totally charming and real. You’re going to love them. We'll also have a discussion about avalanche awareness and forecasting. After an accident in December killed an experienced skier, what do we all need to know?  LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Thursday, Jan. 11, at 2:00 p.m. Taxidermy turns out to be a complex subject with a lot going on. Who knew? There are even people getting animals mounted for display who don’t hunt. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll have Alaska’s most famous taxidermist, who also made his name in reality TV, Russell Knight. And then a woman from the next generation of taxidermy who is helping making this old art form bigger than ever. LISTEN HERE