Outdoor Explorer

On “Outdoor Explorer” 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 at 2:00 & 8:00 pm on KSKA FM, streaming live at alaskapublic.org.

We’re looking for your show ideas! Please send your thoughts for upcoming shows to: bork@alaskapublic.org

A Conversation with Holly Brooks

KSKA: Thursday, Aug. 18, at 2:00 p.m. Holly Brooks is one of Alaska’s favorite athletes because she was a regular person, an adult with a job, who became a member of the Olympic team - twice. We spend the entire next hour of Outdoor Explorer talking with Holly, learning about her recent retirement, and a new phase in her life as a counselor and coach. LISTEN NOW

LISTEN: Avalanche forecasting and education

This week’s Outdoor Explorer is on avalanche forecasting and education. The joy of skiing and riding comes with the risks associated with avalanches. We’ll talk with professionals who study, forecast, and teach about avalanches.

Water Taxis to Wilderness

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:

Ocean threats, a conversation with two authors

KSKA: Thursday, Nov. 02, at 2:00 p.m. Dramatic changes have happened in the ocean in southcentral Alaska in the last few years. What’s causing them? On this next Outdoor Explorer, we hear from two authors who have done studies and written on the impact of climate change on the marine environment, from increasing acidity to rising sea waters. LISTEN HERE

Spruce beetles and climate change

The spruce beetle has changed the forests of southcentral Alaska, and it’s not done. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll examine the forest changes driven by a warming climate. The most important factor has been these beetles. We’ll learn about their life cycle, impact, how to fight them, and what their explosion means for the places we recreate. We’ll also go deeper, learning what the best science predicts is next. Thanks for listening!

Urban outdoor exploration

According to The Trust for Public Land, 54% of the nation’s residents live within a 10 minute walk of a park. In Anchorage, that number is 74%. For many residents of an urban area, access to a park near their neighborhood as a child is the first outdoor exploration of life. For adults, a neighborhood park offers a quick trip into nature to recreate and relieve stress. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll be talking with the visionaries, the planners, and the builders of our urban park space. Thanks for listening!

Winter Public Use Cabins

Visiting a remote cabin in the winter opens the backcountry as you can't experience any other way. Climb out of your toasty sleeping bag to see a brilliant dome of stars far from city lights, maybe with the aurora. We’ll talk about winter time trips to Alaska’s public use cabins. It’s time to plan outings you’ll do on skis and snowshoes a couple of months from now. KSKA: Thursday, Oct. 9, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

Yukon River

KSKA: Thursday, Sept. 08, at 2:00 p.m. The Yukon River, almost 2000 miles long, is a great place to explore in a canoe or raft. On our next show, we’ll be covering river floats from Whitehorse to Dawson City, down to Eagle, onward to Circle, and down to the Dalton Highway Bridge. We’ll also be learning about the Yukon Charley Rivers National Preserve, an unusual national park unit that spans more than 100 miles of the river, with the nature and history that’s found there. LISTEN NOW

Outdoor Explorer from KSKA

In Alaska can you walk out your back door and embark upon an epic outdoor adventure. We live for hiking, mountain biking, bore tide...

Wilderness Medicine

The nightmare of anyone leading a backcountry trip is that someone becomes seriously hurt, falls in the water, or gets too cold. You can’t get the person to a doctor for many hours or even days. You don’t know what to do. On the next Outdoor Explore, we’re going to talk about that terrifying situation and how to solve it. We’re talking about wilderness medicine. KSKA: Thursday, Jan 28, at 2:00 and Thursday, Feb 4, at 8:00 p.m. LISTEN NOW

Stand Up Paddleboarding in Alaska

KSKA: Thursday, June 16, at 2:00 We love how people keep inventing new sports and Alaskans keep finding unique ways to do them. The next show is a great example, we're talking about stand up paddleboarding and paddleboard yoga. A paddleboard is essentially a surf board for calm water, but as you’ll learn, paddleboards now are being used in Alaskan rivers and in the ocean. Finally, at the end of the show, we’ll hear a hair raising story from our live outdoor explorer show a few weeks ago. DOWNLOAD AUDIO

Hiking the Chugach

The next time your head gets filled with the clutter of life, take off for the mountains. Anchorage is unique because you can spend the day stressing out in traffic or at the office, and find yourself de-stressing in the alpine high country an hour later. This week we're revisiting one of our favorite shows from last summer. Tune in while we put together a Chugach trail guide on the air. KSKA: Thursday, August 7, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

Nordic Combined: A Developing Alaskan Sport

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

Trap Shooting

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

Sailing the Aleutians on the MV Tustumena

Purser Maggie Hennigan is to the left. The M/V Tustumena, docked in False Pass. Photo by Adam Verrier. The...

The Tour of Anchorage ski event

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

Alaska Sports Hall of Fame

The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame’s mission is to Teach, Honor, and Inspire. On the next Outdoor Explorer we'll be joined by the Executive Director of the Hall who will tell us about the class of 2019 and representatives from the Alaska Run for Women, which is entering the Hall in the event category. Thanks for listening!

Memorial Day Clamming

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

Historic Alaska Expeditions

This week we revisit a conversation from 2014. 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? On the next Outdoor Explorer, join host Charles Wohlforth and guests to talk about historic expeditions. What these guys did will amaze you. KSKA: Thursday, Jan 14, at 2:00 and Thursday, Jan 21, at 8:00 p.m. LISTEN NOW

Youth downhill ski racing & raising Olympians

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