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 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

An Interview with Alaska musher Aliy Zirkle

Aliy Zirkle didn't grow up thinking she would become a famous musher. But she always loved the outdoors. And when she was studying biology at the University of Pennsylvania, she walked into a lab one day saw this sign on the door: "Why are you studying biology in downtown Philadelphia when you could be in Alaska?" A few years later, she was mushing her first team of dogs in the Interior community of Bettles. On the next Outdoor Explorer, Join host Annie Feidt for an interview with this remarkable musher. KSKA: Thursday, Feb. 26, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen Now:

Outdoors with Disabilities

On Outdoor Explorer, we get to interview some of the heartiest and most driven athletes in the world, people who test themselves against Alaska and win. On this week's show, we meet athletes who fit that description, but do it while dealing with a disability. They prove that Alaska's outdoors are accessible for skiing, boating, hunting, hand-cycle racing, and just about anything else you want to try. Download Audio: KSKA: Thursday, August 13, at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

Outdoor Explorer’s new hosts

For our first show of the year, something completely new on Outdoor Explorer. Charles Wohlforth is leaving as the program's host. On the episode, we’ll be introducing four new hosts who will carry it onward, and make it better, with more diverse perspectives and deep knowledge about the Alaska outdoors. Charles has hosted the show for 6 years and will still be listening and taking part and we look forward to where the show goes in the future. Thanks for listening!

Sailing the Northwest Passage

KSKA: Thursday, Jan. 12, at 2:00 p.m. On Outdoor Explorer, we're fortunate to meet some of the world’s most amazing people, and that was especially true when Dario Schwoerer was in town to talk about his 100,000-mile sailboat voyage. On our next show we'll hear from Dario about his amazing family, some scary moments they've endured, and their hopes for our planet. LISTEN NOW

Hiking in southcentral Alaska

With our long days and easy accessibility to the mountains, many residents of southcentral Alaska look forward to hiking as a main summer activity. Whether you want some great views, you are training for Mount Marathon, you are looking for a place to take visiting friends or you just want some solitude, there are guidebooks to help plan your hikes. In the first segment of our next show, we’ll be talking with Lisa Maloney, who has authored the most recent guidebook, “Day Hiking in Southcentral Alaska.” In the second segment we’ll hear from Corrie Smith and Greg Martin, a couple who decided on the challenge of completing all the hikes in one book, “50 Hikes in Alaska’s Chugach State Park.” Thanks for listening!

Denali Climbing Season Begins

Summit Ridge_Brian Okonek

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
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Traveling to the SSWC 2016

KSKA: Thursday, June 22, at 2:00 p.m. This show covers two topics to achieve the same goal. It's one part travel show, discussing what it takes to travel overseas with a bicycle and all the gear one needs to visit another country. The second part is about what it's like to attend, and race in, the Single Speed World Championships (SSWC). It's a crazy fun time, and we'll try to share what it's like to travel half-way across the globe to be there. LISTEN HERE

Bike fitting and the Texas 4000

We’re talking about cycling on the next Outdoor Explorer. We’ll chat with a physical therapist and a bike fitter to learn about getting the perfect fit for your health, as well as your performance. And we’ll have an interview about the Texas 4000, a cross-country bike ride for cancer arriving soon in Anchorage from the University of Texas in Austin. Thanks for listening!

Revisiting getting your own piece of Alaska

KSKA: Thursday, August 10, at 2:00 p.m. The dream of getting your own piece of Alaska is as old as the North, the idea of staking land, proving up, and ending up with a big homestead that is your own estate. We’ll talk about how you can buy a remote piece of Alaska, too, and hear the story of a real Alaskan pioneer who lived alone in the wilderness years ago. LISTEN HERE

Foraging for Edible Foods in AK

KSKA: Thursday, September 01, at 2:00 and Thursday, September 08, at 8:00 p.m. Alaska may not be a huge farming state, but it is full of food, and not only for meat eaters. The woods and beaches are rich in edible plants and fungus that can be delicious and not difficult to find. As we’re going to learn on the next show, many of Alaska’s edible plants are extremely common and preparation is easy. LISTEN NOW

Talking Iditarod with Bill Sherwonit

The next Outdoor Explorer will air during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, and we’ll be discussing Alaska’s signature sporting event with nature writer Bill Sherwonit. Bill spent many years covering the Iditarod as a newspaper reporter and he has lots of stories from the trail. He’s recently put out a new book about the race. Tune in for a discussion with author Bill Sherwonit about the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Thanks for listening!

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

Backcountry Skiing

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. Listen now:

Revisiting Paragliding

KSKA: Thursday, July 21, at 2:00 and Thursday, July 28, at 8:00 p.m. Probably everyone has imagined flying like a bird at one time or another. But these days, you can do more than dream. Paragliding makes soaring up in the sky into a regular weekend activity. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re going to learn about what paragliding feels like, how you do it safely, and ways to gain entry into the sport. LISTEN NOW

Backcountry Gourmet

You don’t have to be a genius chef if the people you are cooking for are hungry enough, which is one reason why freeze dried food tastes so good at the end of a day backpacking. But there’s so much more you can do.On the next Outdoor Explorer, we'll hear from two backcountry cooking experts to talk about ideas, tools, and the yummiest stuff you’ve ever tasted out under the sky. KSKA: Thursday, Oct. 2, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

Arctic Skiing

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

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:

Revisiting Rockhounding and Fossils

KSKA: Thursday, Oct. 20, at 2:00 p.m. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we'll talk about rockhounding with folks who get serious about geology. We’ll also spend time with scientists who find real treasures, the fossils of dinosaurs that once lived in Alaska. LISTEN NOW

Formidable women of Alaska

Alaskan women have a reputation for pushing the adventure boundaries. Lael Wilcox, an internationally known endurance cyclist, and producer Lee Hart and rider Jill Simek of the fat bike short film Blue, have stories to tell about their epic adventures and projects.

Olympic Parents

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 Listen Now