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

Military biathlon & urban snowboarding

KSKA: Thursday, November 16, at 2:00p.m. On the next Outdoor Explorer we're excited to share a new format for the show. In the first part, a military sports program here in Alaska that combines shooting and skiing. The Alaska National Guard fields a biathlon team, and while it is open to all kinds of guardsmen, it has also produced some national level athletes. Later in the show, something completely different, urban snowboarding in Anchorage. We’ve got all these big mountains, so why do some boarders prefer city rails and stunts? We’ll learn about that, and the key role filmmaking plays in the sport, with a new video just completed about Anchorage urban boarding. LISTEN HERE

Learning from our elders

The outdoors can teach us many lessons, from skills like pitching a tent and cooking a hot meal to life lessons such as communication and decision making. Alaska is full of women and men of all stripes that have lived full lives in the outdoors. Join your host, Paul Twardock, on the next Outdoor Explorer as he speaks with Alaska ski pioneer Jim Mahaffey and retired Denali Mountaineering Ranger Daryl Miller. Thanks for listening!

Backcountry skiing

KSKA: Thursday, Feb. 9, at 2:00. Backcountry skiing comes in many varieties. On the next show, we’re looking at two extremes. On one end are the alpine daredevils who look for the hardest, steepest, most dangerous lines. On the other end are the touring skiers exploring our glorious mountain scenery by the most practical means available. These two ways of looking at skiing are for different personalities and different kinds of athletes with different goals, but Anchorage is prime for either option. 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:

The cost of public lands

As Alaska looks forward to fiscal austerity due to low oil prices, our state park system is already burdened with a massive deferred maintenance problem. In some parks, facilities are wearing out and trails are growing over and returning to nature. This edition of Outdoor Explorer explores the funding of our state parks with a director and a former director to learn about the problem and the opportunities to keep our parks in good shape. KSKA: Thursday, Oct. 29, at 2:00 p.m.; Thursday, Nov. 5, at 8:00 p.m. Listen Now:

Adventures with Chuck Sassara, by Air and by Sea

Chuck Sassara first arrived in Alaska in a VW bus in 1955 with his wife Ann. They built a life that encompassed aviation, government and business and witnessed the beginnings of statehood and the growth of the Alaskan community. We'll talk with him about some of his adventures and about his book, “Chuck Sassara’s Alaska – Propellers, Politics and People,” on this weeks' next Outdoor Explorer. KSKA: Thurs., Jan. 21, at 2:00 p.m. and Thurs., Jan. 28, at 8:00 p.m. LISTEN HERE

Stargazing

The night sky is infinitely interesting, and, like any experience in nature, knowledge only makes the experience deeper. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re going to learn about the stars and watching them as an outdoor Alaskan activity. KSKA: Thursday, Dec. 18, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:
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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

Reprise: Historic Alaska Expeditions

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? That’s what John Muir did, and his writings about the experience changed science and started the Alaska tourism industry. On the next Outdoor Explorer, join host Charles Wohlforth and guests to talk about Muir’s historic expedition and others. What these guys did will amaze you. KSKA: Thursday, January 14 at 2pm and Thursday, January 21 and 8pm
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Beluga whale count

KSKA: Thursday, September 21, at 2:00p.m. For the next Outdoor Explorer, Charles joined the beluga count, when more than 12-hundred people gathered at viewing sites around Cook Inlet and made 260 sightings of whales. Citizen scientists recorded the location of pods, their movements, and even the identity of individual whales. The main thing about the day was being outdoors in the sun with a lot of other people who love this place and were eager to learn more about these magnificent animals. LISTEN HERE

Exploring the Chugach

The Chugach Mountains form Anchorage’s scenic skyline.  While during the summer the trail heads are full of people and access is easy. Winter is a different story.  For quiet and solitude a winter week day in the almost 500,000 acre Chugach State Park is hard to beat.  On this week’s show we’ll be talking about exploring the Chugach Mountains in the winter.  Thanks for listening!

Glacier Trekking

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

Father-Daughter Treks

KSKA: Thursday, May 5 @ 2:00 pm. On the next Outdoor Explorer we’ll have two different father-daughter teams who reconnected through big adventures. One pair rode motorcycles from Alaska to college in New York, the other came from Wisconsin to build a cabin in northern Alaska. DOWNLOAD AUDIO

Athletic Injury Prevention and Avoidance

This week we have an important show for anyone who exercises to keep fit. We're talking about injury prevention and recovery. You can avoid a lot of the injuries that come from overuse and excessive effort, and we’ll tell you how to speed your recovery if you do get hurt. As with so many things, a lot of it is mental. KSKA: Thursday, March 31, at 2pm and Thursday, April 07 at 8pm DOWNLOAD AUDIO

Anchorage Bike Trails

KSKA: Thursday, May 19, at 2:00 and Thursday, May 26, at 8:00 p.m. Anchorage people love their bike trails. Still, while we want more, the trails we already have are worn out in places, and one trail had a bridge collapse. On the next Outdoor Explorer we’ll be talking with folks responsible for the paved bike trails, as well as a mastermind of the fun, world class single track mountain bike trails at Kincaid Park and on the Hillside. DOWNLOAD AUDIO

Babies in the Elements

Little ones love recreation with their parents, and love playing in the snow. But a baby can also be a burden on a winter outing, and keeping them safe and warm is any parent’s biggest concern. Join us for a talk on babies in the elements - we've got two parents in the studio who are experts on keeping kids safe and happy in the outdoors. KSKA: Thursday, Oct. 23, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. 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!

Handling Wild Game

KSKA: Thursday, Sept. 29, at 2:00 p.m. On the next Outdoor Explorer we’ll be talking about the skills and planning necessary to properly field dress wild game and then get it to a processor. We’ll also talk about the cooking skills to make wild game delicious and healthy for your family. LISTEN NOW

ANILCA

KSKA: Thursday, Dec. 22, at 2:00 p.m. The national parks and refuges we enjoy today as outdoors people weren’t always destined to be conserved for these purposes. After Alaska became a state, the map was open as to which lands would be owned by Alaska Natives, the state government, or private owners. On the next show, we’ll look back into history, to the 1970s, to find out how it happened, as some lovers of Alaska’s wild places sat down with maps and drew lines that became the largest single conservation action in world history, called ANILCA. LISTEN NOW

Revisiting training for fitness

If you’ve gotten a little sedentary over the winter, the next Outdoor Explorer will have the information you need to up your level of fitness. Host Charles Wohlforth will be joined by a coach, a physical therapist and a dietitian to talk about how to safely and successfully start a fitness program, to control weight, improve health or just enjoy life more. For those who already work out regularly, we’ll talk about how to take it to the next level, and even to endurance competition. Thanks for listening!