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

Adventures in field science

Alaskan geologists, biologists, archaeologists and lots of other kinds of -ologists cover the wilderness in their work, in search of knowledge but avoiding something many outdoor folks are looking for: adventure. On this show, we’ll hear from field scientists about their challenges studying Alaska, and how they keep safe and work effectively in places where other people go to test themselves against the elements. KSKA: Thursday, Oct. 8, at 2:00 p.m. and Thursday, Oct. 15, at 8:00 p.m. Listen now:

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

Revisiting ice fishing

KSKA: Thursday, November 30, at 2:00p.m. What goes on inside those tents you see on the frozen lakes around town? On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll find out. The topic is ice fishing. Folks do it on stocked lakes all through the city – that’s another unique thing about Anchorage – and in the backcountry they catch great big fish through the ice. What’s the attraction of fishing in the middle of winter when the water is frozen? We’ll find out how to do it and why as we revisit this great show from a few years back. LISTEN HERE

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

National Parks Exploration

KSKA: Thursday, Aug. 25, at 2:00 p.m. On this Outdoor Explorer we’re saying happy birthday to the national parks by airing the show on the 100th anniversary of the creation of National Park Service, which takes care of some of the nation’s most dramatic and valuable wilderness. We’ll hear a little about that history and how the centennial is being celebrated during the show, but our main emphasis is on the parks themselves. LISTEN NOW

Birds of prey

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

Arctic Man City

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

Community Skating

Here’s an Alaska moment. It’s a weekend afternoon, you’ve been stuck indoors all day, you see that beautiful winter light in the sky, and you say, ‘let’s go skating.’ Half an hour later, you’re gliding over a frozen pond with your neighbors, getting rosy cheeks, and looking forward to hot chocolate. We're talking about ice skating, the casual community kind, where everyone can participate and enjoy a winter day with friends. KSKA: Thursday 1/16 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now

Citizen Ski Racing

Tour of Anchorage 2013 from ATMI on Vimeo.

You don't have to be an Olympian to participate in a Nordic ski race. Anchorage has races for the rest of us, where fast skiers can duel at the front while older and less competitive skiers push their personal limits. The Tour of Anchorage is the biggest race of the year, with up to 2,000 contestants covering up to 50 kilometers, but local volunteers organize many other cross-country ski races during the winter that are open to anyone willing to try. KSKA: Thursday 1/9 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm Listen Now

Arctic Warriors

On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re talking about Arctic Warriors and the skills they learn and practice. We have two officers in the studio whose military training has helped them make it through Alaska’s harshest weather. One was on a caribou hunt on North Slope when the weather took a dangerous turn. The other led a successful Denali ascent over the summer. What does the military teach about surviving outdoors? We’ll get into that question on this show. KSKA: Thursday, Jan. 29, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen Now:

Arctic Paddling Trips

Rivers are the highways of the North. That’s been true since human beings first arrived in North America, and it is still true across a vast expanse of Alaska and Canada that is practical to cross in the summer by no other means. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’re talking about floating these long, remote rivers and the journeys you can make into solitude and into your own mind, as the banks slide quietly by. KSKA: Thursday, Sept. 3, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Listen Now:

Revisiting biathlon training

KSKA: Thursday, Dec. 28, at 2p.m. What’s more Alaskan than skiing? Shooting things, of course. So biathlon must be the most Alaskan sport of all--it's skiing fast and shooting accurately, combined. We’ll spend time at the range as young people and newcomers learn about the sport. And we’ll talk to an Olympian and a former World Cup competitor about the top of level of biathlon, where our community shines. LISTEN HERE

Paragliding

The dream of personal flight is pretty basic. 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. KSKA: Thursday, July 23, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Listen Now:

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

An interview with Dr. Mikhail Malakhov

KSKA: Thursday, July 20, at 2:00 p.m. The main guest for this show is one of the world’s greatest polar explorers. Dr. Mikhail Malakhov has skied to the North Pole 16 times, including an expedition in 1995 when he made it there and back unsupported. Malakhov is leading an expedition to retrace some of the greatest expeditions of Russian America, a project he has been working on since 2009. It’s a great year for it, as we mark the 150th anniversary of the Alaska Purchase, when Russia sold Alaska to the United States. LISTEN HERE

Surfing and hiking

When most of us think of the outdoor activities that Alaskans love, we tend to think of hiking, biking, skiing, and skating. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we talk about one not so common Alaskan outdoor activity, surfing - we talk about where to do it and how to get started as a beginner. We also talk about a more common outdoor activity, hiking, and how one woman prepared for her trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro by hiking in Southcentral Alaska. Thanks for listening!
sled, sledding, dogs

Dog training

In Alaska, dogs can be team members with mushers and also with hunters, using their abilities to extend our own. But first, someone has to let the animals know how to do those jobs. Judging by the dogs we've seen around Anchorage, many of us are not very good at training-- but our guests on the next show are. They work with upland hunting dogs and sled dogs to create an effective dog/human team. Thanks for listening!

Summer camps in Alaska

KSKA: Thursday, March 09, at 2:00 p.m. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll talk about summer camp choices, and practical considerations for parents in planning your kids' summer. Summer may not seem close today, but it is definitely time to begin scheduling your kids’ activities. LISTEN NOW

Year-Round Bike Races

KSKA: Thursday, Jan. 05, at 2:00 p.m. Biking is year round now, including bike racing. It’s a phenomenon that started here in Alaska and now has spread over the world. Folks are fat bike racing all over the US and in Europe. On our next show, we’re checking in on competition in our region. LISTEN NOW

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!