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: cwohlforth@alaskapublic.org

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

KSKA: Thursday, Jan. 04, at 2:00 p.m. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we take a look at one of the biggest sports and outdoor stories in Alaska in the last year: the Iditarod drug doping scandal that hit the race in the fall, with a positive drug test and the surrounding controversy.  We’ll also learn about getting your skis ready for the season, and about a big dam removal project in Anchorage, which was funded completely by donations. LISTEN HERE

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

KSKA: Thursday, December 21, at 2:00 p.m. The next Outdoor Explorer is on the solstice, a truly outdoor event, as I try to really understand what happens in space to bring us the shortest day of the year. This will be your opportunity to hear me be confused as part of our celebration of the soon to be lengthening days. We’ll also be talking about protecting the Susitna River, winter diving, and safety with both guns and bear spray. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Thursday, December 14, at 2:00 p.m. 2017 will be remembered in part as the "Year of the Bear" in Southcentral Alaska. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll talk about why we had scary and tragic incidents, and why far more bears were killed in Anchorage than usual. For something a bit more fun, we also have a segment on rock and ice climbing, a sports that is exploding in popularity, with great opportunities to learn inside and out. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Thursday, December 7, at 2:00 p.m. The winter Olympics are coming up. How will Alaska’s winter athletes get there? Who pays the bills for their elite athletics and world travel? We’ll talk with ski coach Erik Flora to learn more about how they manage all this. Also in the show, we’ll hear from a pair of skaters who made a spectacular viral video you may have seen, about backcountry ice skating. t's a packed show we're sure you'll enjoy. LISTEN HERE

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

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

KSKA: Thursday, Nov. 9, at 2:00 p.m. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we're revisiting an episode that was dedicated to our city’s centennial. We’ll hear stories of how we built the greenbelts, bike and ski trails that are now the defining characteristics of Anchorage. Each of our three guests played a part in providing us with the spaces to get out, enjoy nature, and safely get to work or just some exercise. This episode first aired in June of 2015. LISTEN HERE

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

KSKA: Thursday, October 26th, at 2:00 p.m. The weather is getting colder and that means the fun of pond and outdoor skating cannot be far off. Ice hockey may be a year-round sport for competitors, but pond hockey happens only when the weather cools. In Alaska that goes for speed skating and backcountry skating, too. On this show, we’ll explore the joy of outdoor skating, the ease of getting into the sport, and the amazing opportunities it creates to love winter.  LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Thursday, October 19, at 2:00 p.m. The old, increasingly inaccurate maps Alaskans have used for decades will soon be gone, as our state is being completely remapped. On this next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll learn how the changing climate has made the maps we all use outdated and even unsafe, and the huge effort to fix that. We're talking maps with the people who use them, make them and study them. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Thursday, October 12, at 2:00 p.m. Vern Tejas joins us on this Outdoor Explorer to talk about his extraordinary climbing career. Vern was the first to climb Denali solo in the winter, a story in which this public radio station played a unique role, and he has climbed the highest mountain on each of the seven continents at least 10 times, and has done them faster than anyone else. But what impressed us even more about Vern was his warmth and his healthy philosophy about climbing, safety and people. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Thursday, October 05, at 2:00 p.m. On this Outdoor Explorer, we are eagerly getting ready for winter. Charles took a portable recorder to Kincaid Park to join a volunteer trail crew preparing cross country ski trails for the first snow, which we were all looking forward to so we can ski again. The trail work is designed to smooth the ground so we won’t need much snow to ski, and to be ready for the US National Championships and Olympic Trials in January. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Thursday, September 28, at 2:00p.m. On the next Outdoor Explorer, some real explorers. Bjorn Olsen and Kim McNett explored much of Alaska’s Arctic Ocean coast by fat bike and pack raft, and they brought back some great stories and insights. We’ll also talk about their trips on the Kenai Peninsula and how you can try out this fast and remarkably practical way of covering the backcountry by pedaling and paddling, and go to new, exciting places. LISTEN HERE
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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

KSKA: Thursday, Sept. 14, at 2:00 p.m. How young can you take your kids outdoors? For some Alaska parents, there isn't much of a limit, and they are taking babies backpacking, boating and camping. It makes sense. Babies are more portable that bigger kids, and they are constantly amused by the passing world from a backpack. But there are cautions to be aware of, and on our next show we'll talk to a pediatrician as well as an adventurer to learn about taking babies to the backcountry. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Thursday, Sept. 07, at 2:00 p.m. The time of the year is coming when that strange and wonderful sound arrives of geese forming up in great "V" formations and heading south from Alaska. Their migration, and that of other waterfowl, is one of the most impressive movements of life across the wilderness, something amazing and even moving to behold. On the next show, we’ll be learning about those ducks, geese and swans that nest here in Alaska in the summer, how they live, what they eat, their habitat and breeding, and about the incredible journeys they make each year. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Thursday, August 31st, at 2:00 p.m. We’re going a little bit off the reservation with the next show's topic-- we’re talking about rugby. We got the idea to cover something that you do on a field rather than out in the wild when we saw a photograph of a new rugby pitch right here in Anchorage. It is the product of one man’s imagination and drive, and we’ll have him here to talk about this amazing personal project. This may be the last thing you thought you wanted to know about, but the enthusiasm of these rugby players is totally contagious, and as you listen to our interview it's a sure bet you’ll pick up on it too. LISTEN HERE

KSKA: Thursday, August 24, at 2:00 p.m. As fans of great writing, and lovers of Alaska’s outdoors, we're always fascinated when we read something that captures what’s really special and important about our state. When someone captures a bit of that magic on the page, it’s worth paying attention to. That's why the newspaper columns written by the guests on this show are so impressive. They somehow bring their perspectives as a couple to their experience of the outdoors and the way they describe it. LISTEN HERE