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

Getting your own piece of Alaska

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. The state of Alaska still has programs for residents to get inexpensive land, including the opportunity to pick your own site and stake the corners. 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. KSKA: Thursday, Sept 10, at 2:00 p.m. and Thursday, Sept. 17, at 8:00 p.m. Listen Now:

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!

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!

Small Game Hunting

Small game can be an entry for young people into hunting, but it’s also is a tradition for sportsmen going back centuries and shows up in classic literature from all over the world. On the next Outdoor Explorer, the topic is hunting upland game birds and small mammals. KSKA: Thursday, Dec. 4, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Listen now:

Waterfowl

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

Denali National Park’s centennial

KSKA: Thursday, April 04, at 2:00. Denali National Park is turning 100 years old. We’ll learn how the park came into being a century ago, when development of Alaska had hardly begun. We’ll also look at the park today and opportunities to experience it as Alaskans. It is one of our biggest tourist attractions, but it is also a great place to visit with your family, especially with the activities starting this month for the centennial year. LISTEN NOW

Chilkoot Pass

This week's Outdoor Explorer comes to you from the Chilkoot Trail, the infamous route used by Klondike gold rushers during the late 1800s. As you walk the trail, signs of that crazy gold rush period are evident, but even more impressive is how a century has erased much of the gold rush's footprint. Host Charles Wohlforth and friends take on the 33-mile trail over five days of hiking. KSKA: Thursday, July 24, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Download Audio

Using your feet

This Outdoor Explorer is about feet. If you’re a runner, a hiker, a skier, a skater, if you do almost anything active, we should have your attention because when your feet are happy, you are. When they’re messed up, your fun is over. We’ll talk with a physical therapist and a podiatrist about healthy bodies and healthy feet, and hear some stories about hiking and the joy and misery it can bring. Thanks for listening!

Animal rescue

KSKA: Thursday, May 18, at 2:00 p.m. What do you do if you find an injured animal in the wild? If it’s a bird or a seal, there may be hope for a rescue. We’ll be traveling to the Alaska SeaLife Center, where marine mammals and birds are nursed back to health, and Bird TLC, a center for injured avians here in Anchorage. LISTEN HERE

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.

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

LISTEN: Imagine hiking all the tallest summits of the Chugach Front Range in one trip. These people did it this year.

The Chugach Front Linkup is the connection of the 12 summits over 5000 feet in the Chugach Front Range in a single outing. This past summer saw an unprecedented known number of people who have successfully linked the peaks; between them they produced 6 new records.

Adventure and science

Over the course of humanity's time on earth we have learned much from nature. In modern history science and adventure have had a symbiotic relationship. On this show we’ll be talking to Dr. Caroline Van Hemert, who travelled from Bellingham to Kotzebue by row boat, skis, packraft, canoe, and on foot. In the 2nd half of the show we’ll be talking with Dr. Kathy Kuletz, who has studied seabirds in Prince William Sound and the North Gulf of Alaska since 1978. Thanks for listening!

A conversation with Lael Wilcox

KSKA: Thursday, Jan. 26, at 2:00 p.m. On the next Outdoor Explorer an interview with Lael Wilcox, whose life is one of Alaska’s most remarkable stories of physical accomplishment. Wilcox left to see the world on her bike, and never stopped, becoming a top endurance racer without really planning to. LISTEN NOW

Veterans outdoors

This Outdoor Explorer is dedicated entirely to two of the most impressive people we’ve recently met, both military veterans whose service became deeply linked to the outdoors. We’ll hear from Kirk Alkire, who has made climbing in the Chugach Mountains a form of therapy for other grieving veterans. Then we'll talk with David Shuman, who retired from a long career as a pararescuer, doing the most difficult and daring rescues in Alaska’s wilderness.

Shooting Champions

KSKA: Thursday, Dec. 01, at 2:00 p.m. Alaska produces some of the world’s best shooters, and two of them join us on the next show. These are athletes with shotguns who can perform incredible feats of concentration, blasting clay targets out of the sky with consistency that no one else on Earth can match. Like other elite athletes, these shooters have something special, in their case a level of concentration and calm that is hard to imagine. LISTEN NOW
Photo: National Park Service

Climbing Denali

While most of us are storing our skis for the summer, the Denali climbing season is just beginning. Climbing rangers are putting in Kahiltna Base Camp and the first climbers are on the mountain soon to be followed by 1000s of others. Join us for the next Outdoor Explorer as we talk with two veterans of Denali, climber Colby Coombs and Denali Ranger Melis Coady. Thanks for listening!
bear

Revisiting wildlife hazards in context

The terror of being attacked by a bear is a nightmare for many outdoors people, and a lot of time is spent worrying and planning for it. We’ll put wildlife hazards in context. What should you know to be safe, how can you improve your chances, and why aren’t you thinking about all the other things that could get you, and that are a lot more common.

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

A visit from Kikkan Randall

If Alaska were a country, she would be our national hero. Kikkan Randall, the Olympic gold medal skier, joins us on the next Outdoor Explorer. Randall is, of course, a household name in Alaska, where we’ve been watching her progress over the course of an amazing international career. As she retires from skiing and settles down with her family, we’ll have a chance to learn about her life, her racing career, her future--and, of course, that thrilling relay in Korea when she brought home the gold. Thanks for listening!