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

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!

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

Sailing the Aleutians on the MV Tustumena

Purser Maggie Hennigan is to the left. The M/V Tustumena, docked in False Pass. Photo by Adam Verrier.

Revisiting beach and creek cleanup

KSKA: Thursday, May 04, at 2:00 p.m. A few years ago Charles got interested in a group that was cleaning up marine debris from beaches in Prince William Sound. He volunteered, and was blown away by what a rewarding experience it was to pick up trash. On the next show we’re revisiting the topic of beach cleanup, both on the wild, outer coast where stuff is washing up from Japan, and on our beaches here in Anchorage.

Crow Pass History

The Crow Pass trail leads from the Girdwood Valley to Eagle River. It’s a great backpacking route, and also a historic portion of the Iditarod Trail that led from Seward to mines in the Interior. What you might not know is that the trail was rebuilt in the 1970s with girl scout labor.We’ll learn about the Crow Pass trail in history and meet a former girl scout who helped remake the trail 40 years ago. KSKA: Thursday 11/7 at 2:00 and 9:00 pm Listen Now

Nancy Lake State Recreation Area

Nancy Lake Recreation Area is 23,000 acres of boreal forest and more than 100 lakes to explore less than 90 minutes from downtown Anchorage. On this edition of Outdoor Explorer, we’ll share two trips to the Nancy Lake system. We recorded the first half of the show in a canoe on an end-of-season overnight paddle. In the second half, we’ll talk about skating. You can’t do it every year, but when you can it is amazing. KSKA: Thursday, Nov. 5, at 2:00 p.m.; Thursday, Nov. 12, at 8:00 p.m. Listen Now:

A conversation with Roman Dial

On the next Outdoor Explorer, we spend a full hour sitting with Roman Dial, one of Alaska’s greatest adventurers, to learn about his extraordinary life, and the tragic disappearance of his son, and how that ordeal was horribly exploited by reality TV. We’ll also get into many other tales, including how he helped start wilderness racing and developed the pack raft as a tool for Alaska travel.  Thanks for listening!

Olympic prep & a viral skating video

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

Revisiting Endurance Athletes

KSKA: Thursday, July 14, at 2:00 and Thursday, July 21, at 8:00 p.m. Jennifer Pharr Davis hiked the Appalachian Trail in 46 days, averaging 47 miles a day. David Johnston finished the 350-mile Iditarod Invitational in four days, running on snow. They’ll both join us as we try to understand what makes ultra-endurance athletes tick. LISTEN NOW

Kids and sports

On the next Outdoor Explorer we have a variety of stories about organized sports and kids. We’re starting with a discussion of Ultimate Frisbee. If you thought it was a disorganized hippie activity, you have much to learn. We’ll also talk about biking for girls, a triathalon that benefits a sick child, and much more.  

Alaska Sports Hall of Fame: 2019 Trajan Langdon Award recipients

Larsen Klingel and Andy Beardsley at the Boston Marathon. Photo by Katie Beardsley. Andy Beardsley, Larsen-Klingel...

Ultra-Endurance Athletes

Jennifer Pharr Davis hiked the Appalachian Trail in 46 days, averaging 47 miles a day. David Johnston finished the 350-mile Iditarod Invitational in four days, running on snow. They’ll both join us as we try to understand what makes ultra-endurance athletes tick. Their accomplishments are almost super human. How do they get that way, and what makes them go? KSKA: Thursday, Sept. 11, at 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. 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:

Exploring Hatcher Pass

State Park employee Hobbs Barber and volunteer Gabby Bejarano. Photo: Paul Twardock. The lodge at Hatcher Pass....

McKinley Disasters

In 1967 the Wilcox Expedition attacked Mount McKinley with 12 young men. Only five came back alive. The disaster was the worst in the history of the mountain, and changed many lives and the way people thought about climbing it. Two authors have recently released books on the event, and both join us on the show to rehash what they remember from the deadly event. KSKA: Thursday, July 17, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Download Audio

Chugach National Forest Town Hall Meeting

Chugach National Forest, and especially Prince William Sound, takes in some of the most extraordinary scenery and protected wilderness in Alaska. Charles Wohlforth shares what he learned when he attended a public meeting on changing management of the Sound, and you'll hear from people who think that’s both a good and a bad idea. LISTEN NOW

Salmon fishing closures and restrictions

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game recently closed or restricted king salmon fishing for the coming season in the Susitna River and Little Susitna drainage, and cut commercial fishing in the northern Cook Inlet. The problem is not enough kings. On the next Outdoor Explorer, we’ll explore why this is happening and the impact of this decision, as king catches have sagged in various areas of the state for several years. Thanks for listening!

Dog parks & an update from Pachamama

KSKA: Thursday, Jan. 25, at 2:00p.m. We’re talking about dogs on the next Outdoor Explorer. Anchorage has a network of dog parks for different kinds of breeds that have different needs. Now there’s a group that wants to build a dog park with play equipment. We also have a guest to talk about dogs and the law. Later in the show, we catch up with our friend Dario Schwoerer, and his family. They've endured some tragedy, since we last spoke to them about their TOPtoTOP program, when a storm in Iceland seriously damaged the ship they live on. It's a harrowing tale to be sure. LISTEN HERE

Outdoor Explorer from KSKA

In Alaska can you walk out your back door and embark upon an epic outdoor adventure. We live for hiking, mountain biking, bore tide...

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