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HOST: Lisa Keller GUEST: Beth Nordlund, executive director of Anchorage Park Foundation LINKS: Anchorage Park Foundation Register for the Moose Loop Virtual Race BROADCAST: Thursday, September 15th, 2022. 10:00 am – 11:00 a.m. AKT REPEAT BROADCAST: Thursday, September 15th, 2022. 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. AKT SUBSCRIBE: Receive Outdoor Explorer automaticall…
 
Orienteering is the sport of using a map and compass to navigate the outdoors. The Arctic Orienteering Club in Anchorage organizes orienteering races and events during the summer months that are open to everyone, competitors, or those just out to learn new trails and open spaces. This Outdoor Explorer introduces the sport, discusses how new technol…
 
Our guest for this show is Jen Aschoff, a geology professor at UAA who recently became the tenth person and the second woman to complete the Chugach 120. The Chugach 120 is the 120 peaks in the Chugach State Park with a prominence of 500 feet or more. Unlike the Chugach Linkup, which links all front range 12 peaks over 5000 feet in one go, the Chug…
 
What is it like to be an avalanche specialist? A conservationist? A wilderness traveler? A Buddhist? Brad Meiklejohn is a long-time Alaskan who has written a new book titled The Wild Trails that explores these topics and more. On this show Brad discusses the challenges and rewards of helping others and the natural world, including his work on resto…
 
For mountaineers and adventurers, there’s a rich history of exploration in and around Alaska's Denali National Park. And although the park is mostly known for the hordes of people who attempt to climb Denali each season - few have ever thought about circumnavigating the Denali, Foraker (Sultana) and Hunter (Begguya) massifs - let alone in winter. T…
 
Our guests for this show are congressional candidates Nick Begich and Mary Peltola. Your host, Lisa, reached out to the Sarah Palin campaign three times but never received a response. In these interviews with Nick and Mary, she asked questions sourced from four leaders in the outdoor industry in Alaska: Mary Goddard of Sustainable Southeast Partner…
 
• A commission in progress of Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, on the easel near Reno, photo by Alli Harvey.The happy artist pictured with the Colorado aspen in autumn commission, photo by Wes HoskinsThe Airstream boneyard at P&S Trailer Service in Ohio, photo by Alli Harvey.The newly minted Alli Harvey Mobile Art Studio in New Mexico, photo by Alli Har…
 
A Youth Emplyment in Parks crew. Photo by Paul Twardock.A Youth Emplyment in Parks crew. Photo by Paul Twardock.The Youth Emplyment in Parks logo.A Youth Emplyment in Parks crew. Photo by Paul Twardock.A YEP crew member. Summer camps are ubiquitous in Alaska. Though few offer the chance to get paid to learn new skills and build a resume. Anchorage’…
 
You know that saying - “they just don’t make em’ the way they used to”. I guess you could call it a quintessential American expression. In the climbing world, It conjures up icons like Lynn Hill, Jim Bridwell, Catherine Freer, and Royal Robbins - just to name a few. You know you have someone like that in your life. It’s someone who’s tough. They ha…
 
Today we head into the Kichatna Spires - a compact subrange of monolithic granite towers located just south of Denali. In early June, North American climbers Graham Zimmerman, Dave Allfrey and Whit Magro, headed into the Kichatna’s - their sites set on a new line up the beautiful northwest face of the ranges namesake - Kichatna Spire. Although many…
 
Jody Potts-JosephJody Potts-Joseph, Arctic Wild Alaska Indigenous Peoples have been living, playing, and thriving in Alaska for thousands of years. However outdoor recreation and tourism are generally perceived as being primarily a white person’s game. Many people are trying to change that by encouraging, many times by example, people of color to v…
 
Walter Harper, photo courtesy NPSThe view from the spotting scope of a busy day on the headwall, photo courtesy of NPS Photo, Chris EricksonTucker Chenowith ice climbing, photo courtesy NPS Photo, Kakiko Ramos-LeonView of tents at the 14,200-foot camp looking at Mount Foraker, photo courtesy of Menno Boermans.Denali, by Emily Mesner photo courtesy …
 
iking Resurection Pass by John Wolfe.Skiing to the Skookum Glacier, byJohnWolfeRebecca Wolfe, credit Gretchen Nelson.John Wolfe, credit Anne Raup.Becca Wolfe and Helen Nienhueser, by John WolfeAlaska Adventure 55 Ways Cover 50 years ago the first edition of 55 Ways to the Wilderness in Southcentral Alaska was published, written by Helen Nienhueser …
 
Dave Johnson and family camping on Curry Ridge, Denali State Park. Photo courtesy of Pete Robinson.Adventure Journal Art Dave Johnston has had many firsts: the first winter ascent of Denali, the first winter ascent of Mt Foraker, and the first Denali State Park Ranger being just three. He also has climbed or visited the 50 highest peaks in the U.S.…
 
Hannah Halvorsen (r) accepts the Trajan Langdon Award from Nina Kemppel (l), photo courtesy Alaska Sports Hall of Fame.Beth Bragg accepts the Joe Floyd Award, photo courtesy Alaska Sports Hall of Fame.Jeremy Lane and supporters, photo courtesy Alaska Sports Hall of Fame.Scott Patterson accepts the Pride of Alaska Award, photo courtesy Alaska Sports…
 
A bar-tailed godwit. Photo courtesy of Steve Maslowski.Dan Ruthrauff Bird migration is one of the natural wonders of the world. Every spring millions of birds stream into Alaska from all over the globe to feed, mate, and raise their young. Their stories include a hummingbird’s journey to Florida and back, a whimbrel’s commute to and from Chile, and…
 
Call me old school, but nothing gets me more fired up than adding a new adventure, climbing or mountaineering book to the collection. So I was excited last month, when Valley Of Giants: Stories From Women at The Heart of Yosemite Climbing, arrived at my doorstep. This anthology, edited and curated by Lauren DeLaunay Miller, is a collection of 39 st…
 
This month’s trip report takes place in one of Alaska’s most remote and mythical mountain ranges: The Revelations. First explored in the late 60’s by David Roberts and friends, The Revelations hold a mystique, and reputation, that has continued to grow over the years. The range, which is nestled between the southwest tip of The Alaska Range, and th…
 
There’s a lot less sea ice in the Arctic, and only 1% of it is old ice, which is thicker and more resilient. (Image: NOAA Climate.gov) In this Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, file photo, flames burn up a giant tree as part of the Windy Fire in the Trail of 100 Giants grove in Sequoia National Forest, Calif. California firefighters battled fast-growing fore…
 
Millett Keller on Mount Marathon, photo courtesy Lisa Keller.Millett Scissorhands Keller article, courtesy Lisa Keller.Millett Keller, far left, viewing perfect tracks in the Cariboo Mountains, photo courtesy Lisa Keller. This is the second of two interviews with Millett Keller, Lisa’s dad. Pat and Millet Keller arrived in Anchorage in 1963 from Pa…
 
Millett Keller, screenshot from the interview.Pat and Millett Keller with baby Lisa, in their Turnagain neighborhood one year after the 1964 earthquake, photo courtesy Lisa Keller.Millett Keller, with his grandchildren at Lake Tahoe in 2008, photo by Lisa Keller. Our guest for this show is Millett Keller, Lisa’s dad. Pat and Millet Keller arrived i…
 
They say that Alaska is a place of extremes. This ranges from the stark changing of the seasons, to the scale of the wilderness landscapes, and of course, the size of the monolithic mountains. But it also applies to the races - and I’m not talking about Nascar. There’s the Iditarod - a grueling 950 mile dog sled race from Anchorage to Nome, that tr…
 
Amy Bushatz, photo courtesy Amy Bushatz.Heather Helzer, photo by Andre Horton.The Humans Outside medal, photo courtesy of Amy BushatzTurnagain Training kids’ duathlon start, photo courtesy Heather Helzer.Virtual Race Across Alaska Winter Challenge, image courtesy Heather Helzer On this Outdoor Explorer, we’ll have two guests who are inspiring peopl…
 
Karina Movement Class Photo: Paul TwardockYukon Classroom by Paul TwardockSnow Science by Paul TwardockSea Kayaking by Paul TwardockMap Reading PWS by Paul Twardock. Alaska has a number of high-quality university outdoor degree programs that benefit from the great experiential learning Alaska’s mountains, oceans, rivers, and history and cultures ha…
 
Mary Goddard, Regional Catalyst for Regenerative Tourism with the Sustainable Southeast Partnership, photo courtesy Mary Goddard.Lee Hart, Executive Director of Alaska Outdoor Alliance, photo courtesy Alaska Outdoor Alliance, photo courtesy Lee Hart.Sarah Leonard, President & CEO, Alaska Travel Industry Association. Last fall when Lisa was intervie…
 
It was the summer of 1996. At the time, I was 21 years old, living in a primitive cabin in the small fishing village of Ninilchik, Alaska. That summer, I’d landed a job working as a park ranger assistant for Alaska State Parks, and although I’d like to say I was doing something cool like building trails, the reality is that I was cleaning gnarly ou…
 
March is prime time for winter sports in Alaska. The light is back, the snow is good, and Alaskans are ready to enjoy it all. Dog mushing has been part of Alaska as long as people have been in Alaska. In March the sport has its best-known event the Iditarod, along with Anchorage’s Fur Rondy Open World Championship Sled Dog Race. On this show, we vi…
 
Adam Gellman, a young glacier guide, tells the story of his adventures on an obscure (but challenging) Alaskan peak called Mt. Wickersham. This Trip Report is made possible with the gracious support of The Firn Line Patreon backers. To learn more about how you can become a Patreon subscriber, go to The Firn Line Patreon. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••…
 
Alli Harvey finishing the 2021 Equinox Marathon in Fairbanks, photo courtesy of Alli Harvey.Alli Harvey, photo courtesy of Alli Harvey.“Hiking Anchorage” currently on display at Stephan Fine Arts Gallery, photo courtesy of AlliHarvey. Our guest for this show is Alli Harvey, outdoor columnist for the Anchorage Daily News. Alli grew up on the East Co…
 
Team doctor for the 1971 International Everest Expedition. Peter Steel in his home in Whitehorse, from early 2022. Photo: Adam Verrier. Peter Steele in Bhutan, with his family, in the 1960’s. With his wife Sarah, and children Adam and Judith. On this Outdoor Explorer, we’ll go to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, to visit with doctor, mountaineer, and a…
 
On today’s episode of The Firn Line, we’ll get to know rock climber, big-wall soloist and AMGA certified rock climbing guide, Miranda Oakley. Growing up in Maryland, Miranda learned from a young age the values of compassion, teaching, and working with others. Born to a Palestinian mother, and an American father, Miranda grew in a family that cared …
 
John Morton The Winter Olympics begin this week in Beijing, China. To mark the occasion, this week’s guest on Outdoor Explorer will be biathlete, author, and former Alaskan John Morton, who’s participated in ten Olympics: two as an athlete, five more as a coach and team leader, one as Chief of Course for the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002 and, fin…
 
Seth Kantner’s new book A Thousand Trails Home: Living With Caribou details his life where caribou, hunting, and subsistence are the center of everything. Seth joins host Paul Twardock to discuss his life growing up on the Kobuk River with his parents and brother in a sod house. Living miles from the nearest village and learning to live with what t…
 
Hey Firn Line fans, this is Evan, and I wanted to tell you about a new monthly series I’m launching called The Trip Report. Storytelling is an integral part of human nature - and climbing and adventure stories are no exception. There’s nothing better than sitting around a campfire on a crisp, desert night - listening to a friend share a story of ad…
 
Service High School cross country running team in 1972. Tom Corbin in 1969. Tom Corbin today. Tom Corbin’s hand-drawn map of the Hillside Ski Trails from the 1970’s. The Anchorage Hillside Ski Trail System is 50 years old this year. The first five-kilometer ski loop was cut by Service High School families and coaches in 1971. Over time, the trail s…
 
When people think of ice climbing in North America, the first places that might come to mind are Ouray, Colorado, Hyalite Canyon outside Bozeman, Montana - or the vast alpine region of the Canadian Rockies, just to name a few. But perhaps the ultimate mecca for pure frozen waterfall climbing, is in and around Valdez, Alaska. This temperate region, …
 
Daniel Lieberman at home with his dog, Echo, photo courtesy Daniel Lieberman. Exercised book jacket, photo courtesy Daniel Lieberman. If you have read the book “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougal, you are familiar with the name Daniel Lieberman. Along with his colleague, Dennis Bramble, his research has been used to support the thesis that human …
 
On today’s episode of The Firn Line, we’ll get to know legendary mountaineer, outdoor adventurer, author and conservationist, Rick Ridgeway. I first learned about Rick back in the early 90’s, when I read his mountaineering classic, The Last Step, which details the 1978 first American ascent of K2. Rick was an early hero of mine, as I admired his te…
 
A tree seen at the Solstice Tree Tour at Kincais park. Photo by Paull Twardock. An illuminited van at the Alaska Botanical Garden. Photo by Paul Twardock. A tree lit up at the Alaska Botanical Garden. Photo by Paul Twardock. Illuminated ice candles at the Alaska Botanical Garden. Photo by Paul Twardock. The Solstice Tree Tour map from the NSAA. As …
 
Mask by Joe Senungetuk Mask by Joe Senungetuk James Tempte Joe and Martha Senungetuk Artwork by Joe Senungetuk Alaska Natives have been creating art influenced by nature and culture for thousands of years. The clothing, tools, kayaks, weapons, baskets, and other items of everyday life and ceremony were, and are, functional and artistic. During the …
 
Aaron Ramirez and Lisa Keller at the Lavaman Triathlon, photo courtesy Lisa Keller. Alisa Carroll, photo courtesy Alisa Carroll. Dr. Kim Harmon, photo courtesy Kim Harmon. At the beginning of this summer, our host Lisa had several trips planned to support her friend Aaron Ramirez at Ironman races. It looked to be a fun summer and fall, back to our …
 
Luc Mehl. Photo with permission from the owner. Luc Mehl. Photo with permission from the owner. Luc Mehl packrafting the Matanuska River. Luc Mehl backcountry skating in Katmai. Photo courtesy Luc Mehl. Trip planning and risk analysis are keys to safe and successful outings, whether it is a day hike or an extended trip far from medical help. Alaska…
 
Kikkan and Breck riding to school, photo courtesy Kikkan Randall. Former NSAA Junior Nordic skier Kikkan Randall, photo courtesy Kikkan Randall. NSAA Executive Director Kikkan Randall, photo courtesy Kikkan Randall. Our guest for this episode of Outdoor Explorer is Kikkan Randall, one of Alaska’s most popular and well-known athletes. In the 2018 Wi…
 
Kayaks at the NOLS headquarters. John Gans, former NOLS Alaska director and NOLS President Ashley Wise, NOLS Alaska Program Manager The NOLS Red Barn in Palmer. NOLS, formerly known as the National Outdoor Leadership School, has been educating and inspiring students in Alaska since 1971. Though not the first wilderness education program in Alaska, …
 
Crow Pass Trail, photo courtesy Max Romey Debris found on the beach, photo courtesy Max Romey Max Romey sketching Raven Glacier at Crow Pass, photo courtesy Max Romey. Our guest this week is Max Romey. Max is a watercolor artist and filmmaker from Anchorage. He has joined us before to tell us about his creative style of using watercolors in his fil…
 
Much of Alaska’s landmass is covered in water. During the winter when those lakes and rivers freeze solid, and if the snow isn’t deeper than an inch or so, all that frozen water makes for great ice skating! Around the world, people have been ice skating for a very long time. But recent advances in skate and binding technology, including the popular…
 
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