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Outdoors hot line (2/8/11)

AVALANCHE SAFETY

WHEN: March 4, 6-7:30 p.m.; March 5, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

WHERE: Kenai Central High

WHAT: Interactive avalanche training sponsored by the Department of Public Safety, Division of State Troopers and H2O Guides -- and presented by North America Outdoor Institute. Learn how to navigate in avalanche terrain. Field classes offer an introduction to companion rescue.

COST: Free

CONTACT: info@naoiak.org

BIRDING

Galapagos, Ecuador birds

WHEN: Feb. 15 at 7 p.m.

WHERE: BP Energy Center

WHAT: Jules and Peg Tileston will discuss and show images of birding in the Galapagos Islands as well as the area around Quito, Ecuador. Cookies will be available.

COST: Free

CONTACT: www.anchorageaudubon.org

BOATING

Free boating course

WHEN: Feb. 26, March 26, April 16, May 21

WHERE: Atwood Building in Anchorage

WHAT: Alaska Office of Boating Safety is offering Alaska Water Wise, a boating course designed for Alaskans. The eight-hour course is approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard. The course satisfies most states boating safety education requirements and may qualify boaters for insurance discounts. Segments include pre-departure preparation, boating operations, boating emergencies, cold-water survival, navigation/rules of the road and legal requirements. Students who attend all sessions and pass the written exam will be issued a course completion certificate. This course has also been approved for eight hours of Continuing Medical Education training by the State of Alaska, Department of Health and Social Services.

COST: Free

CONTACT: Joe McCullough at (907) 269-8704 or joseph.mccullough@alaska.gov or Megan Piersma at (907) 269-6042.

FISHING

Project Healing Waters

WHEN: 4-5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays

WHERE: Elmendorf Hospital

WHAT: Fly-tying classes for wounded soldiers and veterans as part of the Project Healing Waters program that continues with fishing outings during the spring and summer.

CONTACT: Staff Sgt. Michael Henrie at michael.henrie@elmendorf.af.mil or 552-7666

GUNS

44th Palmer gun show

WHEN: March 12, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

WHERE: Raven Hall, Alaska State Fairgrounds

WHAT: More than 300 tables of guns, knives and outdoor gear. Free chance to win fishing charter. Door prizes and rifle raffle. Come look, swap, talk, trade and shop. Food and beverages sold by Winner Circle 4-H Club. Free parking at purple gate with free shuttle to Raven Hall. All proceeds benefit Palmer Lions Club community projects.

COST: Adults $5; kids go free.

CONTACT: 761-3750

HIKING

Frosty February frolic

WHEN: Saturday, 1-4 p.m.

WHERE: Eagle River Nature Center

WHAT: Join volunteers Bob and Ann Fisher for a 6 1/2-mile round trip hike to Dew Lake. Hikers should be in good shape but may be beginners. The trail is fairly level with an elevation gain of about 800 feet. Hikers are advised to bring a daypack with snacks and water. Snowshoes or ice cleats may be needed. Limited to the first 12 people who sign up. Must be 18 or older.

COST: Free

CONTACT: 694-2108

HUNTING

Turkey federation banquet

WHEN: Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

WHERE: Anchorage Hilton Hotel

WHAT: Event hosted by the National Wild Turkey Federation-Alaska Tundra Toms chapter, includes a buffet, live and silent auctions, general and special raffles, gun raffles and door prizes.

COST: Varies

CONTACT: Dean at 947-5920 or Jim at 344-3914

Hunting expo and banquet

WHEN: Feb. 24-26, 10 a.m. each day

WHERE: Dena'ina Center

WHAT: Largest taxidermy display in Alaska will be featured. There's an outdoor photo contest and a chance to visit with outfitters from around the world. There will be a live and silent auction as well as a raffle. Classes will be available on topics ranging from an introduction to hunting to specifics on bear or sheep hunting. Feb. 25 is military appreciation night and is open to the public.

COST: $80

CONTACT: 980-9018 aksafariclub.org; admin@aksafariclub.org

OUTDOOR SKILLS

Outdoors women workshop

WHEN: March 11-13

WHERE: Victory Bible Camp near Palmer

WHAT: Program introduces women to hunting, fishing and related outdoors activities. More than 48 hands-on sessions are planned, including firearms safety, bear safety, shotgun clinics, field dressing of fish and game, ice fishing, spin fishing, fly tying, dog mushing, snowmachining, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, GPS operation, fish smoking, rod building, outdoors photography and winter survival.

COST: $250 for applications postmarked before Feb. 15; $300 afterward

CONTACT: 267-2218

SKIING AND BOARDING

Winter Trails Day

WHEN: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

WHERE: BLM Campbell Creek Science Center

WHAT: Try out skate and classical cross-country skis. Go snowshoeing and geocaching. Sample a winter bike and watch sled dog racing. Learn to use an avalanche transceiver, wax skis, and build a snow shelter. Dress warmly and come for an hour or bring lunch and stay all day. Hot beverages will be provided; refreshments throughout the day.

COST: Free

CONTACT: 267-1241

Cross-country skiing basics

WHEN: Saturday, 10:30 a.m.

WHERE: Eagle River Nature Center

WHAT: Twelve registered participants can learn the basics of cross-country skiing. Bring your own equipment and dress in non-cotton layers. Limited to the first 12 people, ages 10 and older.

COST: Free

CONTACT: 694-2108

Town League ski races

WHEN: Thursday nights through Feb. 24; registration 6 p.m.

WHERE: Alyeska Resort, Sitzmark

WHAT: Alpine skiers and boarders of at least intermediate skill compete in a series of night races. Racers compete in a head-to-head slalom format. Each racer makes two runs with the best time counting. Practice 3-5 p.m. Course reset at 5 p.m. for race start an hour later. Competition open to snowboarders, alpine and telemark skiers ages 21 and up. Race as a team member or as an individual and compile points over the seven-week race series. Top three individuals and teams in each division will earn awards.

COST: $80 per person includes entry, weekly prize drawings, T-shirt and admission to awards party.

CONTACT: 754-2258 or 754-7669 for race information and cancellation announcements.

Challenge Alyeska's steepest runs

WHEN: March 17-20

WHERE: Alyeska Resort

WHAT: A new competition called the Chugach Open is designed to lure the best skiers, boarders and telemarkers to Alyeska's double-black-diamond terrain, featuring steep cliffs, chutes and 2,500 feet of vertical. Envisioned as a grass-roots competition in contrast to the national and international freeskiing events the resort has hosted in the past. "Our plan is to open up in-bounds terrain that is indicative of the big heli-lines in the Chugach Mountains," Alyeska general manager Di Hiibner said in press release. A panel of experts will judge the athletes based on line choice, fluidity, control and aggressiveness. The timing of the Chugach Open is intended to complement late spring competitions in Valdez.

COST: Varies

CONTACT: www.AlyeskaResort.com

SNOWMOBILING

Iron Dog safety expo

WHEN: Saturday , 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

WHERE: Menard Sports Center in Wasilla

WHAT: Annual safety expo in conjunction with the Iron Dog. North America Outdoor Institute will be on hand with training programs and helmets provided by the Division of Parks. Students who complete the course will be eligible to purchase a SNELL/DOT helmet for $30.

COST: Free

CONTACT: info@naoiak.org or www.irondog.org

AMMC Vintage series

WHEN: Sunday , noon

WHERE: Houston Lodge

WHAT: Alaska Motor Mushers Club hosts closed-course races on lake or cross-country format. Door prizes, warming areas and food available.

COST: $25 per class and $5 racer fee each day.

CONTACT: ammcracing.com; ammcracing@hotmail.com

WILDLIFE

Wildlife by the numbers

WHEN: Wednesday , 7-8 p.m.

WHERE: Alaska Zoo Gateway Education Building

WHAT: Earl Becker, a biometrician and research coordinator with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, describes how biologists come up with population estimates upon which wildlife management is based.

COST: Free

CONTACT: alaskazoo.org

WINTER ENDURANCE

Iditarod Invitational party

WHEN: Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Speedway Bike Shop in Anchorage

WHAT: Pre-race party for Iditarod Trail Invitational racers who travel 350 miles to McGrath or 1,000 miles to Nome.

COST: Free:

CONTACT: www.alaskaultrasport.com

Susitna 100 spots open

WHEN: Feb. 17 at 5:30 p.m.

WHERE: Wilda Marston Theater at Loussac Library

WHAT: Gear check, final briefing and last chance to register for the Susitna 100 human-powered race that begins Feb. 19 at Point Mackenzie General Store. Note: the Little Su 50-K field is full.

COST: $350

CONTACT: susitna100@attalascom.net; Brooks or Rita Wade at 345.2282