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Outdoors hotline (2/21/12)

ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News


Denali winter hiking: 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Murie Science and Learning Center, Mile 1.3 Parks Road, Denali National Park and Preserve. Park rangers invite the public to join them in exploring the park on weekend hikes this winter. The hikes will be on snowshoes when snow conditions are favorable. A limited number of snowshoes are available but it's best to bring your own. The hikes will last 2-3 hours. Bring lunch or snacks. Hikes canceled if temperatures are colder than 10 below. $10 per person, good for 7 days. Ages 15 or younger free. (, 907-683-9532)

2012 Yukon River Quest: Registration is now being accepted for the Yukon River Quest, to be held June 27-July 1. The 438-mile wilderness adventure paddling race is held on the Yukon River from Whitehorse to Dawson City in Canada's Yukon Territory. Entry forms are available at The entry fee is $850 for tandem canoes and kayaks, $475 for solo canoes and kayaks and $250 per person for voyageur canoe teams of six or more paddlers. Entry deadline is May 15. Teams are encouraged to register early. Limit of 100 canoe and kayak teams, including a limit of 30 solo teams.

Ski chariots available for loan: The Mat-Su Ski Club has four cross-country ski chariots to loan out to Mat-Su Valley parents with small children so families can go skiing together. The club has two single-passenger chariots and two, two-passenger chariots. The chariots have skis, seat belts, a pole system and waistband for the parent to hook into. Made possible through a grant from the Mat-Su Health Foundation. (745-4190,

Cross-country ski training: Alaska Nordic Racing offers lessons for all abilities. Programs range from middle and high school to adult master ski programs, taking place at the Beach Lake Trails in Eagle River and Kincaid and Service in Anchorage. Sessions also include waxing, technique, training and equipment selection. (376-2169,

MOA cross-country ski lessons: 6:30- 7:30 p.m., Kincaid Outdoor Center, 9401 Raspberry Road. Learn to cross-country ski in a group lesson. Lessons are offered in both skate and classic techniques for children and adults. Lessons are held at Kincaid Park and Russian Jack Springs Park on a weekly basis. Pre-registration is required. (343-4217,


Free Survival Kit Building, 6:30-8:30 p.m., LTR Training Systems, 5761 Silverado Way. Come build a survival kit with the experts and learn the difference between a want and a need, and the usage of some special recommended items. Free. (563-4463,


Alaska outdoors weekly hiking, 6:30 p.m., O'Malley Trailhead, Stroganof Drive. Join other outdoor enthusiasts for a challenging hike. Meeting location changes each week. $1 for non-members. (770-0440,


Winterfest!, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily, Friday-Sunday, Denali National Park and Preserve and the Denali, McKinley Park Community Center. A community-wide event that features an array of activities, with something for all ages, interests, and abilities. Festivities kick off with a dessert potluck followed by a square dance. Other festival activities include dog sled rides, ice carving demonstration, ranger-guided snowshoe walk, snow sculpting contest, and a 5K family fun run/walk/ski/bike. Hot drinks and light refreshments are provided. The complete schedule is posted at (907- 683-9532)

North Face Vertical Challenge, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., Alyeska Resort, Girdwood, An endurance race event at heart, the challenge offers all disciplines; alpine, telemark skiers, snowboarders, an opportunity to "lap the tram," and log as many vertical feet as possible on the resort's infamous North Face. Advanced registration required before Friday. Maximum of 50 entries. $50, lift ticket not included in entry fee. One ticket to the Pato Banton concert at the Sitzmark included in fee. Bib handout and participant briefing from 8-9 a.m. at Tram base. Helmets required. Awards at the Sitzmark at 6 p.m. Call 754-2558 for race information.


"Gettin Jiggy" kids' ice fishing derby, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Palmer Elks Lodge No. 1842, 2600 N. Barrys Resort Drive. Lots of prizes. Adult raffle includes a guided fishing trip, ice auger and more. All proceeds go to the Alaska Make-A-Wish Foundation. $10. (715-4438,

Speed skating, 8:45 -10:15 a.m., McDonald Center, 13701 Harry McDonald Road. A fast, fun, family activity and great cross-training for hockey players, cross-country skiers and bikers. First time free, $15 after. (522-2838,

Icy River Rampage Snow Bike Race, 1 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center, 32750 Eagle River Road. A 20-mile winter bike race. There will be men's and women's divisions. Race is open to all ages and abilities. Co-sponsored with the Arctic Bicycle Club Mountain Racing Division. A fundraiser for the Nature Center. $30 preregistered, $35 day of race. (694-2108,

Introduction to Hunting for Small and Big Game in Alaska, 1-3 p.m., Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center, 600 W. Seventh Ave. This clinic will help new hunters, both young and old, get pointed in the right direction, covering everything from legal requirements, safety courses, equipment considerations, training options as well as ideas on where to go and what to do with it when you get home. Free. (267-2534, 267-2187;

Westchester Lagoon family skate, 1-3 p.m., Westchester Lagoon, U Street and West 15th Avenue. Strap on your skates and join the Seuss Skate. Free hot chocolate, music and games. Free. (343-4495,

Alaska's Flying Squirrels, 2 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center, 32750 Eagle River Road. Junior naturalists will learn about Alaska's flying squirrels: what they look like, how and where they live, and whether they really fly. Free; $5 non-member parking. (694-2108,

All City Sledding Competition, 6:30- 9 p.m., Kincaid Park, Raspberry Road parking lot. Open to middle and high school students. Categories include most people on one sled, fastest sled, most creative sled and two-man cardboard/duct tape sled. Food and door prizes. Free. (382-1972,


Fur Rendezvous Volkswalk, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Westmark Anchorage Hotel, 720 W. Fifth Ave. Choose a 3.1-mile or 6.2-mile untimed walk along city streets and sidewalks. The route includes historical sites plus Rondy venues including the snow sculptures. Free. (887-3200)

Alaska's Volcanoes, 2 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center, 32750 Eagle River Road. Tina Neal from the USGS Alaska Volcano Observatory will discuss Alaska's volcanoes, preparing for the next ash fall event in Alaska, and share highlights of some recent eruptions around the world. Free program; $5 non-member parking. (694-2108,


Alaska outdoors weekly hiking, 6:30 p.m., Goose Lake Park, 2811 UAA Drive. Monday outings are for beginners and families. Meeting location changes each week. $1 for non-members. (770-0440,


Boating Skills & Seamanship, 7-10 p.m. March 2, UAA Chugiak-Eagle River College Center, Eagle River. This 13-lesson, 8-week course for recreational boaters will run Friday nights through April 20. The class is given by Flotilla 3-3, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. Subjects covered include boat handling, trailering, legal requirements, radio procedures, navigation rules, weather considerations and knots. Register through $60.

Spring Garden Conference: "Extend the Season, Expand Your Mind", 8:30 a.m. March 9-10, UAA/APU Consortium Library, 3211 Providence Drive. The Alaska Botanical Garden presents "Cultivating Community" featuring keynote speaker Eliot Coleman, a cold-season harvest guru. Alaskan gardening experts including Verna Pratt, Jeff Lowenfels, Tim Meyers, Julie Riley, and more will also speak. $105-$75, lunch included. Reception $15. (770-3692,

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Buckwheat Ski Classic registration opens

Registration for the 26th Buckwheat Ski Classic is now open. The race will be March 24 and includes 50-kilometer, 25-K, 10-K and kid’s 5-K divisions.

The Buckwheat, organized by the Log Cabin Ski Society, is skied along sections of the historic Trail of ’98 off the Klondike Highway north of Skagway. It is a traditional classic cross-country ski race. It will not be tracked for skating.

Competitors of all ages and abilities are welcome. To register, go to and click on the “Race Entry” tab.