Outdoors hotline (2/28/12)


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 two-to-three 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. (nps.gov/dena/planyourvisit/winter-activities.htm, 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 YukonRiverQuest.com. 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, glynn@mtaonline.net)

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, AlaskaNordicRacing.org)

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, muni.org/parks)


Wilderness First Aid, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and 9 a.m.-noon Friday, Lazy Mount Bible Church, 16005 E. Shawn Drive, Palmer. Learn how to handle backcountry emergencies, learn first aid skills and get CPR-certified. $225. ((376-2898, www.naoiak.org)


SnowFilm Series: Poor Boyz Productions, 7-10 p.m., Sitzmark Bar & Grill, 100 Olympic Circle, Ayleska. Poor Boyz Production's "The Grand Bizarre" is the hottest freeride park film on the market. And, Oakley's "Ordinary Skier" puts legend Seth Morrison on the big scene in a whole new light. This is a show for all ages; those under 21 must be accompanied by parent or legal guardian. $5. (754-2275, AlyeskaResort.com)


Alaska outdoors weekly hiking, 6:30 p.m., Hilltop Ski Area Parking lot, 7015 Abbott Road. Join other outdoor enthusiasts for a challenging hike. Meeting location changes each week. $1 for non-members. (770-0440, Alaska-Outdoors.org)


Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage Bike First Friday, 5:45-8:45 p.m., Modern Dwellers Chocolate Lounge, 751 E. 36th Ave. Meet great people, see art, and learn safe and convenient bicycle routes. Show up wearing bright, reflective, hi-vis clothing with lots of blinking or bright lights. Then, while visiting art galleries, ride around the streets, trails, and alleys of Anchorage, sharing safe and convenient cut-throughs and shortcuts to streamline your bicycle commute. Free. (720-3580, www.bicycleanchorage.org)

Boating Skills and Seamanship course, 7-10 p.m., UAA Chugiak-Eagle River College Center. This 13-lesson, eight-week course for recreational boaters begins Friday and will continue 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. Registration is solely through Active.com. $60. (melkal@gci.net)


Centennial Seavey Send Off!, 1 p.m., BLM Campbell Creek Science Center, 5600 Science Center Drive. Help send off Centennial Musher Dan Seavey as he takes "The Trail at 100" message to communities along the Iditarod in celebration of the trail's 100th anniversary. Includes exhibits, activities, hot cocoa and a chance to talk with an Iditarod legend. Free. (267-1247, www.blm.gov/gov/ak/sciencecenter)

Westchester Lagoon family skate, 1-3 p.m., Westchester Lagoon, U St. and W. 15th Avenue. Strap on your skates and join a "Day at the Beach." Free hot chocolate, music and games. Free. (343-4495, muni.org/parks)

All About Bats, 2 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center, 32750 Eagle River Road. Junior naturalists will join Laura Kruger and Marian Snively with the Wildlife Diversity Program of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in the exploration of Alaska's only flying mammal. Find out how you can help the program by reporting bat sightings. Be prepared for a walk on the Rodak trail. Free program; $5 parking for non-members. (694-2108, www.ernc.org)


Trekking the Arctic presentation, 2 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center, 32750 Eagle River Road. Volunteer Dick Griffith will present a slideshow of arctic treks: from Anaktuvuk to Kotzebue, Nuiqsut to Unakleet and along the Alaskan and Canadian Arctic Coastline to Hudson Bay. Before the program, a winner will be chosen for the 2012 Griffith Challenge where Griffith matches your donations to the center. Make a donation by going to www.ernc.org for a chance to release a rehabilitated eagle to the wild. Free program. (694-2108, www.ernc.org)


Alaska outdoors weekly hiking, 6:30 p.m., Campbell Park, E. 48th Avenue and Lake Otis Parkway. Monday outings are for beginners and families. Meeting location changes each week. $1 for non-members. (770-0440, Alaska-Outdoors.org)


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, AlaskaBG.org)

Bird TLC's "For the Birds" Live & Silent Auction Fundraiser, 6-10 p.m. March 24, Sheraton Anchorage Hotel, 401 E. Sixth Ave. This is Bird TLC's largest annual fundraiser. Visit with Live Education Birds while enjoying hors d'oeuvres, a live and silent auction, and a no-host bar. Tickets are $60 per person or $1,000 for a table of 10. Donations are needed. Auction items can be dropped off at the Bird TLC clinic. (562-4852, www.birdtlc.net)

To submit an event, go to events.adn.com and click on "add to our listings." To view a full listing of all available events, go to events.adn.com.

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 BuckwheatSkiClassic.com and click on the "Race Entry" tab. Registration for the Chugach Open is open. The event includes three days of competition, open to Alpine, snowboard and Telemark skiers. Athletes must be at least 18 years of age and of advanced or better ability to compete. There will also be a juniors division for those between ages 13-17 for all disciplines. There are three levels of registration: $110 includes entry to competition only, $230 includes entry plus three-day lift tickets, and $310 includes entry plus five-day lift tickets. All participants will be required to wear a helmet and beacon during the competition. Top finishers will receive entry to the World Heli Challenge in Valdez, April 14-26. Register online at www.alyeskaresort.com/chugachopenregistration. Buckwheat ski race registration now open