AD Main Menu

Craig Medred

If the snows ever return to Southcentral Alaska, here's a tip on how to survive, courtesy of the lamestream media from America's faraway coast: "Stay warm.''

With the mother of all storms (or maybe the stepsister of a midsize Bering Sea blow) pummeling the East Coast this week, "stay warm'' was No. 3 on the list of " top safety tips for surviving the blizzard of 2015'' from CBS News .

Yes, this is the savvy information now provided by the network once home to legendary newsman Walter Cronkite. It has to make Alaskans wonder just how out of touch with nature are those who live Outside.

The other top tips?

"Don't drive."

"Be prepared."...

Craig Medred

Good-bye, snow drought.

Almost halfway through the winter, Alyeska Ski Resort swung back into action this week.

The Girdwood forests surrounding the ski area might still look more like fall than winter, but the mountain is finally open from top to bottom.

The resort warns that early season conditions exist from midway down despite the January date on the calendar, but life in Girdwood looks a lot better now than it did only weeks ago. Cold weather that finally allowed for snow-making was followed by a couple of inches of fresh snow Thursday, allowing groomers to get the Race Trail and a few other routes down to the base of the mountain in good shape...

Craig Medred

In an effort to hype its phony reality TV show "Ultimate Survival Alaska,'' the National Geographic Channel has come up with a nifty list of nine of the 10 accidents least likely to kill people in the 49th state...

Craig Medred

TULUKSAK -- The jail in this remote village in Western Alaska is a 6-by-8-foot mesh cage inside a shabby, one-room building smaller than the master suite in many a suburban American home. In this barren, dimly lit room, Mary Moses sits on the only chair next to the desk of village police officer Kim Lewis and asks a simple question:

"Why isn't Martin Bowman in jail?"

Bowman is a teacher come north from the Lower 48 and now long gone from the Kuskokwim River community of fewer than 400 people. Moses (not her real name) is Yup'ik and the mother of one of nine girls who in the fall settled a $2 million civil suit with the Yupiit School District, claiming they were sexually molested by Bowman...

Craig Medred

Twenty-two years after a young man named Chris McCandless was found dead in a long-abandoned bus north of Denali National Park and Preserve, a plausible explanation has arisen as to why the 24-year-old man stayed there until he starved to death: toxic mushrooms.

Photos of the mushrooms appeared on film found with McCandless' body after his death. Some of those photos made their way into a McCandless family book "Back to the Wild'' , published in 2011...

Craig Medred

Mike Glidden's press release was amateurish and lacked for fancy letterhead, but it had a killer pitch: "I did not know the bear was there…" After that, the Anchorage hiker went on to outline what he said was a chance encounter with an invisible bear and explain how lucky he was to escape the meeting unharmed.

Attached to Glidden's emailed pitch were 13 photographs taken in and around Byron Glacier in the Portage Valley recreation area about 50 miles southeast of Anchorage, Alaska's largest city...

Craig Medred

Oil is us. Face it.

Alaskans went all-in long ago on the idea we could live off the fat of one natural resource, and once again it appears we're about to pay the price. Wiser folks might have figured things out when oil prices tanked in the mid-80s and many walked away from their mortgages and fled the state.

Wiser folks might have tried to diversify the state's tax base instead of keeping nearly all the eggs in the oil-industry basket. From time to time over the last 50 or so years, we've tried to be wise folks by holding round-tables, panels and conferences to address the inevitable problem of declining oil revenue. But we're clearly not wise folks.

Roll this number around in your head a bit: $7.1 million...

Craig Medred

The summer of 2014 will go down as a good year for shoveling snow in the Alaska Range and a bad year for climbing Mount McKinley.

Denali National Park rangers who just finished crunching the numbers for the season report a success rate of only 36 percent for the 1,204 mountaineers trying to reach the summit of North America's tallest peak.

Most years, slightly more than half of those who try reach the top. Not since 1998 has the success rate fallen so low. By contrast, 68 percent made it 2013 when the weather gods smiled on Alaska.

It was all the opposite this year, and it could have been worse...

Craig Medred

Halibut anglers who hire charters in Alaska appear destined to take another hit as the federally run North Pacific Fishery Management Council continues efforts to roll back the sport catch of the popular flatfish.

An advisory committee to the council on Monday recommended that halibut charters be banned on Thursdays this summer and that charter anglers be restricted to an annual limit of five fish. Previously, anglers could fish any day and there was no seasonal cap...

Craig Medred

Confession time. I bought a $16.95, Chinese-made LED headlamp back in October. Every night it's used, I feel a little guilty as an America-first kind of guy. But this light is hands down one of my best gear purchases in years.

In fact, I just returned home from a night out on snowshoes above treeline in the Chugach Mountains. It is near 1 a.m. Up high, the snow was close to knee deep in places, despite Anchorage's snow-sparse winter. It was dark. The wind was gusting to 30 mph or so at times. Some snow was moving around. In places, the old snowshoe track I was trying to find was drifted in...

Craig Medred