Craig Medred

State facilities at walrus-covered Round Island in southwest Alaska will be back in business this summer thanks to help from environmental and wildlife organizations from around the country. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game on Friday announced that the Annenberg Foundation, the Alaska SeaLife Center, the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium of Tacoma, the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, the Milwaukee-based Oceans of Fun, the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, and the Pacific Walrus Conservation Fund have chipped in to help fund operations at the Alaska Walrus Islands State Game Sanctuary....

Craig Medred

Telluride, Colorado, ski legend Peter Inglis -- "PI" to his friends -- had just reached the top of what he thought was a 7,000-foot Chugach Mountains ridge in eastern Alaska on Wednesday when the snow beneath him gave way and he fell to his death...

Craig Medred

Anchorage is heading into what looks to be a spectacular April weekend, leaving avalanche authorities worrying about the possibility some skier might not make it through alive. Sunny weather is expected to lure dozens, possibly hundreds, of skiers to fresh snow in Turnagain Pass about 50 miles southeast of the state's largest city, but dangerous avalanche conditions have developed there. The Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center on Friday issued an avalanche warning for the pass, Portage Valley, Girdwood and surrounding areas. A foot to 2 feet of snow fell on the area this week. Skiers who hit it early have already encountered danger....

Craig Medred

Alaska reality TV shows generally reek at depicting the real Alaska, and they are one of the best investments -- if not the best investment -- the state of Alaska has ever made.

Those two fundamental truths cannot be denied.

Reality TV might make Alaskans look like freaks, outlaws, misfits, dunderheads and more, but all of those shows make Alaska itself look like a big, wild and free place anyone living in an city anywhere might want to visit some day.

Night and day, almost every day, the shows bring Alaska into homes across America to remind people that we are here, and that, "Hey, Alaska looks like a strange and scenic place I might want to visit."...

Craig Medred

A guide for Ultima Thule Lodge in the heart of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve about 350 miles east of Anchorage has died in a skiing fall, according to the National Park Service. Peter Inglis was on the cornice of a peak near 7,000 feet altitude southeast of the outpost community of Chitina on Wednesday when he either fell through or the cornice broke. A cornice is a comb of snow formed by the wind atop a ridge line. Mark Keogh, a spokesman for the park service in Copper Center, said details on the accident remained sketchy Thursday. Rangers were at the scene of the accident investigating what happened. It is unclear if Inglis died in a fall or was buried in an avalanche of snow when the cornice gave way....

Craig Medred

Some bears are already out of hibernation in Alaska, and others will be out soon, which has the Alaska Department of Fish and Game warning that it's time to be bear aware.

In a Thursday press release, the agency noted that Gov. Bill Walker has proclaimed April "Bear Awareness Month" and warned that though only a few bears are out of their dens now, more are likely to emerge any day.

Southcentral Alaska -- the area around Anchorage where most of Alaska's population lives -- has experienced an unusually mild winter and is facing an early spring , which might encourage some bears to emerge from their dens a tad early...

Craig Medred

The news coming out of the Alyeska Resort in Girdwood on April 1 might have sounded like an April Fool's Day joke, but it wasn't. Maybe it was just the word choice of marketing director Eric Fullerton, who emailed Anchorage media to say they should c'mon down "to help share the good news about winter arriving at our resort."

Winter in April?...

Craig Medred

Brutalized and beaten but somehow unbowed by the 46-degree-below-zero cold, deep snow and the overwhelming desolation of the Iditarod Trail through the heart of unoccupied Interior Alaska, Tim and Loreen Hewitt flew home to Pennsylvania more than a week ago to nurse their cold-weather injuries...

Craig Medred

Nome's Aaron Burmeister led the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race to the icy coast of Alaska's Bering Sea and the checkpoint of Unalakleet on Sunday afternoon, but he didn't get much of a chance to celebrate.

Less than four hours after the frosted, 39-year-old musher received the warm welcome for which the checkpoint is famous, defending champ Dallas Seavey from Willow pulled in behind a string of 12 very strong-looking dogs and was almost as quickly gone into the howling coastal winds...

Craig Medred,Suzanna Caldwell

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