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A skier pulls a backflip into a pond at the Alyeska Slush Cup. Courtesy Ralph Kristopher, Alyeska Resort SALMON CULTURE EXHIBITION Celebrates connections between salmon and Alaska Native peoples and honors salmon as a resource that has nourished communities physically and spiritually for thousands of years. At the Anchorage Museum through September 2024. Visit: anchoragemuseum.org/exhibits/salmon-culture. ALASKA HUMMINGBIRD FESTIVAL Annual event begins April 5 with a juried art show and reception at the Southeast Discovery Center in Ketchikan. Exhibits, bird walks, talks, and more continue through April 27 to welcome the annual return of rufous hummingbirds. Contact Tongass National Forest: 907-228-6220. ALYESKA SPRING CARNIVAL April 19-21 at the Alyeska Ski Resort in Girdwood. Food trucks, live music, a costume contest, a tug-of-war into a frigid pond, and the always popular slush cup ski competition, where costumed skiers launch over a jump and attempt to ski across a pond. Visit: alyeskaresort.com. NATIVE…

It’s not easy getting a Broadway show to Alaska. In the case of Hamilton, which ran in Anchorage last August, it took over two years of planning and a 757 commercial aircraft. Smaller shows require a mix of trucks and barges, with delivery times that must somehow squeeze into a production’s national touring schedule.

Triston Chaney, 2018 academy graduate and fly fishing guide at Bear Track Lodge in Bristol Bay, teaches fly fishing to a new batch of academy participants in 2023. The Bristol Bay Guide Academy, which was recently featured in the short film School of Fish produced by Trout Unlimited, Orvis, and others, connects local youth to jobs in guided sport fishing. For Alaska Native youth especially, the work entwines traditional connections with salmon and today’s lucrative tourism industry. “The idea for the academy came from Luki Akelkok, traditional chief of Ekwok, and Tim Troll of the Bristol Bay Heritage Land Trust,” says Nelli Williams, Alaska director of Trout Unlimited, which helps sponsor the academy. Williams explains that many Bristol Bay residents work in commercial fishing but that the guides at local fishing lodges are often hired from outside the area. One barrier to hiring residents has been a lack of experience…

Kyle Worl is an athlete and coach competing in the arctic sports category of this month’s Arctic Winter Games, being held in the Mat-Su valley. The arctic sports events, which originated over many generations in Indigenous communities across the circumpolar north, are a high- light of the games. They include the two-foot high kick, knuckle hop, and other sports linked to Indigenous hunting skills. The Arctic Winter Games also host com- petitions in hockey, skiing, skating, and other sports.

There are many places to get a great shot of the highest mountain in North America—and not all of them are in Denali National Park. On a clear day, you can spot the towering snow-capped dome from Anchorage. Talkeetna affords a backside view along a picturesque river. Flightseeing provides exceptional close-ups. But going to the park delivers some choice locations for creative composition.

In Yup’ik culture, “Cama-i!” is a welcome greeting often accompanied by a handshake. It’s also the spirit behind the annual Cama-i Dance Festival, a three-day event held in Bethel and sponsored by the Southwest Alaska Arts Group. Visit www.swaagak.org for this year’s detailed schedule. The longstanding festival features Yup’ik dance, arts, crafts, seminars, a qaspeq fashion show, and public honors for local culture bearers. It has attracted 4,000 people and 20 Alaskan and international dance groups. This year’s theme is Yuraq Paiciutekaput – Dance is Our Legacy. Alaska Airlines offers a 7% discount code ECMK252 for people traveling to the festival (some exclusions apply). The event relies on volunteer support, and anyone wishing to volunteer can contact Laura Ellsworth at [email protected]. This year’s festival is dedicated to the memories of Seliksuyar Bob Aloysius of Bethel and Inuguarpak Stanley Anthony of Nightmute. And it honors culture bearers Ap’alluk Levi Hoover of Kasigluk and Atrilnguq Joseph Asuluk Sr. of Toksook Bay. Photo credit: Wáats’asdiyei Joe Yates

Sometimes you get lucky, and that winning photo practically takes itself. Other times you have to work for it, angling for the best composition or waiting for perfect lighting. Either way, photographers create art that captures the viewer’s eye—and sometimes their heart, as is the casewith our grand prize winner. What we always look for when selecting finalists and then winning images from this contest is, first and foremost, an emotional reaction: Does the picture make us think Wow!? If so, then we look at technical merit such as whether the image is in focus, has a pleasing or surprising composition, or is overprocessed. Blurry, ho-hum, or fake coloring all get an automatic pass. While we appreciate those rare times when every aspect of a scene synchronizes and the photographer is paying attention enough to capture it on the fly, we know the thoughtfulness, time, and attention to detailit requires…

The Iditarod is Alaska’s most famous sled dog race, but it’s not the only one. Here are some other races happening this winter. Yukon Quest The Yukon Quest, begins February 3. Formerly, a 1,000-mile odyssey between Fairbanks and Whitehorse, Yukon, this year’s three races range from 100 to 450 miles, all within Canada. Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship, Anchorage, February 23-March 3. Part of the “Fur Rondy” winter carnival, the races traverse Anchorage streets, forests,and parks. Annamaet Limited North American Championships Annamaet Limited North American Championships, Fairbanks, March 8-10.Features 4-, 6-, and 8-dog teams and 2-dog skijoring. Open North American Championship Open North American Championship, Fairbanks, March 15-17. This is the world’s oldest continuously held sled dog race. Communities and nonprofits host many other races between January and March, and of course mushing is about more than just racing.

Eielson’s epic mail flight On February 21, 1924, Carl Ben Eielson flew Alaska’s first official air mail service. The 280-mile flight from Fairbanks to McGrath took just a few hours, compared to 18 days or more by dog sled. Eielson used a de Havilland DH-4 open cockpit biplane to carry the 164 pounds of mail, and he bundled up in caribou-fur socks, moccasins, a reindeer parka, a marten-skin cap, a wolverine-skin hood, and multiple wool layers, as well as goggles. Born in North Dakota in 1897, Eielson flew in the U.S. Army Air Service during World War I. In 1922, he took a teaching job in Fairbanks but soon devoted his time to flying bush planes for miners and their cargo, quickly becoming one of Alaska’s most pioneering bush pilots. He died in 1929 while trying to rescue a ship full of furs that was mired in ice off the…

Get the latest on resources and conservation Have you ever wished you could find a one-stop source that concisely summarizes conferences, workshops, job openings, and public comment periods tied to natural resources across our big state? Turns out, you can. Just join the free What’s Up email list. For 25 years, Peg Tileston has compiled this weekly digest. It arrives divided into three primary groupings that include conferences, workshops, and seminars; public hearings; and volunteer, intern, and employment opportunities. Interspersed throughout are community events, grants, scholarships, and much more, each with a descriptive blurb and online links. “I feel strongly about citizen participation,” Tileston says about offering What’s Up for so many years. “People can’t get involved if they don’t know what’s happening.” Tileston has been a leader in Alaskan conservation for over 50 years. She has led nonprofits, served on various community and government boards, and helped found several…