Welcome to the State of Alaska Travel News Bulletin. The tourism office sends this out periodically to keep media up-to-date on Alaska tourism and travel news. Media are invited to call (800) 327-9372 www.TravelAlaska.com/media for more information.
December 3, 2012

In this December Travel News Bulletin you will find:

1. Denali, a century after climbers first reached the summit
2. Alaska's slopes on the big screen
3. North Pole to host world championship sled dog race
4. Alaska Geographic announces 2013 field programs

1. Denali, a century after climbers first reached the summit
In June 1913, a climbing expedition team became the first to reach the pinnacle of Mount McKinley, and climbing the 20,320 feet to the peak of North America’s tallest mountain was no small victory. A century later, Alaskans and visitors will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first successful assent with a number of activities in 2013. For those who wish to make the climb themselves, the months of May and June offer the best chance for success. But for those who just want to experience the stunning beauty and historical signifigance of Denali, commemorative events such as a special National Parks exhibit at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Museum of the North and a sustainable summits symposium in Talkeetna, Sept. 8-11, are great places to start. There are also opportunities to get outdoors and see Denali up close without putting on crampons. From bus tours to whitewater rafting, ATV tours, day hikes and flightseeing, there are endless ways to see Denali National Park and Preserve and catch views of the majestic Mount McKinley.
Media Contact:
Kris Fister, Public Affairs Officer, Denali National Park
Phone: 907-683-9583
E-mail: Kris_Fister@nps.gov
Facebook: www.facebook.com/DenaliNPS
Twitter: www.twitter.com/DenaliNPS
URL: www.nps.gov/dena/index.htm

2. Alaska's slopes on the big screen
Film production company Teton Gravity Research is adding to the excitement of winter with its new film, "The Dream Factory," now showing around Alaska and worldwide. Focusing on alpine skiing in the breathtaking backcountry of the 49th state, the film follows ski and snowboard athletes as they fulfill their dreams and “freeride” Alaska’s most extreme slopes, performing daredevil tricks in unimaginable places, with the help of guides and pilots from local heli-ski outfitters such as Alaska Heli Skiing, Valdez Heli-Ski Guides, Chugach Powder Guides and SEABA Heli. Like the film states: Alaska is the place where people come for backcountry skiing and boarding. These heli-ski operators and others like them around the state offer a variety of options for anyone with his or her own dream of following in the footsteps of the pioneers of Alaska backcountry freeriding. Single- and multi-day packages, combined with flights and a guaranteed runs, take skiers and snowboarders to the far reaches of the Last Frontier’s mountain ranges to access thousands of miles of terrain, from long intermediate runs to extreme vertical descents, escorted by pilots and guides with years of experience. Companies will tailor the package to skiers’ desires and level of experience, with appropriate terrain progression throughout the trip.
Media Contact:
Teton Gravity Research
Phone: 307-734-8192
E-mail: press@tetongravity.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/tetongravityresearch
Twitter: twitter.com/tetongravity
You Tube: www.youtube.com/user/tetongravityresearch


3. North Pole to host world championship sled dog race
The growing community of North Pole was recently selected to host the 2013 International Federation of Sleddog Sports Winter World Championship sled dog races. North Pole is located less than 20 miles from Fairbanks in Interior Alaska, a region known for its extensive system of mushing and skijoring trails, earning it the title of “Dog Mushing Capital of the World.” The area is also the starting/ending point of the world-class 1,000-mile Yukon Quest sled dog race (alternating with Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada) and the stomping ground of four-time Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race winner and Yukon Quest champion Lance Mackey. Whether actively participating or watching from the sidelines, dog mushing is a way for visitors to connect and experience an Alaska tradition first hand, as well as learn about the amazing capabilities of the dogs and their dedicated trainers. The championships are tentatively scheduled for Feb. 25 – March 17, 2013 in and around North Pole and Fairbanks. Currently, 25 events in race categories including junior, sprint, mid distance, long distance, open, skijoring, and pulka will take place. Races occur every two years, alternating between European and North American venues, and bring together the most talented dog mushers and skijorers from around the globe to determine the world champion in each category. More information about schedules will be available closer to race time.
Media Contact: 
Amy Geiger, Fairbanks Conventions and Visitors Bureau
Media-only: 877-551-1728, ext. 3775
E-mail: ageiger@explorefairbanks.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/insidealaska
Twitter: twitter.com/insidealaska
URL: www.explorefairbanks.com

4. Alaska Geographic announces 2013 field programs
Visitors can immerse themselves in Alaska’s ecosystems and learn about the state’s parks, forests and refuges with Alaska Geographic’s 2013 lineup of field seminars and youth programs. The courses are designed for adults, families with children and teachers looking for ways to connect to Alaska’s vast wilderness. The 2013 offerings bring back some of the Institute’s most popular courses, such as, “Wolf Studies in Denali National Park and Preserve,” and, “Autumn Colors: Tundra’s Tapestry of Change.” In addition, new and intriguing topics for 2013 include, “Glaciology: Citizen Science in Denali National Park and Preserve,” and, “Stories as Mirrors of Science: Storytelling Workshop.” Courses in Denali National Park are offered through the Murie Science and Learning Center. Seminars, courses and programs range in length from two to eight days, are accredited by the University of Alaska and are conducted in small groups, led by knowledgeable wildlife biologists, wildflower experts, geologists, authors and artists. Class locations vary depending on the topic. For the full 2013 lineup of courses, visit Alaska Geographic 2013 Field Seminars.
Media Contacts:
David Tomeo, Alaska Geographic at the Murie Science & Learning Center
Phone: (907) 683-6438
E-mail: david-tomeo@murieslc.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/alaskageographic?fref=ts
Twitter: twitter.com/alaskawildlands
URL: www.alaskageographic.org; www.MurieSLC.org


Social Media Spotlight

 Enter to win a trip to Alaska!

Do you dream of a vacation in Alaska? Starting Dec. 5, 2012 through Jan. 31, 2013, visit the Alaska Travel News Facebook page and vote on one of these three dream vacations for a chance to win that trip:

1. Seven-day backcountry adventure
In Alaska, you can experience the wilderness by day and stay in an elegantly rustic lodge at night. With this backcountry dream vacation, explore the magical Kenai Peninsula, beginning with an Alaska Airlines flight to Anchorage. Then, an all-inclusive package provided by Alaska Wildland Adventures takes you to three different lodges. Daily, guided activities such as river rafting, searching for wildlife in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge or kayaking the Kenai Fjords National Park are available. If you love adventure, this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

2. Alaska-style road trip
Alaska is a huge place with wonders at every turn, and sometimes, you just want to travel at your own pace. Experience the ultimate road adventure with an Alaska Travel Adventures seven-day RV rental. Fly Alaska Airlines to Anchorage, the state’s largest city. From there, drive north for a glimpse of Mount McKinley, North America’s highest peak, then visit the gold rush city of Fairbanks. Or head east towards the glacier-carved valleys of the Glenn Highway, a National Scenic Byway. Whatever route you choose, you’re sure to find someplace memorable.

3. 10-day cruise/land tour
One of the many ways to visit Alaska is by cruise/land tour, like Princess Cruises’ Denali Explorer package, which combies a seven-day cruise with three days on land. Your vacation begins with an Alaska Airlines flight to Vancouver, British Columbia for cruise that takes you through Alaska's Inside Passage. Stops include Alaska’s first city, Ketchikan, the state’s capital, Juneau, and scenic Glacier Bay National Park. After crossing the Gulf of Alaska, you’ll begin your land tour on the Alaska Railroad to Talkeetna, before heading north to Denali National Park and Preserve. During a tour of the park, you’ll learn about the area’s natural history and see sweeping landscapes and incredible wildlife. The trip concludes in Fairbanks, the gateway to Alaska’s Interior and the Arctic.


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