Mountain High 

This first listing came in late last week, which is a shame because it sounds like a great project and I would have loved to get the heads-up out in the last issue. But deadlines are deadlines and your deadline for getting me info for this column is Monday at noon. You can try after that but you’ll get no promises from me, not that you’d get them anyway.

Like I was saying, the event: The Bitter Root Land Trust is hosting a Bitter Root Community Trails workshop to launch a valley-wide community effort to develop trails in the Bitterroot Valley, addressing landowner concerns and attempting to balance them against the economic and health benefits of trails. At the first meeting, Gary Weiner, Resource Management Specialist with the National Park Service’s Rivers Trails and Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA), will talk about what RTCA can contribute to the project. To find out what part you can play, be at the Bitter Root Community Trails kick-off from 7 to 9 PM in the Bedford Building, 223 S. 2nd St. in Hamilton. Call 375-0956 for more information.

Most of what we’ve got going on outdoors this week is snow-related or maybe just happening because there isn’t enough snow yet. One exception is the 14th Montana Cup cross-country races in Kalispell on Saturday, Oct. 29, which includes races ranging in length from 5K to 8K. Also, greyhounds should take note that race organizers have added a Master’s Cup for ages 40 and up. Visit for information.

There’s a race in Missoula, too, and it provides a nice transition from fleet to sleet. That’s because the Missoula Junior Nordic Ski Program stands to benefit from the deftly named “To Hellgate and Back 8 Miler” that takes place beginning Saturday, Oct. 29, at 10 AM along the Kim Williams Trail. Registration is $15. Call 829-1313 for info on where and when to sign up.

In possibly unrelated news, the Nordic Ski Club holds its fall meeting Saturday, Oct. 29, at 6 PM at The Crystal Theatre, 515 S. Higgins Ave. That’s all I know so you’ll have to show if you want more info.

Maybe you feel like getting in a few early-season turns on some backcountry snow? One of your best chances is with the Rocky Mountaineers when they head up to the area around Hoodoo Pass south of Superior on Saturday, Oct. 29. The route will be contingent on the snow level, but there’ll be a hike regardless of what you find when you get up the road. Call 822-5000 for details in advance of the trip.

There might be snow up on Hoodoo but the weather in town is clear and dry right now. I’m waiting for the snow to fall; I’m sure you’ve heard me mention it before. If you’re doing the same, there are a couple movies about the things you can do on snow that might help you pass the time until the carving can start.

The first of these is The Tangerine Dream, which shows at 7 PM on Thursday, Oct. 27, in the Urey Underground Lecture Hall on the UM campus and tells pieces of the story of the folks behind Teton Gravity Research, a thrill-film shop in Jackson, Wyo. The movie is full of awe-inspiring cinematography and just plain stupid feats of climbing and skiing sure to inspire and incite you to likely bust your skull. Call 243-5172 for info on how to get your tickets for $7 in advance instead of $9 at the door.

Another chance to see what you’re now missing but soon will be kissing takes place on Thursday, Nov. 3 at 7 PM when Ad Libs: A Movie About Snowboarding, shows at the Wilma Theatre. This looks to be a good-times buddy flick about a crew of half a dozen riders that do a whole bunch of rail slides and jumping but eventually get their hands on some snowmobiles. The result is some breath-taking plunges and white powder explosions.

Finally, a more literary but still outdoor-related event. If you like the outdoors and read the Indy, you probably like nature writing. And if you like nature writing, you’ve probably heard of David Quammen. If not, you should try to learn something. Quammen is a Montanan and author of both fiction and non-fiction, earning special recognition for his science writing in the books Monster of God and Song of the Dodo. He also gained a fair bit of notoriety during the 14 years he spent as a columnist for Outside magazine. Hell, I’ve even taught one of his essays, “Boilerplate Rhino,” in composition class. Why all this prattling on about Quammen? Well, he’s coming to Missoula. On Friday, Oct. 28, David Quammen reads in the Dell Brown Room of Turner Hall on the UM campus at 8 PM. Go check it out.

And be sure to tell me what you’re doing to amuse yourself outside.

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