Hello. Welcome to Mountain High. Allow me to introduce our first event of the week:
The West Central Montana Avalanche Center presents a free one-evening class, with an optional field day, on Avalanche Awareness for Snowmobilers on Thu., Jan. 25, at 7 PM in Currents waterpark. The field day begins at 8 AM on Sat., Jan. 27, and while it’s all free, you need to call Jason at 552-6271 to register.
In response to the reality that the Rocky Mountaineers’ trips are often dudefests, we witness this weekend the birth of another of the group’s potential traditions: the Chick Trip, Sat., Jan 27 through Sun., Jan. 28. Females of the human persuasion (and maybe their dogs, who knows?) are invited to spend Saturday snowshoeing and cross-country skiing before a wine-and-dinner slumber party at a cabin on Georgetown Lake, to be followed the next day by a trip to Discovery Basin Ski Area. If you’ve got the basics covered, like being a woman, and you’d like to get in on this, call Lorraine at 327-0566.
In other weekend-long-event news, Missoula Parks and Recreation holds the Frost Fever Winter Festival Sat., Jan 27–Sun., Jan 28. Activities include snow football, frigid 5K runs, snowshoe treks, special deals at Currents, and more. Call 721-PARK to learn more about beating the midwinter doldrums.
If you’ve always wanted to give spelunking a shot, but were intimidated by rumors of subterranean carnivorous beings—see last year’s The Descent—your horse-mounted hero comes in the form of the Northern Rocky Mountain Grotto, which offers a beginner’s trip into Wagner’s Cave near Philipsburg on Sat., Jan. 27. Ten novices will have a chance to explore an easily accessed 500-foot horizontal cave, but it’s first come, first served, so call Daryl at (303) 842-7415 on the double.
The New Rocky Mountaineers offer a trip for those of you who wish to remain above ground this weekend. On Sat., Jan. 27, ski or snowshoe to Mollman Pass in the Mission Mountains. The four-mile route will bring you to Mollman Lakes, one of which is quite large, so pack the gas-powered ice auger and some maggots. Or not. Call Gerald at 549-4769 to sign up.
Why is it that winterfests always happen around this time of year? Blacktail offers $25 adult all-day lift tickets as part of Lakeside’s Winter Fest on Sat., Jan. 27. There will be demos available on the hill as well as a pancake breakfast, the Family Cup Race, horse-drawn sleigh rides and music. Check www.lakesidesomerschamber.org for more.
Big Mountain throws down another Jeep Terrain Park Challenge starting at 9 AM on Sat., Jan. 27 in the Fishbowl Superpipe. Skiers and boarders age 8 and up get one hour to impress the judges and collect prizes and various booty. Fees vary by age and how seriously you take yourself. Call 862-2911.
Moonlight Basin hopes you’ll learn more than the uses of canine urine for active rewarming when Frank Silva of Western Montana Search Dogs and his dog, K2, demonstrate how rescue dogs search at 4 PM at the Moonlight Lodge on Sat., Jan. 27. Silva and K2 will also teach kids what to do if they get lost in the woods, besides wail.
Bridger Bowl promotes more high-speed downhill fun this weekend, starting on Sat., Jan. 27, when the Alpine Community Race Series begins with registration at 8:30 AM. Races begin at noon, after the courses have been duly inspected by interested racers. These events are open to skiers of all ages, and medals and other trinkets will be dispensed to the victors later in the day.
Also at Bridger, but this time on Sun., Jan. 28, there will be a Dual Giant Slalom race for telemark skiers. The prizes are, from reports, quite impressive, not that you should race simply to win prizes. You should race to secure the most desirable mate, with whom you will pass on your genetic heritage, thus ensuring that the future populace resembles you more than the pathetic loser you beat by 0.4 seconds. Call 587-2111 to register.
Speaking of beating things, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks wants to hear about your successes, failures and plain old observations during this past hunting season, and they’re coming to you. Let ‘em know how you did on Tue., Jan. 30, at 6 PM, at the FW&P Office, 3201 Spurgin Road.
Moonlight Basin hits you with a free presentation on Montana’s resident wildlife at 4 PM in their Moonlight Lodge on Wed., Jan. 31. Marc Glines will present specifics on the critters found near Moonlight, answer questions and offer cooking tips.
Wanna live in Glacier National Park for a month for free? Well, if you’re an artist who can produce work that would be “suitable for elementary school children,” you might think about applying for Glacier’s Artist-in-Residence Program by Thu., Feb. 15. Visit www.nps.gov/ archive/glac/artist.htm or call Matt Graves at 888-7942 to get the 411.
And send the outdo’ info to your Comrade Calendar: