Mountain High 

A person doesn’t become Comrade Calendar without a lust for conquest, and this week’s outdoor offerings mirror my strong love of all things hierarchical. I mean, what are the woods without some way to win? Am I right or am I right? See?

Big Sky starts the weekend off in the competitive vein on Fri., March 9, with Friday Night Quarterpipe, which begins at 6:30 PM. Downhill athletes will be competing for over $1,000 of cash money, so expect them to pull out all the dirty tricks and high-tech gimmicks you learned to love in the movie Hot Dog. There’s a qualifying run at 1 PM on Thu., March 8, at the Tubing Hill.

There’s no sleep for the wicked at Bridger Bowl, where the Skin To Win Randonee Rally’s 8:30 AM start time on Sat., March 10, will separate the wheat from the chaff. Contestants spend all day climbing hills and sliding back down in pursuit of over $4,000 in cash and prizes. There is even a 40” TV up for grabs, so get to the mandatory competitor meeting at 5 PM on Fri., March 9 at the Bozeman Public Library, 626 E. Main St., for your shot at the goods.

Sleep in and get to Big Mountain by 10:30 AM on Sat., March 10, for their Fishbowl Slopestyle competition. Skiers and snowboarders get two runs apiece to impress the three judges, who will be looking for creativity and individual expression, so pull out the sausage grind, brah. Another batch of medals and awards—not to mention corresponding elevation in social status—will be handed out later in the day.

Back on the other side of the Continental Divide, good times await at Big Sky for those less motivated by money, free television sets and faux gold medals. Dirt Bag Day awaits for the less-showered among you Sat., March 10, with events such as the Dirt Bag parade, Powder 8 competition and the coronation of the Dirt Bag King and Queen that evening at Buck’s T-4. The dress code is trashy-crazy.

For those of you looking for the Middle Path between heated competition and utter defeat, Discovery Ski Area’s annual Pepsi Challenge Pairs race begins at 1 PM on Sat., March 10. The conservative stalwarts behind the event remind potential entrants that a 1998 U.S. Supreme Court ruling found that pairs racing means one man and one woman, so let’s not turn this into some kind of political thing, shall we? Call 563-2184 to get in on some of that.

Getting away from commercial resorts, the Rocky Mountaineers extend a sincere invitation to you and yours for their Lolo Pass Ski/snowshoe trip on Sat., March 10. They plan to hit Forest Road 4283, which is a few miles north of the Pass, for a five-mile journey. Call Fred at 542-7372.

In other almost-free recreation news, the New Rocky Mountaineers are taking off for the North Fork of the Jocko River on Sat., March 10. The terrain should make for great backcountry skiing or snowshoeing, so call Gerald at 549-4769.

As we roll into Sunday (remembering Daylight Savings Time, of course), Missoulians on Bicycles rolls out a ride for you to consider: the Tour D’Turah begins at 10 AM on Sun., March 11, at the Eastgate shopping center parking lot on East Broadway. Enjoy the 30-mile round-trip with a victory lunch at the River City Grill upon your return. Call Vickie at 721-8540 and put the fun between your legs.

Just when you could begin to hear our competitive instincts withering, Big Mountain dishes out Montana’s first Superpipe Championship event at 11 AM on Sun., March 11. Style, amplitude, execution and difficulty will be the criteria for success. The awards begin flowing at 2 PM.

Also on Sun., March 11, Discovery gives the boarder in your family something to do with the second annual Jim Mills Memorial Brown Derby Boardercross at 1 PM. The top three finishers will get, you guessed it, medals. Call 543-2184 to inquire as to each medal’s composition.

Enough with the rivalry, already—the Banff Mountain Film Festival presents a special cut of crazy with Radical Reels, a celluloid exposition of extreme mountain sport that features Aweberg with Will Gadd and Ben Firth (see photo) and begins at 7 PM in UM’s University Theater.

Greet the new week with the Five Valleys Audubon Society’s March meeting, which features a video presentation and talk about birding in western Mexico from Bob Martinka at 7:30 PM on Mon., March 12, in room L14 of UM’s Gallagher Business Building. Call 327-1525.

You could learn a thing or two from 74-year-old Mario Locatelli, who has completed countless trips into the Bitterroot high country and lives to tell the tales. He plans to tell these tales at the Sierra Club meeting on Thu., March 15, at 7 PM in UM’s UC room 330, with a visual assist from his snappy collection of slides. Call 549-1142.

That should give you a thing or two to strive for this week. Once you’ve either affirmed your superiority or resigned yourself to the status of less-than-bronze-medal-material, console yourself by sending me a note, and include some outdoor events info so my boss doesn’t start getting suspicious.

calendar@missoulanews.com

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