Mountain High 

If your outdoors lifestyle motto is "Go, go, go," then you're in luck this week as I've got a flash flood of events for your docket. So let's jump in head first:

On Thu., Feb. 25, get your roll on and look good doing it with wet exits, exercises and roll practices during the Montana River Association's (MRA) last installment of its Whitewater Kayak Pool Sessions, which runs from 6–8 PM at Currents Aquatics Center, 600 Cregg Lane. $15, includes MRA membership/$5 MRA members. The session is open to all ages and abilities, so there's no excuse for slacking on this, buddy. Call 370-4436 or 721-2437.

Moving on, Fri., Feb. 26, offers you a chance to be a raptor voyeur of sorts during the Bitterroot Audubon Society's Winter Raptor Workshop, which starts with an evening class at a TBA time, followed by a field trip Sat., Feb. 27. Steve Hoffmann, the Montana Audubon Society's executive director, gets ill with it as your guide and plans to inject your mind with info on raptor ID, behavior, habitat and migration. $30/$20 members. Space is limited, and more details will follow when you RSVP, so I'd do that quickly by calling Leslie Nyce at 961-3808.

Or you could get your birding satisfaction from other places on Sat., Feb. 27. Just make sure you don't drink too much cactus juice on Friday night so you can rise early and meet at 8 AM at the middle parking lot near UM's Adams Center to carpool to a Five Valley's Audubon Society-sponsored jaunt to view birds in the Mission Valley. Those who'd rather drive alone can head north to Ninepipes Lodge, 40962 Hwy. 93, but be sure to make it there by 9 AM. Once you've settled in your birding pose, binoculars and all, ready yourself for a titillating display of what could be hawks, bald and golden eagles, falcons and other birds. Free, but bring your own lunch. Call Larry Weeks at 549-5632 and visit fvamissoula.org.

Of course, if you flush with excitement watching others jump 200 feet in the air on skis, then you should get your pow pow face on Sat., Feb. 27, for this year's Snowbowl Cup Gelande Championship, at Montana Snowbowl, 1700 Snow Bowl Road. The championship starts around 11 AM, runs all day, and is free for spectators. It starts up again Sun., Feb. 28, at 11 AM, and costs $3. Call 549-9777 and visit montanasnowbowl.com.

click to enlarge BY CHAD HARDER

Sat., Feb. 27, can also be spent chilling with the Rocky Mountaineers, who take a break from bagging peaks to go on a cross-country ski trip to the Chief Joseph Ski trails, just east of Lost Trail pass. Free. Find out more specifics, like the meet-up time, by contacting trip leader Alden Wright at alden@wrightmontana.net or by calling 542-1966. Visit rockymountaineers.com.

Then again, you could laugh all the way to the finish line on Sat., Feb. 27, during the Cheetah Herders Athletic Club-sponsored Snow Joke Half-Marathon, a 13.1-mile race around Seeley Lake on plowed roads that begins with registration from 8:45–10:30 AM at Seeley Lake Elementary's gym, 200 School Lane. $10/$5 under age 20. Visit cheetahherders.com/snowjoke.html and call 677-2661.

These next guys peddle the purist form of excitement on wheels: Missoulians on Bicycles (MOBI) gets jiggy with it Sat., Feb. 27—for 18 miles to be exact—during a trip down the Bitterroot Bike Path that takes you from Lolo to Florence. If you're up for it, meet at 1 PM at the Conoco station in Lolo, just past the Hwy. 12 intersection, or meet at Missoula's K-Mart parking lot at 12:30 PM to carpool. You'll then ride down the path to Caffe Firenze to replenish all those calories you lost with a bite to eat. Free. Visit missoulabike.org.

The ball literally gets whacked around in your kids' court on Sat., Feb. 27, during the Missoula Parks and Rec/Montana Tennis Association's free, indoor, "mini-tennis" clinic and summer registration event for kids ages 3–16, which runs from 1–3 PM at City Life Community Center, 1515 Fairview Ave. Call Sarrah Carlson at 529-5889 and visit Montana.usta.com. Also note another Montana Tennis Association-sponsored free "mini-tennis" event for kids ages 3–16 occurs Sun., Feb. 28, from 1–4 PM at the PEAK Health and Wellness Center, 5000 Blue Mountain Road. RSVP for the Feb. 28 session by calling PEAK at 251-3344.

Your beastie gets their sleuthing fill Sat., Feb. 27, during the Montana Natural History Center's animal tracking program "Special Track Detective with Elliott Parsons," which starts at 2 PM at the center, 120 Hickory St. $2 per child/free MNHC members. Open to kids ages 5 and up. Visit montananaturalist.org and call 327-0405.

On Sun., Feb. 28, hail the cycling gods and get down one more time with MOBI during a 10-mile bike ride which begins at 10 AM at Adventure Cycling, 150 E. Pine St., and stops at the Montana Club on Reserve St. Free. Call John Crull at 543-3230.

And now, we finish off with a slew of UM Outdoors program events: Try your legs at a beginner cross-country skiing class on Sat., March 6, which you must sign up for by Tue., March 2. $30. RSVP by calling 243-5172. Or get burly during a basic mountaineering class on Sat., March 6, which you must be registered for by Wed., March 3. $50. Finally, wet it up during a handful of fundamentals of whitewater kayaking classes that start Thu. March 4. Register by Wed., March 3. $185. Grab detailed descriptions of these courses at life.umt.edu/crec/Outdoor/classes.php.

Well, if that doesn't keep you busy, I don't know what will.

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