If that old backpack in your closet is still collecting dust, well, I think it's high time you grabbed a duster and prettied it up. I impart this nugget of advice because you, dear reader, still have a chance this month to unload your unused mountaineering gear for a good cause.
That's because the Nature-Link Institute's Gear for the Garhwal drive is in full swing, and they are still gladly accepting your old sleeping bags, boots and other gear until Fri., April 30. Gear drop-off locations are at UM's Outdoor Program, Pipestone Mountaineering, The Trail Head and Aerie Wilderness Medicine. Visit nature-link.org for more info and call Eric at 370-2294.
Moving on to Thu., April 8, those of you who huff and sweat for fun on our fair trails shouldn't miss Run Wild Missoula's Trail Running Training Class, which starts at 5:30 PM at Runner's Edge, 325 N. Higgins Ave. Classes run each Thu. at the same time until June 3. $50/$25 Run Wild Missoula members. Call Rhea at 531-1625 and visit runwildmissoula.org. And while we're on the subject of running, on Mon., April 12, Run Wild Missoula hosts Angela Listug for "How to Prevent Injury While Training for the Missoula Marathon," a free discussion which starts at 7 PM at the Good Food Store, 1600 S. Third St. W.
On Fri., April 9, I'd plan to hightail it over to UM's Outdoor Program in the Fitness and Recreation Center so you can sign up for a Whitewater Rescue 3 Technician Course. $295. The class meets April16–18 from 9 AM–5 PM and is geared toward novice and experienced recreational paddlers and river guides. Visit life.umt.edu/CREC and call 243-5172. The Outdoor Program also offers a bike maintenance class, which starts April 13, as well as an intermediate kayaking class on April 18, so click to their website for details.
Later on Fri, April 9, go watch some badasses hit around pucks during the Annual Griz Cup Hockey Tournament—the Montana Women's Hockey Team's tournament/fundraiser which starts at 5 PM at the Glacier Ice Rink, 1101 South Ave. W. Free. The tournament begins again at 7:30 AM on Sat., April 10, and runs through the day. It culminates in championship games, which start at 7 AM on Sun., April 11. Besides watching our hometown homegirls compete against teams from the Northwest, the event includes a silent auction, raffle and catered food. Visit umt.edu/womenshockey.
If hip checks and pucks aren't your thing, engross yourself Fri., April 9, with films that touch on adventure and the importance of protecting the planet when the Selway-Bitterroot Foundation hosts The Telluride Mountainfilm Festival, which begins with a reception featuring a raffle and flowing beer at 6 PM at the Roxy Theater, 718 S. Higgins Ave. The film fest follows at 7 PM, and includes choice selections like Call of Life, a documentary that explains why loss of biodiversity isn't such a great thing for the Earth. $13/$11 students. Click to mountainfilm.org for a list of the films. Call 329-3606 and visit selwaybitterroot.org.
On Sat., April 10, those of you who teach little rugrats can learn how to keep them engaged with the natural world during Glacier National Park's "Reconnecting with Nature" workshop, which runs from 9 AM–4 PM in the West Glacier Community Building. Free. Seating is limited, so RSVP post-haste by contacting Debby Mensch at 888-7942.
If you're in Missoula on Sat., April 10, dirty those hands for a benevolent reason during the Moose Can Gully Neighborhood Trail Improvement Day, which runs from 9 AM–1 PM at Chief Charlo School, 5600 Longview Drive. Free. Once there, you'll repair and improve hazardous trails near 55th and 39th streets under the guidance of Montana Conservation Corps leaders. Also, be sure to bring gloves, work shoes and rain gear in case it rains. E-mail Lyle at email@example.com.
You won't hurl during this next event, I swear: Missoulians on Bicycles (MOBI) hits the road on Sat., April 10, during its 26th Annual Potomac Awful Burger Ride, a 55-mile trek up to Potomac which starts at 10 AM at the Eastgate parking lot, off of east Broadway St. Free. Bring your own lunch, too—perhaps a bad tasting burger (just kidding). Call Kate at 549-4177 and visit missoulabike.org.
Head north later on Sat., April 10, to hoot it up with birders during the Flathead Audubon Society's event "Hear the Call of the Barred Owl," which starts with a meet up at 7 PM in the parking lot of the Silver Bullet Bar, 1700 Mount Highway 206. Free. Call Paula at 837-0181. These avian addicts also have a talk slated for Mon., April 12, in Kalispell, but call Paula or visitflatheadaudubon.org for the rundown.
On Mon., April 12, pop a mothball into your mouth (you know I'm joking, right?) and head to the Five Valley's Audubon Society-sponsored talk "The Secret Lives of Butterflies and Moths," which starts at 7:30 PM in Room L14 of UM's Gallagher Business Building. Free. Visit fvamissoula.org.
Kick it with some scramblers on Wed., April 14, when the Rocky Mountaineers hold their monthly meeting at 7 PM at Pipestone Mountaineering, 129 W. Front St. Free. Visit rockymountaineers.com for details.
Or get entranced with talk of medicine on Wed., April 14, during "Medicinal Plants of the Blackfeet," a talk with Rosalyn LaPier, an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Nation, at 7 PM at the Montana Natural History Center, 120 Hickory St. $4 suggested donation/free MNHC members. Call 327-0405.
Let your week come to a close on Thu., April 15, when author and UM prof Rick Graetz exhibits photos of the Rocky Mountain Front, and discusses its rich history of conservation, from 6:30–8 PM in the large meeting room of the Missoula Public Library, 301 E. Main St. Free. Call Holly at 466-2600 and visit savethefront.org.
Until then, go out and recreate up a storm.