Mountain High 

Nobody wants to live in a world where mountain ranges have little snow pack, and coastal cities are flooded because of rising sea levels. Well, maybe some people do, but I'm guessing you don't, since you take advantage of the Earth's beautiful bounty each week. On Sun., Oct. 10, you can do your part to help keep the ecosystem in order when you participate in Missoula's celebration of the Global Work Day Party, a worldwide effort to curb carbon emissions through a number of benevolent activities. Here's the deal in Missoula: You can pull weeds along the Clark Fork River or plant 600 trees at Greenough Park, or harvest and build gardens at the PEAS and River Road Farms. You could also build bikes at Free Cycles. Whichever way you want to give back is up to you, but just be sure to show up at one of those locations at noon (or at 9 AM at the River Road Farm). Alternately, you can meet at noon at UM's FLAT, 633 S. Fifth St., to help with demonstration projects. Bring work gloves, small shovels and bike tools, if you got 'em. One more thing, a free party with local food follows at 5 PM at the FLAT. Click to mtaudubon.org/issues/global/events.html for details and a complete list of locations.

But before you work, I believe some play is in order, so let's scoot back a few days. On Thu., Oct. 7, you can bear witness to some masters of ascension on the silver screen during the fifth annual Reel Rock Film Tour: Anniversary Tour, a mountaineering film gala at UM's Urey Lecture Hall that starts at 7 PM. It features movies like Origins: The Hulk—about two people attempting a free ascent to the Incredible Hulk Wall in the Sierra Mountain Range in California—as well as The Hardest Moves, which follows two dudes as they try to scale up some hefty boulders. $10/$8 advance at UM's Outdoor Program and The Trail Head. Call 243-5172 and visit reelrocktour.com.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER

Those of you who yearn for fresh snow on the ground shouldn't miss a chance to party it up and support a local avalanche education center on Fri., Oct. 8, during the Burning Dog Pray for Snow Party and Fundraiser, which runs from 6–11 PM at the Big Sky Brewery Amphitheater, 5417 Trumpeter Way. It's part celebration of old man winter's impending arrival, and part fundraiser for the West Central Montana Avalanche Center, and features live music by Jameson and The Sordid Seeds and The Ike Reilly Assassination. A screening of a new Powder Whores ski film is also on tap too, along with tasty beer and food. Also, don't miss the highlight of the night: The annual burning of the 40-foot tall Powder Hound Dog. $9 at the door. Visit missoulaavalanche.org.

You could also get eyes deep in the pow on Fri., Oct. 8, when Matchstick Productions presents a screening of The Way I See It—which follows top notch skiers like Henrik Windstedt and Bobby Brown as they share what it means to be a skier, and includes footage of them and other powderhounds hitting up mountains in places like British Columbia, Colorado and Switzerland—starting at 8 PM at the Wilma Theatre. $15. Visit skimovie.com. Oh yeah, we also just got word that this flick was picked as the "Best Picture" for ESPN's 2010 ski and snowboard movie awards.

There isn't anything foul about this next event: On Sat., Oct. 9, the Five Valley's Audubon Society focuses its binoculars on aquatic avians during a trip to scope waterfowl and other species at the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge near Stevensville. Free. Meet at the middle of the UM Adams Center parking lot at 8 AM, or at 9 AM at the refuge, and prepare for an ogling session that could include witnessing red-tailed hawks and bald eagles. Visit fvamissoula.org.

Or learn how to bust some wicked ice carving moves on Sat., Oct. 9, when the Missoula Figure Skating Club presents its Bring-A-Friend-Day, a free skating session hosted by instructors with the club that occurs from 10–11:30 AM at the Glacier Ice Rink, 1101 South Ave. W. Skates are also available to rent for $4 for adults/$2 for children. Visit missoulafsc.org or call 543-LUTZ.

Those in the Flathead can fire up their workweek on Mon., Oct. 11, with pictures of the fiery throated hummingbird, howler monkey and poison arrow frog when the Flathead Audubon Society hosts a presentation of photos from Costa Rica by freelance photog Tom Ulrich, starting at 7 PM in the community Room of The Summit, 205 Sunnyview Lane in Kalispell. Free. Visit flatheadaudubon.org.

Another slice of birding action occurs on Mon., Oct. 11, this time for Missoulians, when the Five Valleys Audubon Society presents a talk with Denver Holt of the Owl Research Institute on the status of the Northern Hawk Owl in Montana, starting at 7:30 PM in Room L14 of UM's Gallagher Business Building. Free. Visit fvamissoula.org.

At 5:45 PM on Wed., Oct. 13, pedal fast and carry your cyclocross bike through an obstacle or two during the Missoula Cyclocross Series, a cyclocross race every Wednesday in October at Fort Missoula. If you're up for the challenge, bring $6 to race and show up at 5:30 PM so you can fill out the necessary paperwork. You also need a USA Cycling license to race. One-day licenses can be bought on race day. E-mail Timothy at tim@bechtoldlaw.net and visit montanacycling.org.

End the week by getting high with a mountaineering fanatic on Wed., Oct. 13, when The Rocky Mountaineers host their monthly meeting with a slide presentation of hikes completed by Michael Hoyt—author of the book Hikes and Climbs to Bitterroot Mountain Summits—starting at 7 PM in the basement of The Trail Head, 221 E. Front St. Free.

Now let's go pray to the snow gods and goddesses, shall we?

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