Mountain High 

Being able to shred on fresh powder with your snowboard or skis is still a long ways off, but this weekend, you can get a taste of the fluffy awesomeness to come. Here's what's up: On Sat., Oct. 23, witness semi-professional skiers and snowboarders from Montana rip it up on an array of freestyle snow features, from snow created at the Glacier Ice Rink, during the inaugural Caras Park Ski and Snowboard Extravaganza, which runs from 5–10 PM at Caras Park. Besides locals showing off their mad skills, the party includes electronic music from local DJs Coma and Kid Traxiom, plus food, drinks, merch vendors, and prize giveaways for both riders and audience members. It's only $5. So celebrate the impending arrival of the white stuff and e-mail Totally Tobey's Productions at tobeys.tobeys@gmail.com if you have questions.

And now, we slide back a few days. On Thu., Oct. 21, learn how to stomp around fresh powder with your snowshoes when REI Missoula presents its "Snowshoeing Basics" class at 7 PM at REI Missoula, 3275 N. Reserve St. Ste. K-2. Free. Visit rei.com/stores/72 to register. Call 541-1938.

Hang out with an Olympic runner and her coach on Fri., Oct. 22, when Runner's Edge, 325 N. Higgins Ave., hosts a meet and greet with world class marathon runner Colleen De Reuck and her coach/husband Darren De Reuck, from 7–8 PM. Free. De Reuck and her husband are also hosting a running clinic Sat., Oct. 23–Sun., Oct. 24 for runners of all abilities at UM's Dornblaser Field, off of South Avenue. Details for that are still in the works though, so check missoulamarathon.org for updates or call Jennifer at 214-7140.

On Sat., Oct. 23, go ahead and be a super steward when you join the West Slope Chapter of Trout Unlimited for a willow-harvesting project that begins with a carpool meet-up at Snowbowl's Park-n-Ride (near the Starbucks on 5260 Grant Creek Road) at 9:15 AM. From there, you'll head up to Fish Creek to harvest willow stakes from large willows, in order for them to be planted the following week in riparian areas near Lolo National Forest roads, along Trout Creek. Free. Lunch is provided, but bring water, work gloves and appropriate clothing. E-mail Heather at hwhiteley@tu.org to RSVP, and visit westslopetu.org/wscms for details.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER

Then again, why not try to bag the fourth highest peak in the Bitterroots when you mountaineer it up with the Rocky Mountaineers during a scramble up Boulder Peak—which sits at an elevation of 4,596 feet—on Sat., Oct. 23. Trip leader Shawn Bennett indicates this jaunt requires an ice axe, and is expected to be a third-class scramble. E-mail him at shawnedwardbennett@gmail.com to RSVP and for the meet-up time. Visit rockymountaineers.com.

Those of you who are up for a wicked cyclocross race can buzz around a course that features grass, asphalt, rock, hard-pack single track and stairs during Kalispell's Woodland Cross, a cyclocross cycling race that begins with registration from 8:30–10:15 AM on Sat., Oct. 23, at Kalispell's Woodland City Park, off Woodland Park Drive. Races for various men's and women's categories follow at 11 AM, and culminate in a final race for men at 12:15 PM. $25/free for junior riders who are Montana Bicycle Racing Association members. A USA Cycling license is also required to race. One-day race licenses can be purchased on-site for $10. Visit montanacycling.net.

Get spooked later on Sat., Oct. 23, when the Bitterroot National Forest presents its last 2010 Moonwalk Interpretative Series event of the year titled "Ghost Moon," a presentation featuring ghost tales of fires from the past that starts at 7 PM at the Larry Creek Group Camp, in the Bass Creek Recreation Area. Free. Bring a lawn chair and flashlight, and dress warmly. Call Julie at 363-7100 and visit fs.fed.us/r1/bitterroot.

On Wed., Oct. 27, runners can hit the trail with a running guru during Run Wild Missoula's "Beer Run" with Micah True (also known as Caballo Blanco, the lead character in the book Born to Run), which begins at 6 PM at the Wilma Theatre. Once you finish running, you'll head back to the Wilma for a lecture by True at 7:30 PM that covers running, his work with the Tarahumara Indians in Mexico, and the race he organizes to benefit the Tarahumara—known as the Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon. The run is free, but there is a $7 suggested donation for the talk, and proceeds will go toward a nonprofit that supports the Tarahumara. If you want to find out more about True, check out this week's cover story. Visit runwildmissoula.org.

Wed., Oct. 27 also offers powder porn addicts the chance to get their fix from two different sources: At 7 PM, Teton Gravity Research presents a screening of Light the Wick—a ski film shot using high-definition and 3-D technology—at the University Theatre. It features skiers like Sage Cattabriga-Alosa and Seth Morrison busting out mind-blowing tricks in places like Croatia, British Columbia and Wyoming. $12/$10 advance at The Trail Head and UM's Outdoor Program. Call 243-5172. But if that doesn't warm your boots or make your knees ache with anticipation, head over to the Roxy Theater, 718 S. Higgins Ave., at 7:30 PM for a screening of The Freeheel Life 2: Hippies Punx & Misfits, a documentary on the origins of telemark skiing that includes pros like Weston Deutschlander carving mountains in Norway, Utah, California and Alaska. $8. Poke around telemarkskiermagazine.com for a trailer.

Finally, kiss the week goodbye on Thu., Oct. 28, by snagging tips on how to cycle around town when the thermometer goes south during REI Missoula's "Basics of Cold Weather Commuting Course," which starts at 7 PM at the store, 3275 N. Reserve St. Ste. K-2. Free. Visit rei.com/stores/72 to register and call 541-1938.

All right, now who wants a gnarly snow cone?

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