I’d say it’s high time you learned how to bust out a wicked axel jump or shotgun spin. Before you do that though, you’ll need to know how to smoothly navigate crossovers and basic sit spins. Confused? Let me provide an icy explanation: On Sat., Jan. 8, any and all Missoulians are invited to lace up and hit the rink when the Missoula Figure Skating Club (MFSC) celebrates National Skating Month with the program “It’s Great to Skate–Bring-a-Friend Day.” It’s an event that offers you the chance to ice skate for free at the Glacier Ice Rink, plus grab cool tips from expert instructors like Ryan Yearous—a member of the Professional Skaters Association who has skated at several ice shows and training camps in Montana, and in places like Minnesota and Canada. And if you really dig carving around on the ice, Saturday’s soiree also offers attendees the opportunity sign up for the MFSC’s upcoming classes, and save $10 off class registration fees.
The Missoula Figure Skating Club’s “It’s Great to Skate—Bring-a-Friend Day” is Sat., Jan. 8, from 10–11:30 AM at the Glacier Ice Rink, 1101 South Ave. W. Free. Visit missoulafsc.org and call 543-LUTZ.
THURSDAY JANUARY 6
Learn how to lure in a cool whopper when Lone Pine State Park, 300 Lone Pine Road near Kalispell, presents an ice fishing workshop from 6:30–9 PM at the Lone Pine Visitor Center. An ice fishing session follows on Sat., Jan. 8, at Foy’s Lake from 8–10 AM. $10 per person. Call 755-2706 to RSVP.
FRIDAY JANUARY 7
All the ladies in the place get their shred face on during Montana Snowbowl’s For Women Only class, a six-week class for female snowboarders and skiers that’s taught by women and meets every Fri. from 1–4 PM until Feb. 18. $191/$119 for pass holders. RSVP quicklly by calling 549-9777 ext. 6. Visit montanasnowbowl.com.
SATURDAY JANUARY 8
Stomp around in the snow with your family in tow when the Swan Lake Ranger District/Flathead Audubon host a “free family snowshoe walk” from 10 AM-noon at the Blacktail Mountain cross-country ski trails near Lakeside. Free. Meet at the upper trailhead parking area. Participants should bring snowshoes. A limited number of adult and children’s shoes will be available by reservation. Call 837-7500 for more info.
Snowshoe it up and find out how plants and animals in Glacier survive the harshness of winter when Glacier National Park presents its “Winter Signs” snowshoe program, which consists of a two-hour, ranger-led snowshoe excursion every Sat. and Sun. through March 20 at 10:30 AM, and again at 1:30 PM, starting at the Apgar Visitor Center in the park. Free, but participants must pay the park’s winter entrance fee of $15 for vehicles and $10 for single entrants. Call 888-7939 and visit nps.gov/glac.
Kids ages 5 and up let their minds get tropical when the Montana Natural History Center (MNHC), 120 Hickory St., presents its “Saturday Kids’ Activity: Exploring the Tropical Cloud Forest,” a program with local author Sneed B. Collard III that begins at 2 PM. $3/$1 MNHC members. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Call 327-0405 and visit montananaturalist.org.
SUNDAY JANUARY 9
Get a new leash on life during the Flathead Sled Dog Days Race, which runs today and tomorrow just outside of Olney and includes a course through the Stillwater State Forest. Fetch more info at Flatheadsleddogdays.com.
MONDAY JANUARY 10
Get the good word on wildlife and wildlife habitat legislation that’s on tap for the 2011 Montana Legislature when the Flathead Audubon Society hosts the talk “Audubon at the Montana Legislature,” a discussion with lobbyist Janet Ellis that covers a range of issues including protection of rivers, starting at 7 PM at The Summit, 205 Sunnyview Lane in Kalispell. Free. Visit flatheadaudubon.org.
Search for the good running word at “Can You Start from Zero and Still Run the Missoula Marathon or Half Marathon?” a talk with Anders Brooker, owner of Runner’s Edge and Hellgate High School track/cross country coach, which begins at 7 PM at the Good Food Store, 1600 S. Third St. W. Free. Visit runwildmissoula.org.
Steer your mind toward woodpeckers and cacti when the Five Valleys Audubon Society and Clark Fork Chapter of the Montana Native Plant Society host “Home is Where You Make It: Woodpeckers and Giant Columnar Cacti,” a talk with ornithologist Paul Hendricks that begins at 7:30 PM in Room 123 of UM’s Gallagher Business Building. Free. Visit fvamissoula.org.
TUESDAY JANUARY 11
Kick it with some pedal-happy peoples when Missoulians on Bicycles hosts its general club meeting starting at 7 PM at the meeting room in Adventure Cycling, 150 E. Pine St. Free. Visit missoulabike.org.
WEDNESDAY JANUARY 12
Tumble on over to The Trail Head, 221 E. Front St., at 7 PM for The Rocky Mountaineers’ January meeting, which this month features an avalanche awareness program with comments from Steve Karkanen of the West Central Montana Avalanche Center, plus a talk on rescue equipment with Minot Maser. Free. Visit rockymountaineers.com.
Dig in when UM prof Diana Six presents the lecture “Mountain Pine Beetles: What Makes Them Tick?” a talk that covers the critter from the microbial to the landscape level, starting at 7 PM at the Montana Natural History Center (MNHC), 120 Hickory St. $4/free for MNHC members. Call 327-0505 and visit montananaturalist.org.