Mountain High 

So far La Niña hasn't produced like she did last year and, avalanche conditions being what they are, winter already may seem like a dud. But if you're down in the dumps because it hasn't dumped, maybe you just need to get your stoke back. Fortunately, the Cold Smoke Awards People's Choice Tour is coming to town with a batch of films that are sure to get you super-stoked for the coming gnarmageddon.

The movies aren't all ski porn. The tour is about celebrating winter culture, so the films also showcase the beauty, danger and fun of life in the wintertime. At the event, held at the Badlander, viewers will have a chance to watch films in their entirety as well as win ski passes and gear. Folks will have a chance to vote for their favorite film and, at the awards ceremony held later this year in Bozeman, a winner will be crowned. Word on the street is that the tour is a raucous affair with shenanigans galore. With Big Sky beers at $2 per pint, mirth-making will surely ensue.

The 2012 Cold Smoke Awards People's Choice Tour screens at The Badlanderon Thu., Jan.5, with doors at 7 PM and the show at 8 PM. 208 Ryman St. coldsmokeawards.com

click to enlarge Missoula news

THURSDAY JANUARY 5

Help the littlest one cultivate a positive connection with nature and the outdoors at the miniNaturalists Pre-K Program, hosted by the Montana Natural History Center. This month's theme is Winter Birds. Best for ages 2-5. 120 Hickory St. 10–11 AM. $3 for non-members/$1.

You'll be climbing up a wall at Freestone Climbing Center's Ladies Night each Thursday. 935 Toole Ave. 5–10 PM. $6.50/$5 students.

FRIDAY JANUARY 6

Hey little archers and aspiring archers, Bowhunter Certification Courses will be held Sat., Jan. 23 and Sat., Feb. 11, from 8:30–5:30 PM. The field course for both will be Sun., Feb. 12, from 1–4 PM. 3201 Spurgin Rd. Register by following the education links at fwp.mt.gov.

Active outdoor lovers are invited to the Mountain Sports Club's (formerly the Flathead Valley Over the Hill Gang) weekly meeting to talk about being awesome, past glories and upcoming activities. Swan River Inn. 6–8 PM. Free.

SATURDAY JANUARY 7

It's National Winter Trails Day so get off the couch and grab up a pair of the free snowshoes Lone Pine State Park has for you and kids' use today. Not tomorrow, though, just today. 300 Lone Pine Rd. For more info. call 755-2706.

The Hanson Brothers would mos def approve of the Seeley Lake Pond Hockey Tournament, held next to Lindey's Steakhouse. 120 players are expected. Puck drops at 8 AM. Call Tom for more info. at 210-3506.

Did somebody say hot chocolate? The Montana Natural History Center hosts Saturday Discovery Day, a family-oriented walk that uncovers and discovers what's happening in the urban outdoors. Hot chocolate for the kids and parents at the center, post-walk. 120 Hickory St. 10–12 PM. $5 suggested donation/members free.

SUNDAY JANUARY 8

The Hanson Brothers would mos def approve of the Seeley Lake Pond Hockey Tournament, held next to Lindey's Steakhouse. 120 players are expected. Puck drops at 8 AM. Call Tom for more info. at 210-3506.

Explore your worls with the Flathead Audubon Society during A Winter Wander in the Mission Valley. Bring your good peepers and lunch. Meet up at the Park 'n' Ride at intersection of Hwy. 93 and Hwy. 82 near Somers. 8 AM. Call Leslie to sign-up 837-0446.

MONDAY JANUARY 9

At Slacker Mondays, from 6 PM until close, slackline fans can come to Freestone Climbing Center at 935 Toole Ave. to test their balance. $13/$10 for students. Visit freestoneclimbing.com.

Learn what the FWP has in mind for the '12 and '13 hunting seasons. Bitterroot River Inn, Hamilton. 139 Bitterroot Plaza. 6:30 PM.

Hey buckarinos, the Flathead Audubon Society presents a virtual tour of a Glacier Park horseback ride circa 1926. Tom Nelesen narrates A Look Back at Glacier's Dude Ranch Days, at The Summit in Kalispell. 205 Sunnyview LN. 7 pm. Free.

How do you make your home more attractive to birds? Learn the answer to that question at Five Valleys Audubon and Native Plant Society's meeting which hosts Madeline Mazurski of Montana Native Landscapes and Poody MacGlaughlin of Five Valleys Audubon. Gallagher Business Building, Rm. 123. 7:30 PM. Free.

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 11

Learn what the FWP has in mind for the '12 and '13 hunting seasons. Doubletree Hotel, Missoula. 6:30 PM.

This month's meeting of the Rocky Mountaineers features a spiel by Mike Hoyt aka The PhotoHiker on snow and skiing in the Bitterroots. 221 E. Front St. 7 PM. Free. rockymountaineers.com

THURSDAY JANUARY 12

You'll be climbing up a wall at Freestone Climbing Center's Ladies Night each Thursday. 935 Toole Ave. 5–10 PM. $6.50/$5 students.

Learn what the FWP has in mind for the '12 and '13 hunting seasons. Seeley Lake Community Center. 6:30 PM.

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