When you hike up your favorite peak or to a waterfall or through a dramatic canyon with crumbling rock walls, you probably use a trail. Unless of course you're a teenager filled with energetic hormones that allow for off-piste cross-country travel that involves jumping from boulder to boulder or using a smooth, broken branch to pole vault over downed timber and across trickling streams. Turns out the trails us grown-ups tend to enjoy most require regular maintenance. And maintenance requires money. And, well, you can only imagine what kind of money and work it takes the Selway-Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation to maintain the modicum of trails within the 3.6 million acres that make up the area the foundation stewards: the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness and the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, an area that covers parts of Montana and Idaho and four separate major watersheds. In order to raise funds for said maintenance, the foundation once again hosts the touring version of the Telluride Mountainfilm Festival. Lucky for us we don't have to go to T-ride for the fest. (Sure, it's a beautiful town, but I can't afford to have another run-in with Tiffani Amber-Theissen.) The tour includes outdoor films that you'd expect to find about skiing, surfing and mountaineering, but you should also expect films that explore environmental and cultural concerns, the struggles of Wounded Warriors returning to the outdoors and the secrets to happiness. There is also a gear raffle and chances to win fishing and raft trips.
Telluride Mountainfilm Festival takes place at the Wilma Theatre, 131 S. Higgins Ave., on Fri., Apr. 6, at 7 PM. $12/$10 adv. Tickets are available at The Trail Head and REI.
THURSDAY APRIL 5
Drop the controller and check out this month's theme at the Montana Natural History Center's miniNaturalists Pre-K Program. This month's theme is Osprey. Pliny the Elder would approve. 120 Hickory St. 10–11 AM. $3/$1 for members. montananaturalist.org.
You'll be climbing up a wall at Freestone Climbing Center's Ladies Night. 935 Toole Ave. 5–10 PM. $6.50/$5 students.
FRIDAY APRIL 6
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.
Get back in shape and learn something new at Freestone Climbing Gym's Intro. to Bouldering course, which introduces basic techniques, safety stuff, ethics and more. Class includes 1.5 hours of instruction and two weeks of unlimited climbing. 935 Toole. 7–8:30 PM. $40.
SUNDAY APRIL 8
Get back in shape and learn something new at Freestone Climbing Gym's Intro. to Bouldering course, which introduces basic techniques, safety stuff, ethics and more. Class includes 1.5 hours of instruction and two weeks of unlimited climbing. 935 Toole. 12–1:30 PM. $40.
MONDAY APRIL 9
Sign-up for the three-week Fundamentals of Whitewater Kayaking class held by the UM Outdoor Program. Potential yakers begin in the pool and move to local rivers once they get some skills. $185. Call 243-5172.
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.
The MT FWP hosts a public forum about the Upland Game Bird Enhancement Program at the Missoula FWP office. 3201 Spurgin. 6 PM.
Learn how the birds are doing over near the Upper Clark Fork River Superfund site when Kristin Smucker, Asst. Director of UM's Avian Science Center, gives a talk to Five Valleys Audubon. UM Gallagher Business Bldg. Rm. L14. 7:30 PM. Free.
TUESDAY APRIL 10
Hey ladies, join the Dirt Girls for an intermediate hike up Mt. Jumbo way. Meet at the top of Lincoln Hills Rd. at 5:45 PM. Free. For more info.: email@example.com.
WEDNESDAY APRIL 11
Hike up them jeans and join the Clark Fork Coalition for Walk & Talk: Be Flood Ready. Folks from NOAA talk snowpack, flood prediction and runoff. Meet at Tower St. Open Space Park at noon or at the Coalition office at 11:45 AM. 140 4th St. West. clarkfork.org.
I wish I could stuff this job and only do the stuff the Flathead Audubon Society does, like their Bird Identification: By Song, Sight and Silhouette courses. This week's class is Birds of the Flathead Valley with Neal Brown. 6–8 PM. Contact Debbie at Flathead High School at 751-3461 to register.
Man, us westerners really like talking about weed(s). Check out the MNHC Evening Lecture: The Natural History of Exotic Plant Invasion with Dr. Dean Pearson, who discusses the pluses and minuses of plant invasions. 120 Hickory. 7 PM. $4/members free.
This month's The Rocky Mountaineers Meeting hosts outdoor adventurer Jeff Schmerker at The Trail Head. C'mon by, y'all. 221 E. Front. 7 PM. Free.
THURSDAY APRIL 12
Dudes, come get your climb on during Freestone Climbing's Dude's Night. 935 Toole Ave. 5–10 PM. $6.50/$5 students.