Mountain High 

Look south, young person, and head up the highly visible and almost always snowy Lolo peak on a Tuesday, June 7, trip with the Rocky Mountaineers and the Sierra Club. Trekkers will join leader Steve Shombel as he scrambles up 3,500’ feet of often-snowy trail with a chance to “stop and think about how a major ski resort will change this area forever.” Call Schombel at 721-4686 for the beta.

Or head up the 10,000+ foot Trapper Peak June 5 with Forest Dean via the steep and scenic Gem Lake/north couloir direct route. Participants need to be savvy with ice axes and crampons and will be leaving Missoula very early, so call Dean at 240-7612 to get up on it.

If you climb enough mountains, paddle enough rivers or huck enough cliffs, you will someday break, twist or tear something important. But feareth not, as you can prepare yourself for the law of wreck-reational averages by attending Aerie Backcountry Medicine’s Wilderness First Aid course June 4–5 at the Glacier Institute’s field camp. Every day the odds are catching up with you, so be a lifesaver and call Aerie at 542-9972 to get in on this $125 course.

Or fly down to the Teller Wildlife Refuge for the 13th annual Bill’s Bird Count June 3–4—you’ll join other bird lovers in helping to secure a solid bird census by casing the 880-acre sanctuary. Participants can take one of three birding walks (a cheep-cheep $25 donation is vigorously encouraged; proceeds go to the refuge), so call 961-3507 or log on to for more info.

Friends of the Bitterroot and the Native Forest Network are hosting a public-invited science panel about “Forest Health” issues as related to the Bitterroot National Forest’s proposed Middle East Fork Hazardous Fuel Reduction project, at Hamilton City Hall at 7 p.m. on June 2. According to the groups, community members are interested in hearing a scientific perspective that lacks the forest service’s gotta-log-it spin, so four Ph.D scientists will be on hand to answer questions about forest health and the wildland/urban interface. The meeting is free and open to the public; log on to or call 542-7343 to learn more.

Girls ages 11 to 17 can get their groove on by signing up for a series of age-specific outdoor leadership programs known as GUTS!, or Girls Using Their Strengths! This Women’s Voices for the Earth series is designed to provide young ladies with leadership skills and self confidence through recreation in the natural world, regardless of experience. The weeklong camps teach backpacking, canoeing and rock-climbing skills in a supportive, non-competitive environment, and although a $225 donation is requested, scholarships are available. Contact Jen Euell at 543-3747 or to get your girls out in front.

Those with a loose schedule and a desire to help protect the public’s wild lands can volunteer with the Great Burn Study Group this summer on field projects throughout roadless areas near Missoula. Experienced or not, hikers can take advantage of this bonus motivation to get out and enjoy Montana’s backcountry. Stipends are available and dates are flexible, so call field studies coordinators Dave Harmon or Beverly Dupree at 240-9901 to learn more about your options.

The Montana Conservation Corps and Mountain Bike Missoula are looking for volunteers to celebrate National Trails Day June 4 by working on the Rattlesnake’s Woods Gulch Trail. After meeting at the trailhead, MCC crews will lead volunteers “up the trail to reroute sections to mitigate erosion and to add twists and turns to keep every type of user happy.” Tools and lunch are provided, so wear appropriate clothes and get ready to work. If you dig it, call Chase Jones at 728-2720 or email to learn more.

Also as a part of National Trails Day, REI will lead a troupe of volunteer trail workers into the Rattlesnake on Saturday, June 4. Transportation and lunch are provided and group size is limited, so call 829-0432 to sign up and do your part.

The Montana Natural History Center is hosting its annual Astronomy Series, a course designed to get you dialed on how to locate your heavenly body of choice, how to choose a telescope, even how to build one. Your $2 donation goes towards keeping this program, led by Lynn Springer, reaching for the stars. Call 327-0405 to scope it out.

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