Mountain High 

In my continuing crusade against all manner of twaddle, I begin:

Big Mountain offers you a third opportunity to witness high-flying stunts, or to perpetrate same, when the Night Riders Park Series continues at 5 PM on Fri., Feb. 2, with the Rail Jam. In an event making its debut this year, enthusiasts on skis or snowboards will have two hours to complete as many runs as they can manage through the Fishbowl Terrain Park, racking up points from judges and phone numbers from eager onlookers. Registration opens at 4 PM, with the whole shebang wrapping up around 9 with the awards ceremony and attendant jubilation. Fees and categories vary based on age, gender, skill and a throw of the I-Ching, so call 862-2911 for more info.

In an outdoor recreation version of a Hershey’s bar falling into a jar of peanut butter (what was that person doing eating peanut butter during a movie, anyway?), the Rocky Mountaineers are teaming up with the Bitterroot-Mission Group of the Sierra Club to sponsor a Moonlight Ski at Lubrecht Forest on Fri., Feb. 2. Have a snack after work—if you’re employed, that is—and get up there for three short loops with a shelter along the way. Call Steve Schombel at 721-4686 for all the information you could want. Oh, and dogs are not invited, but read on…

While this destination may not be as convenient as Lubrecht, convenience probably wasn’t at the top of your list when you decided to get a dog, so suck it up and make the big drive. Moonlight Basin invites you and your canine lovemuffin to the Third Annual “Howlin’ at the Moon Snowshoe Shuffle” on Fri., Feb. 2. The event takes place all evening and is a fundraiser for the Heart of the Valley Humane Society, a no-kill animal shelter in Bozeman. Following the snow romp, a party complete with raffle prizes takes place in the Madison Lodge. To register and get additional info, visit

Whether you spent the night on the snow with your beloved canid or not, the New Rocky Mountaineers hope you’ll join a mellow ski or snowshoe trek on Sat., Feb. 3, to Bass Lake in the Bitterroots. The plan is to travel across the frozen landscape for nine miles, at which point the group will have climbed about 3,000 feet and will be standing on the frigid shores of the lake. Perhaps an alien abduction will ensue—call Gerald Olbu at 549-4769 to get in on some of that, and to get his opinion on the issue of dogs on trails.

Bridger Bowl ratchets up the intensity with a stab at bilingualism. Randonnée is a French word for “excursion,” which helps clarify their Sat., Feb. 3, Skin To Win Randonée Rally. Basically, this is a hardcore race involving skinning up a mountain and then speeding your way down. There is a mandatory pre-race meeting for competitors on Fri., Feb. 2, at 5:30 PM in the Weaver Room of the Emerson Cultural Center, 111 S. Grand Ave., Bozeman. Also, the required equipment—which includes a transceiver, avalanche shovel and probes—should tell you what time it is. Prize money and medals will go to the swiftest survivors. Pursue more information by calling 587-2111.

Blacktail Mountain has just the thing for all you Bill O’Reilly fans in the Flathead. On Sun., Feb. 4, the hill hosts KOFI 1180 AM day, which features, as the main enticement to leave the comfort of your Super Bowl viewing perch, the promise of all-day adult lift tickets for the low, and promotionally linked, price of $11.80. Now that’s cheap. And while the hill has offered no promises, or even mention of such a possibility, this might be your chance to share a lift with a real, live, right-wing radio commentator.

Moving from the cold and frozen wastes of winter recreation to the promise of spring flowers and all the sweetness they hold, we offer budding apiarists a heads-up: Mon., Feb. 5, is the deadline to register for a beginning beekeeping workshop offered by Montana State University and the Montana Department of Agriculture, which takes place on Sat., Feb. 10, at 10 AM. Specialists in the field will demonstrate the use of beekeeping equipment, offer tips on suitable locations for hive placement and discuss other minutiae of the craft. Call David Baumbauer at 994-2231 to register.

Lastly, the folks at Big Mountain have more to offer: the 59th Annual Doug & Rollie Smith NORAM Speed Event begins Thu., Feb. 8, and runs through Thu., Feb. 15. This series belongs to the circuit one step below the World Cup level, so expect some fancy skiing. While you can’t really enter these events—unless you happen to be one of our world-class athlete readers—you can still glom on as a volunteer and receive benefits such as coffee, pastries, lunch and a free lift ticket, so call 862-2911.

I offer no lift tickets, only love, to those who send word of outdoor events.

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