Mountain High 

This week’s just packed. Observe:

We begin with an invitation to climb the steep seating area of UM’s Urey Lecture Hall at 7 PM on Thu., Oct. 2, as the Reel Rock Film Tour: The Sharp End presents the daring exploits of five adrenalized rockhounds. $9/$7 advance. Call 243-5172.

Once you’ve seen what’s possible when you combine nature and negatives, UM’s Wilderness Institute offers to put you in the driver’s seat, as Tim Cooper presents a three-day Wilderness Photography Workshop in Glacier National Park beginning on Fri., Oct. 3. The $95 fee includes instruction, transportation, dinners and camping, and you take care of everything else. If you’re interested, call 243-5361 or e-mail

Or, just take in more of the outdoors on film with the snowboarding flick My Own Two Feet, which screens at both 8 and 11 PM on Fri., Oct. 3, in UM’s Urey Lecture Hall. Free lift tickets are a part of the deal, as are reduced season passes and other goodies. $10.

Of course, this column’s really about being outside, not watching movies, so I encourage more of the former, and the fine astronomers of the Blue Mountain Observatory willingly oblige at roughly 8:15 PM on Fri., Oct 3, when the last in their series of Observing Nights kicks off. As usual, clouds can ruin the whole shebang, so call 243-5179 before you head up there, and if it’s a go, snag directions at

Sleep off that nature hangover, but not for too long, as the Rattlesnake Creek Watershed Group has big plans for you during their Weed Pulling and Tree Planting Extravaganza in the Bugbee Nature Area at 9 AM on Sat., Oct. 4. The work party goes all day, with lunch provided and pets discouraged. Bring tools, work clothes and your love of water, and there’s not even a need to RSVP.

Of course, you may instead choose to make for the Glacier Ice Rink at 10 AM on Sat., Oct. 4, for “Learn to Skate” Registration Day, your chance to claim a spot in the adult and children’s classes beginning later this month. Aside from early-bird rates, you also get to skate for free today, so there’s really no losing with this one. Call 543-5889 or visit

Take the high road this morning, as you lend your feet and your mind to the cause of fundraising for medical research during the Alzheimer’s Memory Walk, which begins at 10 AM on the UM Oval on Sat., Oct. 4. It’s a mellow one- to three-mile jaunt that can increase our collective knowledge about deteriorating brain function. Call Denise at 541-6577 or visit

The younger nature lovers among us have a treat coming down the pike from the Montana Natural History Center, which takes a decidedly pro-science stance after last night’s vice-presidential debates in offering the Saturday Kids Activity Dynamic Dinosaurs at 2 PM on Sat., Oct. 4. The cost is minimal, the knowledge not even remotely blasphemous. Call 327-0405.

Two great fall celebrations take place on Sat., Oct. 4. The first is the Moon-Randolph Homestead’s annual Fall Gathering, which begins at 2 PM with apple pressing, continues with the community potluck at 5 and rambles on into the firelight hours as musical instruments are busted out to honor Dan Weitzel’s birth. A $5–10 donation plus an entrée or dessert get you through the gates. Call 241-2946.

At roughly the same time, another party involving food and culture goes down at the PEAS Farm, 3010 Duncan Drive, where Chilis and Happiness starts celebrating Bhutanese culture in Missoula at 4 PM. Fine food, tunes from Tshering—considered Bhutan’s second-best musician—dancing, prayer flag making, long-range competitive darts and more await you, and it’s all free. Call 829-9926.

Bike nuts wait all year for this one: The 32nd annual Western Montana Hill Climb Championships—basically a race up Pattee Canyon—takes place on Sun., Oct. 5, at 9 AM. Each rider brings a gift for another rider, you can register in advance at Big Sky Cyclery and Missoulians on Bicycles members don’t pay the $2 registration fee. Get more info when you call 721-6330.

Tackle a mountain without assistance from a bike when you join the Rocky Mountaineers on Sun., Oct. 5, as they scale the familiar Lolo Peak via the Mormon Peak Road route. Lewis is your contact: 529-6943 or And once you’ve made friends, attend the Rocky Mountaineer’s monthly meeting at 7 PM on Wed., Oct. 8, at Pipestone Mountaineering, 129 W. Front St., where Michael Hoyt’s Bitterroot slideshow draws a crowd.

Another slew of shredding celluloid comes your way on Wed., Oct. 8, as the Wilma Theatre screens the short films Reasons, Hunting Yeti and Jib Jam at 7 PM. $10/$7 students.

Get your indoor-outdoor fix from a flesh-and-blood human when the Montana Natural History Center presents Denver Holt’s program Montana Owls at 7 PM on Wed., Oct. 8. He’s the founder of the Owl Research Institute, so you can take his word to the bank. $3 suggested donation. Call 327-0405.

And finally, UM professor of ecology Erick Greene invites you to peep the massive foliage of the land down under during his presentation “Plants of New Zealand: What 80 Million Years of Isolation Can Do” at 7:30 PM in Room L09 of UM’s Gallagher Business Building on Thu., Oct. 9. Free.

Now go get ‘em, tiger.
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