Mountain High 

Well, the cold snap has finally arrived, the winds whipping through Hellgate Canyon and into every crevice of your body not covered by warm clothing. And if you hadn't noticed, there were traces of white powder near Pattee Canyon at one point last week, signaling nature's dramatic shift into fall and its soon-to-be descent into winter. While some may curse our passage into these seasons, with the return of overcast skies (especially in Missoula), falling leaves and spine chilling temperatures, others find aesthetic beauty in such scenes.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY ANNE MEDLEY

That's especially true up in Glacier National Park, where you'll have the chance to catch nature in all her transitioning splendor when you enroll in a Wilderness Photography Workshop with Rocky Mountain School of Photography instructor Tim Cooper that runs from Fri., Oct. 9, through Sun., Oct. 11. Cooper plans to train your eye to catch the beauty of Glacier at dusk and dawn, as you'll snap photos of fall colors, lakes, streams and mountain-filled skies, along with frosted leaves and insects making their fall trek around the park. $95, includes instruction, transportation, camping and dinners. You'll have to bring your own breakfast, lunch, camping and hiking gear. Space is also limited, so act fast and contact the Wilderness Institute at or call 243-5361.

Those females itching to run and eager to skip town ought to heed Friday's Run Wild Missoula Running Camp Retreat for Women, which occurs at a residence in Tarkio and features road and trail runs, yoga, do-it-yourself-pedicures and more, along with expert running tips and clinics from Run Wild Missoula's Courtney Babcock and Meg Lerch. The retreat starts Friday at 4 PM and runs until mid-day on Sun., Oct. 11, and includes lodging, dinner on Friday, three meals and snacks on Saturday, and breakfast on Sunday and more for $250. A Saturday-only option for the retreat runs from 8:30 AM–8 PM and costs $135 and includes three meals, running clinics and more. Visit to download a registration form or e-mail

If you get wheezy at the thought of running, you can also spend this weekend hiking and camping in the Lolo National Forest with the Montana Wilderness Association (MWA) and REI. Once the trip starts at a TBA time on Sat., Oct. 10, you'll climb your way up the Sapphire Divide Trail and see grand views of two proposed wilderness areas: Stony Mountain and Quigg Peak. You'll then camp for the night near a pond, with dinner and breakfast provided, as is REI equipment for the trip. You missed the pre-trip meeting on Oct. 6, but to find out cost and time hurry and e-mail or call the Missoula office of the MWA at 541-8615.

Camping might seem a bit nippy in this weather, especially for kids, so stay closer to home on Saturday and take your little one age 5 and up to the Montana Natural History Center's Big on Bison program at 2 PM at the center, 120 Hickory St. Expect a bison info sesh, a bison dress up party, stories and an art project. $2 per child/Free MNHC members. Call 327-0405 or visit

Saturday is also an opportune time for the fowl freaks among you to catch grebes, ducks, songbirds, shorebirds and perhaps the northern shrike during a half-day birding field trip to the Frenchtown Mill wetlands with the Five Valleys Audubon Society. You'll meet at UM's Adams Field House parking lot at 9 AM, or at the main gate of the mill at 9:30 AM for this free undertaking. Call Larry Weeks at 549-5632.

Later that night, all skiers can dip their eyes into visions of snowy hillsides when you watch MSP Films' Missoula premiere of IN DEEP: The Skiing Experience at the Wilma Theatre at 8 PM. $10 with tickets available at the Wilma Box Office or at Gull Ski Shop, 2601 W. Broadway St. The film features tons of footage of skiers like Mark Abma, Colby West and Michelle Parker ripping 1260 degree spins, AK lines and more. Visit

After some deep rest, Sunday offers more running action during the Missoula Community School's Run for Fun at McCormick Park that starts at 1:45 PM with a toddler dash. You'll hit the ground running at 2 PM with the 5K, and at 2:45 PM you can join others at a fun run. $15 adults/$10 children 12 and under/free children three and under. $2 of every adult entry and $1 of every child entry is donated to the Poverello Center. Register at Runner's Edge, 325 N. Higgins Ave., or from 12:30–1:30 PM at McCormick Park on race day. E-mail

As we wind ourselves back into the work week, a few other events soar on the horizon including a Five Valley's Audubon Society sponsored talk by Sherry Ritter titled "Biomimicry: Sustainable Innovation Inspired by Nature" at 7:30 PM on Mon., Oct. 12, in Room L14 of UM's Gallagher Business Building. Ritter is a rep from the Biomimicry Institute and will discuss the discipline, as well as the importance of looking at the world as model, measure and mentor. Free. Visit

On Tuesday, Oct. 13, any avid cyclists out there should definitely head to the Missoulians on Bicycles monthly club meeting at 7 PM at the Adventure Cycling Association conference room, 150 E. Pine St. Free.

And, before the week closes, make sure to scan or sell some sweet outdoor goods at the UM Outdoor Program's used gear sale on Thu., Oct. 15, from noon–5 PM in the atrium at the University Center. Drop off your gear to sell between 7–11 AM and pickup unsold gear from 5–7 PM. Visit or call 243-5172.

In the meantime, bundle up in the cool weather and keep pumping that blood through your veins, 'cause you know it's only gonna get colder from here on out.

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