Mountain High 

Spring may have officially sprung, but that doesn't mean your days of competitive shredding and carving are over. That's because this weekend you can please your inner powderhound—and win some sick prizes for your skills on the hill—during two regional competitions that promise to be a wicked good time.

Your first option comes this Saturday during the Skiesta Splashdown SummerSux Fest at Lost Trail, which begins with registration at 9 AM. It features a big air competition and a pond skim, plus a pig roast, music with Miller Creek, and prizes for best costume. You also have the chance to get voted as the Skiesta King or Queen, which will offers winners a "Powder Thursday Pass" for the 2011-2012 season.

Then, on Sunday, you can head to Montana Snowbowl for its annual North Dakota Downhill—a "slide and glide" contest that's open to people of all ages and abilities. It's also free, and anyone who enters gets a prize. So get out there and carve it up, but don't forget to wax your weapons of choice!

Lost Trail's Skiesta Splashdown SummerSux Fest is Sat., March 26, with registration at 9 AM. $10 to enter the contest. Visit to download a liability waiver. Montana Snowbowl's North Dakota Downhill is Sun., March 27, starting around 1 PM at the ski area, 1700 Snowbowl Road. Call 549-9777.

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Chill with some mountaineers and witness thousands of snow geese as they migrate to Canada when The Rocky Mountaineers presents a trip to Freezeout Lake to see the waterfowl migration, starting today and running through Sunday at the lake, near Fairfield off Hwy. 89. Free, but you must make your own lodging arrangements. Email Julie at

Give thanks for the snow goddess when the North Shore Nordic Club presents its Thanks for the Snow Party, an end-of-season fundraiser that begins with a social at 6 PM, is followed by a free chili feed at 6:30, and moves into music from The Bad Larrys at 7 PM, all at the Garden Bar in Bigfork, 451 Electric Ave. Funds raised will be used to pay for new grooming equipment. $10 donation requested. Call Dave at 837-0783.


Duck out and get your geese ogling on when the Five Valleys Audubon Society presents a full-day field trip to look for waterfowl and early migrants at the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge near Stevensville, starting with a carpool meet-up at 8 AM at the parking lot of UM's Adams Center. Alternately, you can meet at 9 AM at the visitor center of the refuge, off of Wild Fowl Lane. Free. Call Larry at 549-5632 and visit

Have a ramblin' good time on your two-wheeler with a pedaling mob when Missoulians on Bicycles presents the Clinton Ramble, a 34-mile ride that begins at 10 AM at the Eastgate Parking lot on East Broadway Street, and takes you to Clinton with a potential side trip to Wallace Creek or Starvation Creek. Free. Visit for more details.

Pound the dirt for a good cause during Run 4 A Wish, a 5k race that benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Montana and begins with day-of registration at 8 AM, followed by the race at 10, at Missoula's Equestrian Park, on the corner of 35th Street and North Avenue West. Includes door prizes and snacks after the race. $10 per person, with advance registration at Runner's Edge. Call Carrie at 240-0087 or email

Anklebiters get into the tracking groove when Missoula Children and Nature and The Great Bear Foundation present a wildlife tracking event, which features the chance for kids ages 6 and up to learn about wildlife, track ID, bear awareness skills, plus make their own plaster cast of an animal track, starting at 11 AM at The Great Bear Foundation, 802 E. Front St. Free, but children must be accompanied by an adult. Registration requested by calling Ian at 396-9562.

Get rid of some of your old but still good sleeping bags, backpacks and other outdoors gear in order to help out the Mountain Shepherds—a community run, eco-tourism organization located in the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve in India—during the Nature-Link Institute's Gear for the Garhwal drive, which runs through April 30 with drop off locations at Pipestone Mountaineering, The Trail Head, Aerie Wilderness Medicine, UM's Outdoor Program and REI Missoula. Call 370-2294 and visit for details.


Hang with some ice carvers and witness their stunning moves when the Missoula Figure Skating Club presents its Spring Skating Spectacular, which features solo, duet and group performances by members of its club and its skate programs, and starts at 4 PM at the Glacier Ice Rink, 1101 South Ave. W. Free, but donations are accepted. Visit

Just don't chug the H2O when the Watershed Education Network presents a stream monitoring training session, which features the chance to learn about the biological, chemical and physiological aspects of local rivers and streams, and runs today and tomorrow from 4–7 PM at the Greenough Park Pavilion, 1629 Monroe St. Be sure to bring water, layered clothing and socks for waders. Call 541-9287 or email


Run with a heady brew on your mind when Run Wild Missoula presents another installment of its Beer Run with a run of about 5 miles starting from Stone of Accord, 4951 N. Reserve St., at 5:45 PM for "back of the pack" runners and 6 PM for others. Free. Visit

Roll out with your favorite biking mob when Missoulians on Bicycles presents its Wednesday Weekly ride with a 20-mile jaunt that begins at 6 PM at Big Dipper Ice Cream, 631 S. Higgins Ave., and takes you through Greenough Park and on to Fort Missoula. Free. Visit for details on upcoming rides.

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