Mountain High 

The final day of the 2011-2012 season at da Bowl was off the chain as the kids used to say. Fresh pow and even a brief trip to Gnarkansas™ up around the Nutcracker run are going to make it tough to give up riding. However, many of us will not. We'll be hiking into the backcountry in June, scouting for snow-filled glades protected from the sun and keeping an eye on the elk while we're at it. Fall and winter, please, you can keep your summers. But I digress. As we saw this past winter, the backcountry can be dangerous even for seasoned folks. That's why a volunteer group like the Five Valley Backcountry Ski Patrol (FVBSP) is a welcome addition. The group is trained to respond to backcountry winter emergencies, particularly in the Missoula County area. As you might imagine, the training and gear ain't cheap so they're having a fundraiser at the Crystal Theatre. Besides getting to watch an inspirational film undoubtedly filled with scenery and lines that'll make your thighs scream and your heart squeal, you may just be helping out the folks that save your bacon one day.

The Five Valleys Back Country Ski Patrol is holding a fundraiser on Wed., April 25, at the Crystal Theatre, 515 S. Higgins Ave., with a screening of a film about the Glacier Park ski traverse. Doors open at 6:30 PM, show at 7 PM. $5 suggested donation.

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Drop the controller and check out this month's theme at the Montana Natural History Center's miniNaturalists Pre-K Program. This month's theme is Osprey. Pliny the Elder would approve. 120 Hickory St. 10–11 AM. $3/$1 for members.


Active outdoor lovers are invited to the Mountain Sports Club's (formerly the Flathead Valley Over the Hill Gang) weekly meeting to talk about being awesome, past glories and upcoming activities. Swan River Inn. 6–8 PM. Free.

Get back in shape and learn something new at Freestone Climbing Gym's Intro. to Bouldering course, which introduces basic techniques, safety stuff, ethics and more. Class includes 1.5 hours of instruction and two weeks of unlimited climbing. 935 Toole. 7–8:30 PM. $40.


Clark Fork Coalition's Clark Fork River Cleanup 2012 begins at Caras Park next to the Clark Fork River and the Clark Fork Market area. Clean up the river, head back to Caras for bbq. Sounds good, yeah? 10 AM. Contact Liz at with questions.

Head to Warm Springs Pond with Five Valleys Audubon for a trip to see shore birds and waterfowl, but leave the loon jokes at home. Meet in the middle of the UM field house parking lot. 7 AM. Call Larry for more info. at 549-5632.

Strap on the frog suit and help out elementary-aged girls by taking part in the L.E.A.P. Hop, Run or Walk 5K and 1-Mile Run fundraiser. The after-school running program keeps the youngins off the streets. 8 AM. $20/$15 pre-registration.

Welcome Earth Day by running or walking at the 4th Annual Superfun(d) Run. Meet at Our Savior's Lutheran Church at 8 AM for registration and breakfast. One-mile fun run and 5K starts at 9 AM, while the 10 K starts at 9:30 AM. $20/8th graders and younger free.

The 'M' is for maintenance at the Mount Sentinel M Trail Restoration. Put on some gloves and get 'er done. 9–2 PM. Lunch provided. RSVP at

I'm going to type a couple of things and see what you think: blackpowder rifles, throwing knives and tomahawks. You guessed right, it's the Sapphire Mountain Men Public Days at Hellgate Civilian Shooters Association Range. Re-enactments and demonstrations galore. Bring the kids! 7350 Zaugg Dr., West Riverside. 11–4 PM.

They've got snakes, snakes, snakes as big as garden rakes at the Montana Natural History Center's Saturday Kids' Activity: Super Cool Snakes! 120 Hickory. 2–3 PM. $3/$1 members.


Get back in shape and learn something new at Freestone Climbing Gym's Intro. to Bouldering course, which introduces basic techniques, safety stuff, ethics and more. Class includes 1.5 hours of instruction and two weeks of unlimited climbing. 935 Toole. 12–1:30 PM. $40.


At Slacker Mondays, from 6 PM until close, slackline fans can come to Freestone Climbing Center at 935 Toole Ave. to test their balance. $13/$10 for students. Visit


Find out how Missoulians aid the Mountain Shepherds organization in the Himalayas of northern India at Gear for the Garhwal: Stories from the Nanda Devi. I'll give you a hint, much-needed gear is transported from here to there. REI, 3275 N. Reserve. 6:30–8 PM. Free.


I wish I could stuff this job and only do the stuff the Flathead Audubon Society does, like their Bird Identification: By Song, Sight and Silhouette courses. This week's class is A Closer Look at Bird Songs and Calls with Bruce Tannehill. 6–8 PM. Contact Debbie at Flathead High School at 751-3461 to register.

Raise some funds for the Five Valleys Backcountry Ski Patrol during the screening of The Glacier Park Ski Traverse, a film about people that have huge lungs, bigger thighs and incredible balance. Crystal Theatre, 515 S. Higgins. 7 PM. $5.

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