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Mountain High

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You do your part, right?

I mean, when you take Fido up Waterworks for a little bowel evacuation, you pack out your Mutt Mitt, yes?

And when you’re cruising down some sick single-track and you spot some bonehead’s discarded GU container, you stop and pocket the sticky pouch, don’t you?

Well, then, you’re just the sort of noble soul the Glacier Association (GA) wants to bring into their fold. The GA has three positions open on their board, and from your answers to the queries above, it would seem you’ve got the right stuff.

The GA’s been around since 1946, raising funds mainly through sales in the park’s bookstores to support Glacier’s interpretive and educational programs and activities. Applications are due Mon., Nov. 3, and you can request all that paperwork by calling 888-5756 or e-mailing Wendy Hill at whill@glacierassociation.org.

And while you’re in the mood for registration-related shenanigans, I’ll have you know that Fri., Oct. 17, is the deadline to sign up for UM Campus Recreation’s Kayak Roll Clinic, which begins at 8:30 PM on Tue., Oct. 21. Master your roll in the warm waters of the Grizzly Pool, where $60 entitles you to the three-session class and all the attendant gear. Call 243-5172.

And once you’ve completed this week’s paper chase, it’s time to turn your visualization skills toward the heavens. See ions cling to dust particles in a freezing environment, be the ice crystals as they form ever-larger chunks of precipitation, and eventually gain such mass that the clouds can no longer contain you. Yes, we’re talking snow, and on Fri., Oct. 16, the Burning Dog Pray for Snow Party kicks off at 6 PM at the Big Sky Brewing Amphitheater. This second annual gathering of hopeful shredders includes music by Reverend Slanky and iNHUMANS, sweet visuals in the form of Powder Whores Ski Films’ The Pact, the opportunity to score cheap lift tickets and the evening’s grand focal point, the immolation of a 40-foot wooden dog. Somehow, this is all meant to ensure a season of epic proportions, and it’s also a fundraiser for the West Central Montana Avalanche Center, so now what’s your excuse? Tickets are $11, and you can visit missoulaavalanche.org for more info.    

The next morning, rather than a singed mouthful of “hair of the dog,” commune with something a bit lighter: The Five Valleys Audubon Society invites you on a waterfowl-viewing mission to the ponds of Smurfit-Stone on Sat., Oct. 18. Meet at the UM Adams Center parking lot at 9 AM, or at the plant’s main gate at 9:30, and call Larry at 549-5632 for lively conversation.

Perhaps you’re more a fan of the walrus than the egret, in which case you can imitate your totem’s polar belly-slide at 10 AM on Sat., Oct. 18, when skating classes begin at the Glacier Ice Rink. Whatever your skill level or age, there’s a class meant for you, so visit missoulafsc.org or call 543-5889 to sign up.

Evergreen Kids Corner, a parent-run cooperative preschool in the Bitterroot, has another option for you and yours at the same time: The Fall Harvest Festival at Hamilton’s Homestead Organics Farm, 175 Skalkaho Road, begins at 11 AM on Sat., Oct. 18, and features hay rides, pumpkin carving, live music, food and more. A $4 per kid donation is requested, and you can learn more when you call 363-1688.

Before you wax poetic about the timeless nature of, well, Nature, allow me to inform you that Glacier National Park celebrates its 100th birthday in 2010, and in order to prepare, the Glacier Centennial Program has been convening listening sessions to gather input for the festivities. The next chance for you to propose an event to mark the park’s birth takes place at 4 PM on Mon., Oct. 20, in Room 330 of UM’s University Center. Can’t make it? Visit glaciercentennial.org.

Our lovely ladies of the trail, the Montana Dirt Girls, tackle their final ride of the season once they meet at 5:30 PM in the Crazy Canyon parking lot on Tue., Oct. 21, for a river trail ride. Next week, the activity switches to hiking, so here’s one final shot at bicycular glory. Visit montanadirtgirls.com.

Meet a living legend in the mountaineering world when alpinist and explorer extraordinaire Conrad Anker presents “Exploration in the 21st Century” at 6 PM on Wed., Oct. 22, at the Doubletree Hotel. It’s free, and the first 50 guests score a North Face gift bag.

Get in on some underground fun when you attend a meeting of the Northern Rocky Mountain Grotto—think spelunkers—at 7 PM on Wed., Oct. 22, at Pipestone Mountaineering, where Mike McEachern presents the 3-D slideshow “Recent Cave Discoveries in the Bob Marshall Wilderness.” Neat-o.  

And speaking of films, our last two events bring the outdoors inside as well. First, Rage Films’ Such is Life screens at 7:30 PM on Wed., Oct. 22, in UM’s University Theatre and features all kinds of swag to be given away to the powder-hungry audience. $10.

Then, top skiers and snowboarders traverse the planet in search of endless winter when Teton Gravity Research’s Under the Influence screens at 7 PM in UM’s Urey Lecture Hall on Thu., Oct. 23. $10/$8 advance.

Until next time, may the wind be in your face and may the powder rise up to meet you.

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