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Mountain High

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Having been out of the game for some 15 years, I just recently laced up some boots and hit the Rattlesnake Trailhead with a pair of rented cross-country skis. It was awesome, but if there was one thing I learned that day it was this: Nordic skiing is one hell of a workout.

I mention this because come Saturday, you'll be able to work your muscles to the max on your Nordic skis during the annual Over Seeley's Creeks and Ridges (OSCR) Trail Head Race Series Cross-Country Ski Marathon, which occurs at the Seeley Creek Nordic Ski Trails near Seeley Lake. It offers participants of all ages the chance to slide and glide on a 50k course, a 20k course or a 10k course. Then, after you've busted your buns on the trail, you can relax during an awards ceremony and chili feed later in the day at the Seeley Lake Community Center.

The 29th annual OSCR Trail Head Series Race Cross-Country Ski Marathon is Sat., Jan. 29, with registration at 8 AM at the Seeley Creek Noridic Ski Trails, located on Cottonwood Lakes Road in Seeley Lake. $45 for the 50k/$30 for the 20k/$25 for the 10k. Visit seeleylakenordic.org for a registration form, and call Lynn at 677-2343 with questions.

SATURDAY JANUARY 29

Slap on your snowshoes and put on your learning cap during the Montana Natural History Center's "Saturday Discovery Day: Forest Insects in Winter," an all-day program with forest entomologist Amy Gannon where participants snowshoe around Pattee Canyon and learn about insects and forest ecology, starting with a meet-up at 9 AM at the MNHC, 120 Hickory St. $20/$15 MNHC members. Call 327-0405 to RSVP.

Just don't wear hot pants during the Missoula Parks and Rec's Frost Fever/5K Fun Run, which takes off from McCormick Park starting at 10 AM and takes you on a course along the Clark Fork River and neighborhood streets. $23, with race-day registration at 8:30 AM. Run your mouse over to missoulaparks.org for details or call 721-7275.

All bets are on for the Moonlight Snowmobile Poker Run, a gambol near Lincoln that features 250 miles of groomed trails on your trusty snowmobile with the moon as your guide. Check out the deal at 362-3334 or e-mail mnordahl@linctel.net.

Catch big air or just catch the show during Ol' Uncle Justin's Slopestyle/Big Air competition, an event for shredders and skiers at the Terrain Parks at Lost Trail Powder Mountain that begins with registration at noon. $10 to enter. Jump to ltpark.com for details.

SUNDAY JANUARY 30

All ladies are invited to train for their first triathlon or brush up on their skills when the The Women's Club, 2105 Bow St., presents it's "Get Ready for The Grizzly Triathlon" class, which meets at 9 AM for 12 weeks starting today. Call 728-4410 for pricing and more details.

TUESDAY FEBRUARY 1

Any and all women who want to hike in the company of their fellow XX chromosome holders are hereby invited to a Ladies Hike Group that meets every Tue. and Thu. at 4 PM in Missoula. Contact Rissa at simpleretreat@yahoo.com to find out meeting locations and to finalize plans.

Avoid burial by powder during an Avalanche Awareness Workshop that occurs at 7 PM at UM's Urey Underground Lecture Hall, and at the same time and place on Feb. 2. A field trip for snowmobile riders follows on Feb. 5, and a field trip for skiers/snowboarders is on Feb. 6. Free, but skiers and snowboarders have to pay a $10 lift fee for the field trip. Visit missoulaavalanche.org.

WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 2

Go with the snowshoeing and learning flow when UM's Outdoor Program presents a "Snowshoeing & Track ID" class, which begins with a pre-trip meeting at 5 PM today at the Outdoor Program, in UM's Fitness and Recreation Center. The trip follows on Feb. 5. $30, includes instruction, gear and transportation. RSVP by Jan. 31 by calling 243-5172.

Grab the good word on all the things urban foresters have to deal with—including insect pests, monocultures and road expansion—when the Montana Natural History Center (MNHC) presents "Understanding the Urban Forest," a talk with urban forester Ben Carson that begins at 7 PM at the MNHC, 120 Hickory St. $4 suggested donation. Call 327-0405 or visit montananaturalist.org.

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 3

It's all about heels up when Montana Snowbowl's Telemark Evening Race Series begins tonight at the ski hill, 1700 Snowbowl Road. E-mail Gates Watson at gwatson@conservationfund.org for details.

Get awed with stories from a pedaling master when adventure cyclist Willie Weir presents "Any Port in a Storm—Cycling and Wild Camping Through Portugal," a talk on Weir's recent travels to the South American country that begins at 7 PM in UM's Urey Underground Lecture Hall. Free.

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