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Mountain High

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This weekend, I want you to master the three P's. No, I don't mean puking, peeing and pinochle. Here's what I'm getting at: On Sat., April 2, you can become a triathlon queen or king during the Whitefish Pole, Pedal and Paddle Triathlon. It's a three-leg, 14-mile relay race that ought to make you sweat bullets and help you burn off some of that winter fat you have been storing up.

It begins at 10 AM with 2.5 miles of paddling, from Baker Avenue Park to the mouth of Whitefish Lake. Then, you'll cycle hard during a biking section that's 8.25 miles long, and takes you from Kiddie Park to the Base Lodge of Whitefish Mountain Resort. From there, you'll transition to the skiing portion of the race, which is 3.4 miles and takes you from the Base Lodge to the Summit, and then back down to the lodge.

After you're done, stick around for the awards ceremony, which kicks off around 1 or 2 PM. Now get out there and sweat it up, ya hear?

The Whitefish Pole, Pedal and Paddle Triathlon is Sat., April 2, with registration from 7:30–9 AM at Baker Avenue Park, with the race beginning at 10 AM. $50 per team/$25 per person. Visit skiwhitefish.com/triathlon.

FRIDAY APRIL 1

Cast one off by signing up today for the UM Outdoor Program's Fly Fishing Class, an intro to the sport taught by fly fishing expert George Kesel that meets April 12, 14, 19 and 21 in Room 202 of UM's Jeannette Rankin Hall. The course also includes two days on the river. $52. Call 243-5172 to RSVP and visit life.umt.edu/CREC/Outdoor/default.php for info on other upcoming courses.

Hang with some hardcore runners and pick their sweaty brains when Runner's Edge, 325 N. Higgins Ave., presents a Q&A with Missoula runners fresh from the Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon, which starts at 7 PM and features stories and comments from Kiefer Hahn, Dean McGovern, Kevin Twidwell and Rick Wishcamper. Free. Visit runwildmissoula.org.

SATURDAY APRIL 2

Chew on some bark and hug a tree after you finish Missoula's Run for the Trees, a 5k fun run/walk that celebrates Arbor Day and occurs at McCormick Park starting with a fun run at 9 AM, followed by the race at 10 AM. Registration required by March 31. $25/$20 youth. Register at Currents Aquatics Center or online at runforthetrees.org.

Let the wind whisk you away on your skis during the Montana Snowkite Rodeo, a freestyle and racing competition at the Jackson Hot Springs in Jackson (located just south of Wisdom) where participants use a kite to help them glide across snow. Catch more info at montanakitesports.com or e-mail info@montanakitesports.com.

Carve it up and get shred-tastic when Montana Snowbowl stays open this weekend, and continues to be open until April 17. Lifts open at 10 AM and the hill is closed on Tuesdays. $40 full-day/$35 half-day. Visit montanasnowbowl.com or call 549-9777.

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 nature-link.org for details.

Leave your camo and ammo at home and get wild when the Hellgate Hunters & Anglers present "Wild Night for Wildlife," an event that features beverages and wild game appetizers, a silent auction, plus special guest Sen. Jon Tester, and begins at 6 PM at Montana Harley Davidson, 5106 E. Harrier. $20/free children ages 15 and under. Get tickets at the National Wildlife Federation office, 240 N. Higgins Ave., or call Mackenzie at 241-5009.

SUNDAY APRIL 3

Stop fumbling with your spokes and just cruise when Missoulians on Bicycles hosts the Bitterroot Bumble ride, a 55-mile jaunt that begins at Trader Brothers near Lolo 16490 Old Hwy. 93 S., and takes you south to Bell Crossing, and east to Willoughby, Sunset and Pine Hollow, with a trip back to Stevensville for refreshments. Those wanting to carpool can meet at Kmart at 8:30 AM. Free. Visit missoulabike.org.

Slap on your boots and hit the trail with your mountaineering friends when the Rocky Mountaineers host a hike up Sawmill Gulch, across from Fort Fizzle. E-mail Julia at jawkal@hotmail.com to finalize plans on when and where to meet. Visit rockymountaineers.com.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 6

Wear your snazziest biking shorts when Missoulians on Bicycles present a Wednesday Weekly ride that begins at 6 PM at McCormick Park, and takes you to Bonner and then up to Marshall Canyon. Free. Visit missoulabike.org.

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