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Mountain High

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A lot of people have willfully forgotten the brilliance of the1993 film Aspen Extreme, ignored by the Academy in favor of Schindler's List or whatever. In this unsung drama, T.J. and Dexter leave the comforts of Detroit to become ski instructors in Colorado. T.J. falls in love, while Dexter prefers danger. He gets mixed up in a drug trade and brazenly skis the uncharted slopes, despite the many warnings peppered throughout the story of avalanches. Well, you can guess what happens. The mountain swallows Dexter, and we learn a lesson about drugs, caution and love. It is because of Dexter that winter-sports enthusiasts must, must attend the Northern Rockies Avalanche Safety Workshop this Saturday in Whitefish. Five of the region's prominent avalanche professionals will present practical safety information and research. You will see demos of safety skills and learn about the current state of the snow safety industry, all of it designed to keep you safe in avalanche-prone terrain. Session topics include, "Stability Test and the Role of Spatial Variability," "Highmarking, Boondocking and Hill Climbing," and my personal favorite: "The Human Condition: How self-knowledge can help us make better decisions." T.J. knew himself. That's why he was the most popular ski instructor, he stayed out of the drug trade and he got the girl.

The Northern Rockies Avalanche Safety Workshop (NRASW) goes down Sat., Oct. 1 starting at 8 AM at Grouse Mountain Lodge in Whitefish. Cost is $20 at the door or $15 when you pre-register at avalanchesafetyworkshop.com.

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 29

The MiniNaturalists Pre-K program lets young people explore the world through hands-on activities, games and play in a natural setting, this and every Thu. through Sept. 29. Cost is $3/$1 for MNHC members. Learn more at MontanaNaturalist.org.

Hang out at the Fort Missoula Native Plant Gardens for a day of Creating Landscapes for Play. It's a chance to talk to landscape designers, community professionals and outdoor education specialists. Free, with snacks and beverages.

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 30

Stars rule the sky and our hearts and minds when the UM Physics and Astronomy department celebrates their centenniel (100 years in action) with a conference at the University Center at 1:10 PM, followed by a reception at Silk Road at 6, and a night of observation at the Blue Mountain Observatory around 9 PM. Call Ware at 243-6221.

Liven things up in your love life, or just take comfort in watching the cosmos, during public observing night at the Blue Mountain Observatory where you'll get to gander at nearby planets, stars and nebulae at an estimated observing time of 8:30 PM. Free. Call 243-5179 before you go and get directions by clicking over to physics.umt.edu/bluemountain.

SATURDAY OCTOBER 1

Talents are on the line at the Mid-Yellowstone Smallmouth Bash, a catfish and bass fishing derby on the Lower Yellowstone River.Learn everything at montanaoutdoor.com.

Travel to a raptor-banding site with Five Valleys Audubon for an all-day field trip to the Raptor View Institute's banding site at Flesher Pass to look at Migrating Raptors. Meet at 6 AM in the middle of the UM Adams Center parking lot. To sign up, call Larry Weeks at 549-5632.

The big deal, of course, is the UM homecoming football game, where the Griz take on Northern Colorado at Washington-Grizzly Stadium, beginning at 1 PM. Go to gogriz.com.

SUNDAY OCTOBER 2

We can do it! This and every Sun. through October, come to Ladies' Night at Freecycles from 2–6 PM to learn to build and fix bikes plus hang out with other chicks, 732 S. First St. W.

TUESDAY OCTOBER 4

Here it is, the bout you've all been waiting for, the Inaugural Northside Vs. Westside Softball Showdown, starting 5:30 PM at Northside Softball field on the corner of Cooley and Worden, free, with donations benefiting the NMCDC (North-Missoula Community Development Corporation. Free beer! Hotdogs for purchase. Game is at 6:30 PM. (See Agenda in this issue.)

WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 5

They're back! Join Dr. Fred Allendorf in his talk, Evolution Today: Return of the Bed Bugs, 7 PM at the Montana Natural History Center, 120 Hickory St. $4 suggested donation. MNHC members are always free.

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