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Mountain High



Marketing campaigns target us outdoor-lovers with billions of dollars of highly engineered crapola every year, and as such many of us end up throwing mountains of cash down river just to be “properly outfitted” in the wild. The newest must-have gadgetry fills our rooftop “Rocketboxes™”, weighs down our “Fastpack™” backpacks and otherwise clutters our wild spirits with extravagant notions of gimmicky schwag.

You can free yourself from duplicative piles of rubbish—or start building another—at the always-impressive UM Used Outdoor Gear Sale in the UC Atrium on Oct. 13. Excellent prices on new and used gear are a given, and hawkers lose only 15 percent of the asking price to the Outdoor Program. Drop off your excess gear from 7-11 a.m., shop from 12-5 p.m., and pick up your checks (or unsold gear) from 5-8 p.m. Call Campus Rec (243-2802) if you’d like to volunteer.

Missoula Parks and Rec is looking for volunteer trailblazers on Oct. 16 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. as they build a new trail accessing a brand new bicycle/pedestrian bridge across Rattlesnake Creek, high up on Duncan Drive. Tools, transportation and dinner are provided, so call 721-PARK to register.

To observe the cyclical effects of fire on Montana’s forests, the Montana Natural History Center is heading back up to the Black Mountain Fire on Oct. 9 from 9 –11:30 a.m. Local experts will be along to explain the changes on the mountain and answer questions, so call MNHC (327-0405) to get on the list because registration is required.

The Bitterroot National Forest says that beetle-killed trees in their forest must be hauled out before they return their biomass to the soil, so by way of a “Categorical Exclusion” they’re looking to cull 250 acres of dead or alive trees from an area now known as the Harlan Timber Sale.

The Native Forest Network (NFN) is watching this process carefully, and they’re leading an Oct. 9 field trip to analyze what’s in store for the upcoming harvest. Interested parties can meet at 8 a.m. at Bernice’s Bakery to carpool for a trip involving Darby Dist. Ranger Chuck Oliver, a handful of scientists and members of Friends of the Bitterroot to provide an array of opinions on this and other projects. (Note that the last time NFN organized a community fieldtrip to a proposed C.E. timber sale the Forest Service promptly removed it from consideration.) Bring water, food, weather-ready clothes and your two bits, but register first with Cameron at 542-7343 or (

The Hellgate Mountain Bike Duathlon, a run/bike/run race in the Ninemile Valley on Oct. 9, starts at 10:30 a.m. at Kreis Pond. There are plenty of categories to compete in, so call Team Stampede’s Jeff Crouch (728-5790) for more info.

More than 2,000 refurbished bicycles have rolled out the door of Free Cycles since 1996, but these purveyors of free or low-cost bikes are still looking to place more Missoulians moving about with pedal power. Donate your dusty ride or tune it up at the shop (off the pedestrian alley on the southwest corner of Higgins Avenue and Broadway) from 4-7 p.m. Mon.-Thur., or call Bob Giordano at 541-2010 to learn more.

The snow is starting to accumulate at higher elevations, and super-mountaineer Mario Locatelli’s got a blizzard of information on staying safe in avalanche country. He’ll be pairing his extensive library of wintertime Selway/Bitterroot slides with a talk about avalanche safety, so anyone suffering brilliant visions of preseason powder runs should catch this presentation at the monthly Rocky Mountaineers meeting. Note the new location: Pipestone Mountaineering’s new Front Street store, at 7 p.m. on Oct. 13.

Calling it the “most spectacular mountain in the Bitterroots,” the New Rocky Mountaineers will ascend the 9,801’ North Trapper Peak on Oct. 10. Count on three miles of trail and then a most excellent climb, full of remarkable exposure and route-finding opportunities but free of bushwacking and bad rock. This adventure could be weather-dependent, so call Gerald Olbu at 549-4769.

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