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Mountain High



It’s raining in the valleys, which means there’ll be snow in the mountains, which means the whole state is getting one day closer to opening day, whenever that day may arrive. But even though I’m fixated on snow, that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of fun to be had sans wintry precipitation.

For instance, on Saturday, Oct. 8, the 22nd annual Blue Mountain All Women’s Run takes place. The run includes Missoula’s only half-marathon, as well as a 10K run, a 5K run/walk and two-mile fun run; furthermore, all proceeds benefit the Blue Mountain Clinic, a nonprofit healthcare provider for both men and women. That said, the race is open only to women. Call 543-2880 for start times and registration info. One note: cancer survivors run for free, so if you’ve come out the other side of that dark tunnel, come bask in the autumn sunshine at no charge.

While your wife and daughters are running, you can go climbing. One way to do that is by joining The New Rocky Mountaineers, who plan a trip on Saturday, Oct. 8, up Boulder Peak in the southern Bitterroots. The trailhead is at 5,200 feet and the summit reaches just over 9,800 feet, so there’s a fair amount of elevation change during the six-mile hike, especially since there are a couple intervening peaks. Expect to encounter spine-shattering drop-offs typical of an NRM trip as well as the spectacular views that go with the terrain. Call 549-4769 to get info.

Not sure you’re ready for an NRM excursion, but still have some climbing experience and a readiness to explore rarely traveled terrain? Check out Climbing Anchors 101, a day-long course from the UM Outdoor Program on Saturday, Oct. 8, that will orient you to anchors in theory and practice. Call 243-5172 to get specifics.

If you’ve got a family you want to take hiking this weekend—or you just aren’t sure you can leave them behind—then join the Rocky Mountaineers on Saturday, Oct. 8, for a series of family-oriented fall hikes near the Charles Waters Campground in Bass Creek. To join the all-ages hike, call 543-6508; moderate hiking around the Larry Creek Loop—6.5 miles with 700 feet of elevation gain—can be arranged with a call to 721-4686; call 240-7612 to join the crew summiting the more strenuous St. Mary’s Peak. Everyone invited will convene for a potluck at the campground afterward.

Back in town, the Rocky Mountaineers are planning their monthly meeting at Pipestone Mountaineering, 129 W. Front St., for 7 PM on Wednesday, Oct. 12. They’ll be screening Gassing The Big Sky, Gene the “Biking Viking” Bernofsky’s film about coalbed methane drilling.

Want to bring something back from the woods and still leave no trace? Look up Tim Cooper’s Wilderness Photography Workshop, taking place Friday, Oct. 7, through Sunday, Oct. 9, in Glacier National Park. You can reach Cooper by way of the Wilderness Institute at 243-5361.

Want to make sure you and your friends get back from the woods? Aerie Backcountry Medicine, in cooperation with The Glacier Institute, offers a Wilderness First Aid course Saturday, Oct. 8, and Sunday, Oct. 9, at the Big Creek Education Center near Glacier National Park. The 16-hour class combines classroom lectures with practical scenarios and includes an optional CPR class Friday, Oct. 6, from 5 to 9 PM. Call 542-9972 for details.

I’ve got some more bicycling opportunities for you if that’s what you want to do with your recreational respites. Why not try taking a mountain bike tour of the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area with a Forest Service bike ranger at 10 AM on Saturday, Oct. 8, during the next in a series of events planned to celebrate the impending 25th anniversary of the Rattlesnake’s designation as wilderness. Learn something about the wildlands at our back stoop and maybe find a trail or two you’ve never come across before.

A considerably more ambitious ride is also taking place on Saturday, Oct. 8, when the Missoula Institute for Sustainable Transportation sponsors a 130-mile benefit ride to Butte called the Tour de Montana. It’s not too late to join if you’ve got the legs. If you’ve got a donation, it’s definitely not too late to pledge. Call 880-6834 to get more info.

And, if you’re not sure your bike is up for the climb, you’ll probably be interested to learn about Missoula-based Ramblumtick Bikes at the Tuesday, Oct. 11, meeting of Missoulians on Bicycles, which takes place at 7 PM at Adventure Cycling’s 150 Pine St. office. Ramblumtick owner and operator Sam Hall will explain custom frame building during the meeting, so if you’ve ever wondered when they’ll make a frame that fits your stubby legs and gangly arms, maybe you can get some answers.

Send those answers along to me, along with whatever event info you can wrangle.

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