You're an avid outdoors person, and for that reason you're all about the whole sustainability idea. You probably try to use your bike—cruiser, unicycle, mountain bike or rickshaw—as a principal mode of transportation even in icy weather. You buy locally produced/grown food (even emu) where possible and you prefer using candles to light your apartment rather than those mercury-laden fluorescent light bulbs. Well, maybe not the last part, but I bet I'm right on the mark with everything else I've mentioned. And the reason you do all of this, besides moral superiority, is for the Earth, right?
This week you can get a little something extra in return for your green lifestyle during Bozeman's Bridger Bowl Three on a Wheel ski deal, where participants get a $15 lift ticket on Fri., Jan. 15, by carpooling to Bridger with three or more shredders in tow. Enticed? Make sure you've got more than two peeps in your car and rise early in the morning so you can make it to the bowl by the time it opens at 9 AM. And yes, I know that getting to Bridger means burning up fossil fuels, but carpooling seems better than having three gas hogs on the road, don't you think? Visit bridgerbowl.com and call 587-2111.
Those of you who want to see some expert skiers hit some wicked moguls, rock aerial jumps and bust freestyle moves ought to stay homebound on Fri., Jan. 15, and head up to our jutting neighbor known as Montana Snowbowl to catch the 2010 Northern Division Freestyle competition. While the event officially started for competitors on Thu., Jan. 14, spectators will want to scurry up to the Bowl at 11 AM on Fri., Jan. 15 to catch the aerial competition, followed by a slopestyle event. Sat., Jan. 16 and Sun., Jan. 17 also offers the opportunity to catch skiers navigating an array of bumpy terrains during the mogul contests. All events are free to watch. Visit ndfreestyle.com and click over to "event schedule" for a full list of happenings, as well as for more info for those of ye who think you've got the skills to burn it up on the slopes. Call Snowbowl at 549-9777 for questions, and click to montanasnowbowl.com.
For a taste of something less cutthroat, join Shawn Bennett of the Rocky Mountaineers at 7:30 AM on Sat., Jan. 16, for what's rumored to be a chill backcountry ski/snowshoeing trip up to Gash Point in the Bitterroots. You'll glide on your skis and stomp around in your snowshoes for an estimated 8.5 miles. The plan is to meet at 7:30 AM at the old Big Lots parking lot, off of Brooks St., but hurry quick and call Shawn at 493-4892 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to finalize plans, or he'll likely call off the voyage. For updates on future trips, click to rockymountaineers.com.
Cross country skiing and bird watching go together like fried chicken and mashed taters on Sat., Jan. 16, when members of the Flathead Audubon Society embark on a free avian sightseeing trip starting with a meet up at 8 AM, at the trailhead near the concession barn on Apgar Lookout Road. Expect your sights to be tickled when you see what could be American dippers, bald eagles and waterfowl. Give Steve Gniadek a ring at 892-7406 to RSVP and for detailed directions. Visit flatheadaudubon.org.
Sat., Jan. 16 also offers parents who've slacked on bonding with their kids the chance to avoid any future animosity from their children during the Missoula Children and Nature Network's free cross country ski outing for children and their families, which starts by meeting at 9:30 AM at UM's Dornblaser Field parking lot. Once you and your child aged 8 and up are suited up and booted up, you'll explore the Pattee Canyon Recreation Area, and enlighten yourself with info about winter ecology thanks to the helpful guides with trip sponsor Missoula Outdoor Learning Adventures (MOLA). Also, don't stress if you don't have equipment. Just hurry and give Porter Hammitt with MOLA a call at 240-4258 by 4 PM, Fri., Jan 15, so you can secure free ski gear for the jaunt. For other questions, call Ian Foster at 396-9562 and visit missoulaoutdoors.com as well as missoulachildrenandnature.org.
Yet another cross country ski happening is ready to be tapped on Sat., Jan. 16, at 10 AM at the Pattee Canyon trails when Kellie Carim of the Missoula Nordic Ski Club presents an all level skate ski clinic. Meet at the sign on the north side trail, and keep your eyes glued to missoulanordic.org for any changes in venue, since conditions could dictate a switcheroo in plans. Also, the event appears to be free, but if you'd like to participate in other club events, I think they'd like your freeloading butt to join their club (check their website for more info).
Finally, once you've fully squeezed out the last drops of your enthusiasm for Nordic skiing, at least for the week, you should rest your weary body for a few days in order to learn how to tie a fly for your upcoming angling adventures during the Missoulian Angler's series of fly-tying classes, with the first starting at 7 PM on Thu., Jan 21, at the Missoulian Angler Fly Shop, 401 S. Orange St. $7. Open to ages 12 and up. Call 728-7766.
And here's one last adventure for your eager hooves, but space is limited so I'd recommend calling as soon as you can: Pipestone Mountaineering and Marshall Mountain sponsor a snowshoe adventure in the backcountry of Marshall Mountain that starts at 10 AM on Sat., Jan. 23. Besides exploring snowy terrains, the class covers avalanche awareness and snow shelter building. $21/$17 with resident discount card. The deadline to sign up is Thu., Jan. 21, so hurry and call Missoula Parks and Rec at 552-6271.
Now go out there and teach the snow who's boss, but in a sustainable way, ya dig?