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Mountain High


For many of you, Labor Day weekend means packing up the car, getting out of Dodge, and heading to the nearest vast expanse of wooded land for a weekend of good old fashioned backcountry adventure. If you're all about tradition, then go ahead, stick to that routine. For others, I've got something else adventurous (and benevolently laborious) that's closer to home. I'm talking about the Montana Campus Compact Garden City Triathlon, a race at Frenchtown Pond State Park in Frenchtown on Sat., Sept. 4, that features a 1.5k open-water swim, a flat and speedy 40k bike ride, plus a sole-a-riffic 10k run. It starts at 9 AM, is open to individuals and teams, and also includes food, an awards ceremony and a kids' triathlon. The cost for the race was $100 per team/$45 per individual up until Sept. 1, but since we're past that date, I'd expect to be paying some sort of late fee. Registration closes at 11:59 PM on Thu., Sept. 2, so RSVP quick by visiting /GCT.htm. One more thing, this race also benefits UM's Campus Compact, just so you know. Call Dean at 243-5177.

After you register for that race, hightail it over to UM's Urey Underground Lecture Hall at 7 PM Thu., Sept. 2, so you can go deep with an adventurer during a screening of 180° South: Conquerors of the Useless, a documentary about a man who retraces the path of the legendary 1968 expedition to Patagonia by climbers Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins. It costs $10 at the door or $8 advance at the Trail Head, and also serves as benefit for the Montana chapter of the Montana-Patagonia Partners of the Americas. See our Agenda section for more info on the movie, as well as the partnership.

Wake up on Fri., Sept. 3, with a beautiful mountain on your mind so you can sign up to hike something similar when UM's Outdoor Program presents its first of two Cha-paa-qn Day Hikes, which occurs on Mon., Sept. 6. Registration is due by Sept. 3 for this jaunt, which is an eight-mile roundtrip hike to this summit northwest of Missoula. $30 per person, includes transportation and guides. Call 243-5172 to RSVP.


On Sat., Sept. 4, see if you can bust out some Jesse Owens-like running moves in order to beat out some seasoned runners during the UM Cross Country Trail Run, a 5k race where you see if you can keep up with members of UM's Cross Country team that begins with registration at 7:45 AM, followed by the race at 9 AM, at the Montana DNRC Trails, near 27th Avenue and Spurgin Road. $20, with a T-shirt included. Oh yeah, walkers are welcome too. Call Phil at505-417-6977.

You need not worry about going into labor—well, unless you have a rugrat on the way—during the 8 Hours of Labor Mountain Bike Race, which occurs on Sat., Sept. 4, from 9 AM–5 PM at the Homestake Lodge just east of Butte. It consists of a seven-mile loop of double-track and single-track trails on U.S. Forest Service land, and the course itself is described as speedy and rolling. The cost to ride varies from $120 for teams of four, to $40 for solo riders. You also need a USA Cycling license to participate, and you can buy one-day licenses on-site on race day for $5. Visit Hours of Labor.pdf for a downloadable registration form, and visit for directions. Call Chris at 585-8052.

Don't get too freaked out on Sun., Sept. 5, as you'll need plenty of confidence to kick some running butt during the third annual Scary Forest 10k, which begins at 10 AM at Rattlesnake Elementary School, 1220 Pineview Drive. $20 fee for the race, with proceeds going to benefit the Watson Children's Shelter and Big Sky High School Cross Country Team. E-mail for a registration form.

Get intimate with basic strokes and rolls when you sign up on Mon., Sept. 6, for the UM Outdoor Program's Fundamentals of Whitewater Kayaking course, which begins Thu., Sept. 9, at 8:30 PM at UM's Grizzly Pool. The class covers instruction on the basics, plus info on how to read whitewater, as well as general safety tips. It also includes field trips to the Clark Fork and Blackfoot Rivers. $185. Call 243-5172 to RSVP.

Go ahead and dress up like John Muir just for the heck of it during the Montana Natural History Center's (MNHC) Montana Master Naturalist Class, a six-week course that begins Tue., Sept. 7, from 4–7 PM at the Montana Natural History Center, 120 Hickory St. It runs every Tuesday and Thursday at the same time until Oct. 14, and includes three full-day field trips. $295, with a $50 deposit. Call 327-0405 to RSVP, and do it quick, as this class is expected to fill up.

On Wed., Sept. 8, figure out how to fly fish like a pro from a man in the know when you sign-up for the UM Outdoor Program sponsored Fly Fishing Class, which is taught by local fly fishing guru George Kesel and begins Thu., Sept. 9, in Room 202 of UM's Jeannette Rankin Hall. $52, with two field trips on the river included. Call 243-5172 to RSVP and for details.

Another option to tie a fly, cast your rod, read the water and land a fish comes when the Blackfoot River Outfitters presents a Fly Fishing Class on Thu., Sept. 9, behind the Doubletree Hotel, 100 Madison St. $75. Call 542-7411 to RSVP and for more details.

Finish off the week with an intro to backpacking and its associated gear when Missoula REI presents its Backpacking Basics class, which begins at 7 PM at the store, 3275 N. Reserve St. Ste. K-2. Free. RSVP by visiting

Now go cast, rattle and roll my peoples!

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