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Mountain High


Just a few years ago, Victor resident and outdoor adventurer Skip Horner almost met his fate. He was guiding on a mountain in Nepal and got caught in an avalanche. The mass of snow swept him 1,000 feet down the mountain, but somehow he miraculously survived. Another time, Horner was guiding a crew that was attempting to ascend the highest peak in Greenland when a cyclonic storm hit. In a recent e-mail to the Indy, Horner describes that particular situation as "hellish."

With 30 plus years of adventuring under his boots, Horner has certainly had his brushes with danger, but he also says the majority of his trips have been successful. One such jaunt includes guiding the "7 Summits," also known as the highest peaks in each continent. Horner says he was the first person to do this.

You'll be able to hear more about his accomplishments and close calls with gaia this week when he hosts a talk about his outdoor pursuits, and presents photos and a video from several of his trips. Besides a wild night of storytelling, Horner's talk also benefits the West Central Montana Avalanche Foundation, a local nonprofit that provides avalanche safety education and awareness through snow reports and clinics.

Skip Horner presents "Hot Water and Cold Hell: Speed Bumps on the Road to Adventure" on Wed., Jan. 26, at 7 PM at the Trail Head, 221 E. Front St. $5. Call 543-6966.


Figure out where you are or where you want to be when trekking it in the woods when REI MIssoula presents its "GPS Basics" class, which features info on GPS setup, capturing and navigating waypoints, and working with coordinates, starting at 6:30 PM at REI, 3275 N. Reserve St. Ste. K-2. Free. RSVP quickly by visiting


Shoot to thrill during the Seeley Lake Challenge Biathlon, the highlight of the three-day Seeley Lake Area Winterfest. The race offers contests for greenhorns and seasoned racers alike (including a 10K ski race with 10 targets). Load up on info at or call 677-2880.


Slap on your snowshoes and get ready for a chill adventure during the Montana Natural History Center's (MNHC) "Saturday Discovery Day: Winter Ecology of the Clearwater Canoe Trail," a snowshoeing trip just north of Seeley Lake with naturalist Hobie Hare that offers the chance to learn how birds and mammals "make a living" during the winter, among other topics, starting with a meet-up at 8 AM at the MNHC, 120 Hickory St. $45/$35 MNHC members. Call 327-0405 to RSVP.

Hit up the slopes with your skis like the mountaineer you truly are during the Whitefish Mountain Resort's Whitefish Whiteout Ski Mountaineering Race, which features two courses for racers to choose from and begins at 9 AM, with day-of registration starting at 7:45 AM, all at the resort, 3896 Big Mountain Road. $45 to participate in the race course, and $25 to participate in the recreation course. Call 862-2990 and visit

Earn the nickname "Camel Spinner" when the Missoula Figure Skating Club presents its "Learn to Skate Basic Skills" class, which meets for eight weeks starting at 10 AM today at the Glacier Ice Rink, 1101 South Ave. W. $110 for the eight-week session. Visit for more info and to download a registration form.

Hit some awesome terrain on your skis or snowboard when The Backwoods Project presents "Ride Montana," a public terrain park for skiers and snowboarders at Marshall Mountain, 5250 Marshall Canyon Road, that opens at 10 AM today and tomorrow, and is followed by contests each day at 1 PM including a best trick contest slated for Saturday and a Rail Jam on Sunday. $10 to ride each day, plus an additional $5 to ride in the contests. Visit for details.

Kids ages 5 and up figure out how animals survive our brutally long and cold Montana winters when the Montana Natural History Center (MNHC) presents its "Saturday Kids' Activity: Hibernation Celebration," which begins at 2 PM at the MNHC, 120 Hickory St. $3/$1 MNHC members. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Call 327-0405 and visit


Run and walk your way to victory at Run Wild Missoula's Jeff Galloway Run/Walk Missoula Marathon Training Class, a class that offers Galloway's comprehensive training program for those planning to participate in the Missoula Marathon, which meets every Sun. at 8 AM and every Wed. at 6 PM up until the marathon in July, all at Runner's Edge, 325 N. Higgins Ave. $125/$100 Run Wild Missoula Members. Visit


Sprint with a cold one and perhaps a JJ's Chicken Fried Steak on your mind during Run Wild Missoula's Beer Run, a group run of five miles that begins at 6 PM at The Oxford Saloon, 337 N. Higgins Ave., and ends with a beer at the establishment. Free. Visit


Learn how to alert others when in danger of being swallowed up by snow during an Avalanche Transceiver Clinic, which runs from 4:30–8:30 PM at UM's Outdoor Program in the Fitness and Recreation Building. $15. RSVP by Jan. 25 by calling 243-5172.

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