The White Stuff

Filmmaker Warren Miller is to skiing what Bruce Brown is to surfing. Brown's instant-classic flicks The Endless Summer (1966) and Endless Summer II: The Journey Continues (1994) follow two generations of surfers seeking the perfect wave. The prolific Miller averages a film a year, and all deal with winter-sports fanatics who travel the world in search of death-defying thrills. Miller's latest effort, the globetrotting Higher Ground, zooms around the planet from France to Switzerland to Middle of Nowhere, Alaska, scene of the annual Arctic Man fest (think Burning Man with frostbite). Higher Ground screens at 8 p.m. Friday, December 2, at Gammage Auditorium, and the same time Saturday, December 3, at the Orpheum Theatre. Gammage is located at 1200 South Forest in Tempe (tickets are $21.50; call 480-965-3434). The Orpheum's at 203 West Adams (tickets are $17; call 602-262-7272). -- Clay McNear

Braking Away
Dust Devil of a time

SAT 12/3
Use the brakes sparingly and try not to run anyone over. These somewhat conflicting mantras will guide riders as they test their mettle in the Dust Devil Mountain Bike Races at Estrella Mountain Regional Park, 14805 West Vineyard Avenue. Competitors can choose between a 48-mile endurance ride and shorter cross-country races that vary from six to 35 miles depending on age and skill level. All races include a technical loop that features steep climbs (where walking your bike might be faster than riding it) followed by sharp drops (where you might feel more comfortable dismounting). Race-day registration is $25 to $45. The wheels start rolling at 7 a.m. Saturday, December 3. Call 480-460-5052 or visit -- Douglas Towne

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Clay McNear
Contact: Clay McNear
Douglas Towne