* COLD, HARD FACTS: Every language has its poetry, even the specialized language of mountaineering. Jumar, glissade, prusik, adze, crampon. They're all sharp, odd-sounding words, vital to the experienced climber. Another is massif, which evokes imposing ice blocks and peaks most of us only can dream of ascending. But one who has is Dave Golden, who in December 2003 scaled the 16,067-foot Vinson Massif, the highest peak in Antarctica and one of the "Seven Summits," a famed collection ranked high in competitive peak-bagging. Golden, who slogged through temperatures that dipped to minus 30 degrees, will be the featured speaker at the Blue Ridge Section of the American Alpine Club's next get-together, which starts at about 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Rhodeside Grill, 1836 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Non-members are welcome. You may not have massifs on your climbing itinerary, but this is a good way to meet fellow enthusiasts and firm up plans for your next outing on nearby rocks. For more information, visit http://brs.alpineclub.org/. For more about the American Alpine Club, visit http://www.americanalpineclub.org/. . . . The Mountaineering Section of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club next will meet on Oct. 13 at PATC's headquarters at 118 Park St. SE, Vienna. Non-members are welcome. Food and drinks will be served at 7:30 p.m., followed by a business meeting and a slide show. For details and directions, visit http://www.patc.net/chapters


* SLIPPING INTO THE FUTURE: Each morning there are more and more fallen leaves outside the door. Relatively soon they'll be covered by sleet and snow. With that in mind, it's not too soon to plan your winter outings. On Tuesday at 7 p.m. Hudson Trail Outfitters will host cross-country skiing clinics at its stores in Gaithersburg (301-948-2474) and Towson, Md., (410-583-0494). The basics of skis, boots, clothing and poles will be covered, and you'll be able to ask staff members about techniques and places to visit. Be sure to call to reserve a spot. For more information, visit www.hudsontrail.com.

* WHERE ARE WE?: REI's College Park store will host an introduction to the sport of orienteering on Tuesday at 7 p.m., followed on Wednesday at 5 p.m. by an outdoor orienteering clinic at Greenbelt Park in Greenbelt. Both events are free. For details and directions, visit www.rei.com.

-- John Mullen