January Mountain Biking at Pipestone

Could be skiing…
The snowpack in Southwest Montana has been treacherous most of the winter which has kept me out of the backcountry and therefore out of backpacking or touring. I’m an active individual and I’ve been able to keep myself occupied snowboarding at the resort and doing a lot of cycling.
Nope, going biking…
A group of friends and I decided to take the cycling thing off the roads and onto the trails due to some unseasonably warm weather the area has been experiencing. This group of cyclists has been heading to this location for years for winter riding as there exists an interesting micro-climate in area that keeps the trails relatively snow-free most of the winter.
We went riding on Sunday, January 18th, 2009 near Whitehall, Montana at a place referred to as Pipestone. It is known for it’s bike trails, ORV trails, as well as it’s rock climbing and bouldering. While riding we saw ATVs, dirt bikes, and even a couple climbers – all out to drink in the near tropical heat we’ve been having.
Joyous winter biking…
We rode for a couple hours stopping often to fix various mechanical issues – a common problem on the first ride of the year I suppose. I have no idea how many miles we put on but I’d venture to guess ten or more miles. The trails we were riding (and wrenching) on were a combination of frozen sand, ice, snow, and mud. We all ended up nice and dirty which is a sign of a quality off road ride.
The Bozeman crew…
Riders present were Casey, John, Katie, Sam, Seth, and Steve representing a varied cross section of abilities. I do not remember the last time I went off road cycling so I was very excited to be on the trail going fast (and very, very slow at times) through single track, dirt roads, and icy and snowy treads of all varieties.
Audio visual…
To better memorialize the trip I put together a video montage of the day’s riding. My photo are also available from the day at my Flickr page, Pipestone Mountain Biking as well as via the thumbnails below.

Photos of a great day…

Seth fixing his ride Katie Steve and Casey Casey Casey post-crash Katie, Casey, and Steve
Casey and Katie Seth John Steve Casey Schmidt and Specialized
Seth, John, Steve, Casey, and Katie Steve midair Steve midair Sam pissing Steve on take-off Casey photographing
Steve midair Casey Steve Steve on take-off Steve landing Steve dropping in
IMG_4607.JPG Sunset Katie, Steve, and Casey
  • Chris Wallace


  • samh

    Thanks, Chris. I swear I’ll go backpacking sometime soon and blog about that as well ; )

  • Martin Rye

    I enjoyed that Sam. PTC said a dirty bike is a happy bike. That trail would have put a smile on my face riding it. I ain’t got my mountain bike out in a long time…I must get round to it.

  • samh

    Our bikes were dirty, we were dirty, the trail was dirty… yep, all around dirty for sure. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been mountain biking ‘proper’ so it was nice to get out of my usual cycle commuting routine and go ride purely for fun – – and in the woods too!