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  1. #1
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    Gallatin Crest Trail (Windy Pass -> Bozeman, MT)

    My goal for the summer was to ride (a portion of) the Gallatin Divide Trail
    which traces ridgelines between Bozeman & Yellowstone.

    I’d read it was an amazing(ly tough) ride so I packed overnight gear and
    split the (ridiculous) miles and elevation into two (longer and heavier) days.
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  2. #2
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    The climb up to Windy Pass (Cabin) and beyond isn't bad at all.

    My (then) 2 yo hiked portions last year.
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  3. #3
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    From the crest the views only got better (Lone Mtn @ Big Sky ski area off on right, Sphinx on left) making easy justification for picture / breathing breaks.
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  4. #4
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    The nicest (most ridable) singletrack was rumored to be in this section – and it was.
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  5. #5
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    I saw one person all day – a bow-hunter well BEFORE Windy Pass -- but I was never alone…
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  6. #6
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    Besides that there was still plenty of up…
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  7. #7
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    AND down to remain focused on…
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  8. #8
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    As the day wore on (and I wore out) the trail seemed to be getting rockier and rockier. (looking back saddle and trail from the last picture)
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  9. #9
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    And before I knew it (or wanted it to be) the moon was out and the sun was receding and I was running low on water…
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    Last edited by Montana Rider; 10-06-2009 at 09:33 PM.

  10. #10
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    I spent 2 hours (headlamp) hiking down (what would’ve been) really nice riding terrain to make camp at Crater Lake. One (purelle-aided)
    campfire later and I was eating ramen and off to sleep (a mere 20 yards or so) near 5 bugling (screeching is more accurate) elk.
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  11. #11
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    I was about 2/3 of the way back to the road but there was still plenty of singletrack) (climbing) before Hyalite Peak @ 10,300
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  12. #12
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    With the ‘end’ in sight, I (very slowly) charged on, upwards, always upwards.
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  13. #13
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    Thankfully I had plenty of reasons to stop and enjoy the view (of big horn sheep) and catch my breath
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  14. #14
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    And have a drink…
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  15. #15
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    My efforts were rewarded with views of the Absorokee-Beartooth, Bridger, Crazy, Gallatin, Madison, Spanish Peak and Tobacco
    Root mountain ranges. I’m headed back down (and beyond) the drainage right center, my bike is between Sphinx and Lone Peak.
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  16. #16
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    Not many pictures of the 3000’+ and 8 (?) miles of rocky, rooty trail (I prefer Emerald, thank you very much.) singletrack was over before I knew it and then just 23+ miles of (mostly) downhill
    roads between me, a shower and the best tasting beer of my life! (Hyalite Peak upper right, Hyalite Lake left center)

    *
    Tip one for Anthony Sloan.

    I never met him but like so many others was inspired by his art (as well as the many talented contemporary posters) and the lifestyle to which we all aspire
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  17. #17
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    Beautiful Pictures, what an adventure!

    I am very intrigued by bicycle camping, do you know how much did your pack weighed?

  18. #18
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    Great pictures!! What a ride that must of been.

  19. #19
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    Great photos, looks like a lot of fun. I can imagine not thinking about wearing sunscreen on that ride and getting absolutely fried!

  20. #20
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    I loved this post for the big views, the high country singletrack, and the dogged determination to cover some rough, high ground unsupported and alone. Nice work.
    The first mountain goat shot was really cool.

    Is this the area that is threatened by the dreaded Wilderness Designation? If so, that would be a shame to lose.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
    Isaiah 58:14

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  21. #21
    Currywurst
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    NICE..adventures are always fun in montana

  22. #22
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    Nice ride, how much of the trail did you actually travel on the bike?

    I hiked from the Hyalite TH out to the cabin and back in a day during the Devil's Backbone 50 miler this July. Seemed like most of the climbs, and quite a few of the descents, would be pushes.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob
    Is this the area that is threatened by the dreaded Wilderness Designation? .
    I believe it is.

  24. #24
    "Oldfart from Wayback"
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    Very nice !!

  25. #25
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    Flipping awesome!
    A bunch of my ride pics: http://uberfarm.com/mnf

  26. #26
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    In a word - stunning, spectacular, epic.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ionsmuse
    Nice ride, how much of the trail did you actually travel on the bike?

    I hiked from the Hyalite TH out to the cabin and back in a day during the Devil's Backbone 50 miler this July. Seemed like most of the climbs, and quite a few of the descents, would be pushes.
    There are numerous pushes in both directions, but it is 90-95% rideable. I love it, and rode sections up there 3 times this summer. I am looking forward to riding the whole route again next year.

    It would be neat to camp overnight somewhere, if I had the gear, but I have always been content to push through in a single long day.

    Montana rider, I like this post. thanks.
    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

  28. #28
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    Great passion post, pics and write up

  29. #29
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    This thread is so good

    It deserves a bump. This thread is a tribute to a great trail. Montana Rider found the soul of the ride.

    This trail is closed now. At least temporarily. It is not Wilderness, just closed in order to satisfy some people.

    I miss it.
    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

  30. #30
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    WOW!!!
    Amazing inspiration.

  31. #31
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    There is not a day that goes by where I don't think back fondly on this trip... especially now that I'm trying to get base miles and conditioning for this summer's adventure.

    I've learned my lesson though, re: WSA closure. If there is a trail that you want to ride, do it now!

    I'm thinking about another multi-day bikepacking trip for this summer's goal and remembered some glowing reports of the Swan Crest trail...

    Does anyone have any beta on that trail and a good route for a 2-3 day ride??

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montana Rider
    There is not a day that goes by where I don't think back fondly on this trip... especially now that I'm trying to get base miles and conditioning for this summer's adventure.

    I've learned my lesson though, re: WSA closure. If there is a trail that you want to ride, do it now!

    I'm thinking about another multi-day bikepacking trip for this summer's goal and remembered some glowing reports of the Swan Crest trail...

    Does anyone have any beta on that trail and a good route for a 2-3 day ride??
    Great post, thanks for sharing.

    I don't know anything about Swan Crest, but I'd sure like to hear more.

    And, here's another idea for a 2-3 dayer. Actually, if you keep reading through the newer posts from this one, there are actually two good 2-3 days trips recounted there.

    Cheers,

    MC

  33. #33
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    I've ridden the Alpine Trail #7 from Strawberry Lake, north to Columbia Mountain and then down to the valley floor. I thought it was a really fun, fantastic ride. There are a couple of bailouts that will take you down to Hungry Horse reservoir, if the weather gets nasty (Lost Johnny and Dorris Creek). It's a long haul back to Columbia Falls if you take one of the bailouts, but at least you're safer at lower elevations.

    You can start further south, but you'll have to detour around Jewel Basin Hiking area.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Great post, thanks for sharing.

    I don't know anything about Swan Crest, but I'd sure like to hear more.

    And, here's another idea for a 2-3 dayer. Actually, if you keep reading through the newer posts from this one, there are actually two good 2-3 days trips recounted there.

    Cheers,

    MC
    Mike, sadly, this ride was just closed too. At least the first 2 days that you rode through Lima Peaks and Italian Peak. West of Italian Peak and Morrison Lake the CDT is open , but two portions of it in the West Big Hole are presently in a Wilderness bill. Ride the West Big Hole this summer, maybe for the last time! These closures are heart wrenching and entirely unnecessary.
    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregB406
    Mike, sadly, this ride was just closed too. At least the first 2 days that you rode through Lima Peaks and Italian Peak. West of Italian Peak and Morrison Lake the CDT is open , but two portions of it in the West Big Hole are presently in a Wilderness bill. Ride the West Big Hole this summer, maybe for the last time! These closures are heart wrenching and entirely unnecessary.
    Well what the fack. So frustrating to see these senseless closures. I don't want to ride *anything* and know that it's for the last time!

  36. #36
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    Great pics, Thanks for sharing.
    " Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats."
    H.L. Mencken

  37. #37
    It's carbon dontcha know.
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    I'm late to the party, but great trip, such a shame it's now off limits.

  38. #38
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    burn in hell donald malloy

  39. #39
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    I had no idea bikers were having it so hard w/ this wilderness bs too.
    Being new to mtbing... but been around this kinda crap in regards to snowmobiling for quite some time.

    Anything to bring misery to an otherwise happy population/sport...sometimes seems to be the master plan of these "people".


    Great pics and write up though! Thank you.
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  40. #40
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    this is so cool

    I was unaware of this research. I was surfing around and found this extensive piece on the hyalite geology by Tyson, a regular MTBR contributor.
    http://serc.carleton.edu/research_ed...s/hyalite.html
    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

  41. #41
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    Greg, why haven't I heard about this most recent closure you mention in Lima/Italian Peaks? Where might I find the info?

  42. #42
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    Great write up, epic ride in big country with little trails. Did you sleep in a bivy or just on the pad with a bag or quilt? Your load looked extremely light you didn't even have anything strapped to your bike..

  43. #43
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    I meant to snap a shot of my shelter before breaking camp but I bought a Wild Oasis (see below) -- it's so small & light I plan to keep it in my normal day bag for emergency overnights.

    Mostly I tried to pick a dry two-day window and would've slept fine under the stars or my lightweight silicone tarp I normally use as a tent groundcloth.

    I had an old 30 degree down bag stuffed in the backpack too; that & food were the two biggest size / weight hogs.

    I went back and forth with bringing a bigger backpacking style pack with more stuff or going the minimal route with my smallest daypack.

    I did a shakedown overnighter a few weeks prior on the Curly Lake Highline trail and realized that minimizing weight and bulk were key for keeping the bike handling as close to normal and maximizing actual ride time as opposed to taking my bike for a walk.

    Wild Oasis

    This sub pound tarp/tent provides ample shelter for the ultralight hiker on the go!

    With a zippered vestibule door and No-see-um mesh skirt, you'll have excellent protection no matter how wild your campsite.

    Weight: 14 oz.
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by afraid
    Greg, why haven't I heard about this most recent closure you mention in Lima/Italian Peaks? Where might I find the info?
    The info may be deep in the Beaverhead Deerlodge Forest website. Basically the MMBA exhausted the appeal process, Region One stood their ground by not adjusting any boundaries, and finally the papers were signed June 1 that officially closed about 16 Recommended Wilderness Areas to bicycling in that forest. We have missed putting this on our MMBA website. It is announced on MMBA facebook.

    All of those areas, plus others are in Sen. Tester's bill. Both IMBA and the MMBA has been trying for 8 months to get some minor adjustments, about 5%, within the bill. Testers staff has so far given in on about 1% of the bill for bicyclists. If you want to help out backcountry bicycling, call Sen. Tester's Missoula office right away and implore them to stop dragging their feet on the remaining adjustments! (406) 728-3003

    Sorry, this is off the topic of Montana Riders great post.
    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

  45. #45
    BMX:Our Shining Future
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    I'm lovin' it MT Rider. Hi greg!

  46. #46
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    Hi Dave. Yeah, MT rider has a great take on what mountain biking is. Kindof an anti-Arnott? Anyway, I want to ride with him sometime this summer.
    I don't know what trail we're on, but at least it's getting dark

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