Guide Focus: St. George, UT
In the latest edition of our “Guide Focus” series, we’ll get a closer look at the guys who run the show in St. George, Monte and Jake. Monte is the owner of Utah Mountain Biking Adventures and our main man on the ground, while Jake is the lead guide for the operation. There’s a good chance that if you’ve ridden St. George with us, you’ve been fortunate enough to hear one of Monte’s many stories about the intricacies of the area, or you’ve had an hours-long discussion with Jake about who-knows-what. They both love talking and riding, and can do both together quite well!
My wife and I moved to Virgin, Utah full-time in 2010; we had been coming to the area since 2002 and when the opportunity to become “full-time” presented itself we jumped on it.
Which bike are you riding these days?
Monte: My quiver consists of BMC Trail Fox Trail Crew, 27.5 set up 150mm front and rear, an Intense Spider 29er and a Voodoo Sukroi steel 29er hard tail. I find myself migrating to the hard tail or the big bike. I’m very fortunate to have a great selection to fit our wide variety of trails in our area.
Trail bike: BMC Trailfox 01
Xc bike: Giant Anthem Advanced 0
Fat bike: Borealis Yampa
Road bike: Giant Defy Advanced SL 0
Cross bike: Giant TCX 2
What is your favorite part about the job?
Monte: Boy, that’s a difficult question because it’s all a blast but if I must choose…. Its the smile on someone’s face who’s had an incredible experience which exceeded their expectations.
Jake: Watching people experience our area for the first time. I also love it when a client asks for coaching to clear an obstacle and is then successful. The clients joy is contagious.
What is your favorite trail to guide in the St. George area and why?
Monte: Crud…I knew you were going to ask this. If I HAD to chose one it’s Little Creek Mesa. While Gooseberry Mesa get the press, Little Creek is my favorite. Gooseberry is like a carnival, all kinds of stuff coming at you in quick succession. Little Creek is more like a theme park….awesome rides with nice single track connecting them all.
Jake: Little Creek Mesa. It’s not as well known as some of our other trails. I love the mix of terrain and tech, all while experiencing the best views.
Other than St.George, what are the top one or two places you have been to ride?
Monte: I love Sun Valley and Stanley and so does my wife who also rides and of course Moab. Who doesn’t like Moab?
Jake: Park City, Utah and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Being a desert rider, I love being able to get some high alpine single track. Our local trails are very technically demanding and sometimes it’s nice just to fly along buff, flowy trails.
Which locations are on your bucket list?
Monte: Whistler…need to make it there soon.
Jake: Sedona, Arizona, anywhere in Arkansas, and Pisgah.
What do you like to do when you are not guiding or mountain biking?
Monte: Well here goes…. I am an avid equestrian and when I am not peddling my eight year old Paso Fino, Perseus and I enjoy seeking adventure together.
Jake: Going off roading/rock crawling with my wife in our Jeep and exploring the back roads of the US on my Harley.