Friday, April 25, 2008

Alpine Road Trip

Thredbo Alpine Village is one of the few alpine destinations in Australia that is open year round. Snow in the winter and mountain bike trails in the summer makes it one of my favorite spots and is only a 2 hour drive from my home town. The mellow and relaxed village is kept alive throughout the summer with activities like mountain biking (XC/AM/DH/4X), hiking, alpine slide (bobsled), river fishing, access to the sports institute and people just chilling out.

The Trails

The XC/AM single tracks are multi-use trails shared with a few walkers. The single track is combined with some steep fire trail which provides a good physical challenge, especially at altitude. There are 3 main single tracks being the Pipeline Path, Bridal loop and the Meadows Single Track. The Pipeline is the tamest of the three single tracks but isn't necessarily a walk in the park either. It traverses across a hill and has a few tight corners along with some natural obstacles included. The Bridal Loop is a relatively slow and very technical at some points. The trail is narrow with moist dirt which offers plenty of traction. It is important to hold your line on the Bridal Loop as a short lapse in concentration can send you bumping through some large tufts of grass. The Meadows Single Track would have to be one of my favourite trails due to its height of technicality. To get to Meadows you need to ascend a bit of steep fire trail that is well worth the climb. The Meadows Single Track starts with a wooden bridge leading you across a river and into the dirt where a trail of non-stop rocks, roots, roll-overs and stairs await. I love this trail just because of how technical and rough it is; it is a great test of your balance and handling skills.

I think that Thredbo is set up with better facilities for the downhill market however. The top-top-bottom down hill trail is accessed by chairlift and has a combination of fast fire trail and specially built single track through the trees and meadow-like ski runs. This is a world class racing facility that is apart of the MTBA Australian Mountain Bike Series which shows that it is a high quality course.

The 4X track consists of dry, gravelly dirt with waist high berms and a set of jumps and stutter sections. It is a fun place to go after you take a lap of the mountain and is a great time to practice BMX track riding for supreme single track skills.

What You Need For Thredbo

To ride at Thredbo you can take your own equipment or you can hire everything from the local mountain bike centre rawNRG, including down hill equipment and lift tickets. There are guided tours on offer for both XC and DH trails, as well as a workshop there repairs can be done. Through the summer it can get pretty hot so take appropriate sun protection and plenty of water. The Village has plenty of restaurants/cafes for food and also has a small supermarket.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the comment on my blog Nate, looks good over here too! I've emailed about your request, looking forward to hearing from you.