Like a lot of the alpine resorts in Australia and around the world, the ski season and snow fields only provides for (at most) 6 months of recreation & activities.
As such, many venues are realising that you can re-provision trails, or create new trails for Mountain Biking.
The facilities are all in place, just sunny & hot, instead of snowy and cold !
I’ve ridden some of the trails at Mt.Buller – and I’ve been keen to do some summer riding at Lake Mountain – as it’s only 1.5 hours from my house – just past Marysville.
I know most of the area pretty well – a high-school buddy of mine had a bush-shack / holiday house up at Buxton, just down the hill from Marysville.
The trail I rode is entitled “Granite Grind” (#7 on the map) – there are a few other trails, including some beginner forest trails, as well as the main 12km singletrack loop, over the top of the Lake Mountain summit.
There is also an “advanced” track under development also (#8 – not on the map yet)
With the “2011 Granite Grind” event happening in Feburary (26th), the trails are still in preparation, and a little over grown with grass & weeds – thanks to the recent rain, and then sunshine.
But – the core trail is awesome.
Winding back-and-forth up the mountain until the summit – with a great view across the valley.
The trails were fairly grassy underfoot (underwheel !?) and I was surprised to see many (MANY) spiders across the track – a little blurry in this photo – sorry !
I must have been the first dude through on the day – so I was the spider-clearer. I had to stop a dozen times or more – to flick them off my arms, and handlebars. It was almost getting annoying – hindering my “flow”.
I ended up aiming for them in their web, and then they would just roll underneath the front wheel. [not sure what type of spider they were – green’ish/gold – perhaps an “orb” spider ?]
Anyways – that’s the thing about MTB’ing – always have to remember that Mother Nature is in charge…
After the summit, there are some great rocky sections, rock gardens, and some flowing up-and-down sections – with some wood bridges, and berms built into the side of the hill with wooden planks, and rocks.
Then – you cross over the main bitumen access road (CAUTION !) – and some more flowing downhill a little more into the valley.
Then – it’s all winding UP-hill back to the car park – I was pretty knackered by then – good challenging ride !
A great trail – will be awesome to try it with a group of people – and take turns to be spider-clearer’s – or to compete in the 2011 Granite Grind competition event in late Feb.
Unfortunately, I’ll be overseas, and so I will miss the event – but perhaps I’ll head up to Lake Mountain shortly after that (mid-March ?).
The trails should hopefully be cleared of undergrowth, and flattened & smoother (ie. faster) after 100’s of people been through on the day.
And – I wonder if it’s worth trying a SNOW RIDE – maybe sometime in June / July !?
Click here to see a few more photos and reviews from ROTORBURN (Buxton first up – scroll down to see pics from Lake Mountain).
Here’s the trail I rode – via EveryTrail – awesome iPhone app !
Thanks Lake Mountain – see you again soon !