After a night crossing on the ferry to The South Island we arrived bright and early into Picton (6:00AM!) and were waiting for the Café to open in Blenheim soon after 6:30 so that we could consume a substantial breakfast that would help sustain us up the first climb of the day, an 800m vertical climb/walk up a peak affectionately known as Beebys Knob before branching off along Maitland Ridge.
At 1350m we were high enough to catch some of the snow that fell earlier in the week, and at this time of the year it was no surprise that the track was mushy, that just added to the technical nature of this track.
Great riding through the stunted beech trees, plenty of mud and plenty of smiles.
The ride down past Red Hills Hut was fast and furious and the river crossings cold!
But everyone thought it was a great ride and were keen to get back there in the summer to see if those slippery climbs could be tamed.
The following day we headed west into the weather for a rain soaked trip down the Rameka, not the sort of day you get the camera out very much unless of course you have time
These guys enjoyed the ‘slightly’ muddy conditions!
we headed up Dun Mountain to have a go at the grade 4 — 5 trails known as Sunrise Ridge, Cranknstein and 629.
Sunrise Ridge has a few challenges along the way plenty of roots and rocks and then a few more roots before we entered the twilight zone and headed down Cranknstein …
the five of us generally agreed that to ride all of this trail involved commitment that we didn’t quite have as we wanted to go home with limbs in place and a complete set of teeth.
But the sections which were ridable, (for us,) were just great and 629 was more rideable with most riding pretty much the whole track. After descending fast enough to make your ears pop we cruised back into the city and topped up with beer and supplies and headed for the shower.
A zip up Barrnicot and down Involution finished off day four before a wild return trip on the ferry with 5m swells making a few of the guys feel worse than looking down the drops on Cranknstein!
As always there is great riding to be had in Nelson and as proudly stated by their MTB club: Nelson was recently rated by IMBA as a Gold Ride Centre – one of only six in the world.