After the fires, finally autumn is providing time to hit the best Aussie non-snow mountain adventures, like tackling the Thredbo Valley MTB Trail – which stacks up with Australia’s best says Steve Leeder. He’s as crazy about biking in summer as he is backcountry skiing in winter.
What if I told you there is a MTB ride that goes for 54 kilometres and has a vertical descent of just over 5,000 meters and you don’t have to go to Tasmania or somewhere overseas? Oh, and you don’t have to do the climbing, most of it is taken care of by a chairlift. If you do it right it can end with probably the most amazing European cheese fondue you will ever have.
Last week I joined the guys from Sacred Ride in Jindabyne for a magical adventure in their back yard. We all met at their shop in town and loaded the shuttle trailer to get us to Thredbo Resort, where we got ready and jumped on the chairlift to ride up to Eagles Nest.
The start of the adventure follows the All Mountain Trail giving you vistas all the way down the valley. It’s such a fun trail that winds the very exciting winter section of Michael’s Mistake ski run.
New this season on the hill that you can incorporate into this epic adventure is Ricochet trail, really fun and flowy, with some awesome rock roll overs. Watch out for the gap on the second one, I’ve seen a couple friends get caught on that.
Once you have made it to the actual Thredbo Valley Trail the real adventure begins. Massive bridges over the Thredbo River that give you the best views of the fast flowing river. It weaves through some very old growth forest on some very exciting trails. We started with about 30 people at the top and ended up very spaced out as we very quickly got into the groove of the trail.
If you are not up to smashing it out in a few hours, you can give yourself the whole day and stop at so many of the different look outs and rest stops. You can even pull into the Alpine Larder Cafe at Lake Crackenback for a coffee, a beer, or anything in between.
And food, recommended before you get into the real technical section of the trail. Winding switch backs and steep climbs make the rest of the trail not for the faint of heart. One of the best things about this trail is having the sound of the thundering water right beside you the whole way.
The cruisy ride into town on a mellow single track winding beside Lake Jindabyne was a great warm down after all the tech and speed from the previous 40kms.
By the time we made it back to the shop there were cold beers and champagne in the eskys waiting for us, and Nick had been melting the cheese getting everything ready for the fondue.
Now a lot of people would say that loads of warm cheese and beer is not the best thing for your body after that big of an epic ride, but I personally think it couldn’t be done any other way.
I’ve ridden the EPIC Trail in Victoria, and a lot of other trails around that people call an adventure ride, and the Thredbo Valley MTB Trail easily stands up to them all. It has to be on your bucket list of must ride’s in the country.
Thank you to Sacred Ride for organizing everything for us to make this ride happen and to Thredbo Resort for helping me out to get up to the top. Next time I will be making sure I am in a bit better shape. OK, a whole tonne better shape, before I set off on this one again.
NB: Beginners can ride the first section of the Thredbo Valley MTB Trail as far as the Ranger Station. Beyond that, best leave it to the advanced crew.
For the full low down and Thredbo’s amazing Mountain Bike Park variety check their summer acitivities site here.