Going West

Christchurch – Buller

Hanmer Trails

Date: 26 Jan 23
Grade: 2,3

While waiting for Jill to do the Heaphy Track I decided to get my legs back into action after 6 weeks of Covid-inspired inactivity. I decided to try the local bike park, even though they are not my favorite thing, and this one reinforced my prejudices. I just prefer tracks that go somewhere, I guess, and a lot of these are in pine forest so I’d rather not, thanks all the same. Nevertheless, 30 odd km as a warm up, and some of those tracks are probably quite good if you’re into MTBing as a sport.

I love it that the local hardware store is a Hammer Hardware franchise

Total distance: 27.56 km
Max elevation: 482 m
Min elevation: 349 m
Total climbing: 729 m
Total descent: -726 m
Total time: 02:20:48
Download file: Hanmer trails.gpx

Jacks + Jollies

Date: 27 Jan 23
Grade: 3

The next day was better. The famous Jacks Pass/Jollies Pass Loop with a side order of the Peter Loop from the St James Homestead. The climb up Jacks was a bit of an effort, using 30% of the battery in the first 8km climbing 500m, and I even used turbo briefly for the first time since I’ve had this bike. Total climbing for the day was about 980m, and the drop down Jollies pass was not the exhilarating ride I had been anticipating, with ruts, rocks and a long stretch of 15°-21° making me brake heavily most of the way. DO NOT attempt to go up this way unless you are much younger, fitter and crazier than me.

Total distance: 53.01 km
Max elevation: 922 m
Min elevation: 363 m
Total climbing: 1232 m
Total descent: -1231 m
Total time: 04:35:26
Download file: NZ Jacks Jollies loop+.gpx

Old Ghost Road – Lyell Hut only

Date: 28 Jan 23
Grade: 3

When they say 17km up, they mean “UP”, and the 17km down has to be one of the best sustained downhill runs anywhere. You need to be fairly experienced in riding on rough to very rough surfaces, with narrow tracks, tight switchbacks and a few unfenced scary drop offs. The view from Lyell Hut makes it all worth it, and the wekas up at hut will have a great time wrecking your bike while you take photos.

Total distance: 34.19 km
Max elevation: 875 m
Min elevation: 102 m
Total climbing: 944 m
Total descent: -910 m
Total time: 03:15:43
Download file: OGR Lyell Hut.gpx

Kawatiri Trail | Westport

Date: 29 Jan 23
Grade: 2

Good work, team. An easy cruise on well-formed tracks (and a curious wide smooth tarsealed section), a boardwalk through some bush as you leave Westport, a 10 minute stroll to gawp at some seals, and enough variety of track styles and views to keep you happy all the way. Grade 1 & 2 and we’ll go back to do the rest when they complete it all the way to Charleston.

Total distance: 47.83 km
Max elevation: 50 m
Min elevation: -0 m
Total climbing: 507 m
Total descent: -507 m
Total time: 03:18:14
Download file: Kawatiri01.gpx


Date: 31 Jan 23
Grade: 2

Coal mining history pours out every corner of the Denniston Plateau. There’s apparently a network of good MTB trails, and we just cruised around looking the old stuff while Jill did location spotting for Denniston Rose settings.

Total distance: 16.58 km
Max elevation: 652 m
Min elevation: 549 m
Total climbing: 457 m
Total descent: -450 m
Total time: 04:11:41
Download file: Denniston.gpx

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