Newsletter 6 11.11.14

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MTB Trails Trust Newsletter No. 6 November 11, 2014

Sylvan Forest proposed track network

 Sylvan Forest trail development 

The Trust has been working on a plan for a trail network in Sylvan Forest, Richmond. This plantation forest is privately owned, and the owners are keen to increase the recreational usage the forest gets with a well networked MTB trail system. Walkers and runners can already use the property, which is somewhat unusual for private land but a great reflection on the generosity of owners, the Griffin family. Champion Rd comes in at the top of the map and the Richmond fire lookout is at the bottom left, with the proposed trail network linking seamlessley through to the TDC's Kingsland Forest. Green tracks are easy, blue are intermediate-advanced whilst black are expert. Yellow lines are existing tracks and orange are 4WD roads.

It is expected that work building the trails will commence before the end of the year.

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In this issue

 Ground Effect Weekend 

The Ground Effect trail crew is coming up to St Arnaud on the 22nd and 23rd of November to help us build trails in the area. We hope to have the red line marked New Track on the map approved in time for them to work on it.


Updated map of Big Bush and Teetotal tracks. Red line is proposed new track

 that we will have the Ground Effect crew working on.


If you want to come up and help that would be great. Please email or text 027 543 9055 if you intend to join us. The Alpine Lodge is generously sponsoring the Saturday night meal so let us know if you want to book for that. Cost is only $15 per head.

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Dropping waratah markers, Red Hills

  Maitland Ridge Track
The Beebys-Red Hills track has now been named the Maitland Ridge Track after District Surveyor H. Maitland who placed the oldd pegs that we found along the ridge. 
We have cut the last section of track so it is now cleared all the way through, however there is quite a bit of work still required on the uphill sections to make them rideable. We dropped in waratahs by helicopter, courtesy of DOC, to mark the track across the open clearings. Orange marker triangles have been nailed to trees in places, but there is still a lot of track not marked so it's possible to get lost if you aren't very careful.

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  An update on the Big Bush tracks
The uphill track at Big Bush, which we have named the Kaka Track after the numerous Kaka sighted there, is almost complete. Another couple of days at the most should see all the shaping and drainage done and the diggers out. Hopefully we will get a good run of fine weather so that the tread can pack down good and hard before too many bikes get on it.
The next mission is to make a new track descending towards the St Arnaud Village. The original route we had hoped to use has turned out to be unsuitable with a large boggy area and a few hectares of windfall to get through. However we have found a route and will seek approval from DOC to make it into a track.
We are most grateful to Mike Edridge Contracting and Goughs for donating digger time to construct the Kaka Track. There has been over $20,000 of in-kind contribution made to put this track through. The Kaka Track will open up four different loops once other planned tracks are completed.

Malcolm and Chris were undeterred by snow on the Kaka Track, October 4th

Greg carves out a cutting with the tilt bucket on the Kaka Track

Greg shapes a corner on the top section of the Kaka Track

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  Brook Sanctuary Fence
Taylors have well and truly started on earthworks preparation for the construction of the Brook Sanctuary pest proof fence. This first stage involves the 5m wide bench for the fence being cleared and cut in around the perimeter of the Sanctuary - which is a pretty significant chunk of work. The cleared bench can be easily seen from many places around the hills now, and a good view of what this is all about can be had from many view points.
Of real interest in terms of linkage through the hills is what is happening between Third House and Jenkins Hill. The fence bench runs pretty much right along the ridge trail that has been used to ride and tramp for many years, and will effectively remove that challenging old route. However, the fence bench will provide far easier access between Third House and Jenkins given its width - and while it is going to be very steep in places (especially where it goes right over The Ramp) it will be a viable link for MTB use.  The opportunity to reinstate a more challenging trail which runs paralllel to the fence on the outside will eventually present itself, and this is certainly on the Trust's radar given the back-country focus we have. 
Keep updated on the fence construction process here.

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 The Marlborough Connection

With a lot of interest in the Trust's activities from Marlborough, the Board of Trustees unanimously appointed Mondo Kopua as the Trust's Marlborough Coordinator. Mondo is currently president of the Marlborough Mountainbike Club and keen to develop back country trails in Marlborough. 

 Trail network proposal for the Snout at Picton, designed by Chris for the Marlborough District Council

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 Fowler Pass Revisited

Last weekend we had the opportunity to ride over Fowler Pass to Lake Guyon and on to the foot of Maling Pass to shuttle some vehicles out to Hanmer for a group rafting down the Waiau. Here are a few photos to entice you to do the ride. Just make sure you pick fine weather. More information and map here.


Ascending the old pack track up Pass Stream


Descending from the top of Fowler Pass into Smyths Stream


Riding down Smyths Stream and crossing the Stanley River


The track down Smyths Stream and a horseman with his dogs crosses the Stanley


Riding around Lake Guyon


The cycleway track along the Waiau River

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 Trail Updates


Just a tree across just after you turn left off the firebreak and the creek crossing soon after that is washed out with about a 1 metre bank. Otherwise riding well.


Nelmac have done a good number on the Dun Mountain Track, smoothed it all off and eased the uphill grade out of the creek towards Coad Creek. The South Maitai has a bit of loose rock on it that you need to watch out for and a few braking bumps and ruts starting to form.

The Kaiteriteri MTB Park run regular work parties which are a feature of this park and easy to get involved. 

The Marlborough MTB Club also has an active trail crew running in the Wither Hills - keep track here 

Latest  Nelson MTB Club Trail News with information on how to get involved with trail work at Codgers and Sharland's Creek, Hira Forest. AFM also advise that summer gate opening hours start this weekend: the main gate at the forest entrance off Maitai Rd will be locked at 9pm Sat/Sun nights and Public Holidays. For anyone who gets locked in, Armourgaurd will now be charging a $52 fee to let them out!

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