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...... so in the past 5 years or so I have for one reason or another spent a LOT of time in Thredbo. If any of you saw the TV coverage this morning you will see that here we are on 8th December and its currently snowing. It also snowed on this weekend last year. 

Its funny how life turns out, I missed out on a lot of 'stuff' with my son due to his psycho mother (I left her going on 15 years ago and she is still at it with stalking, and other assorted crazy antics), but when I retired from work I had the opportunity to spend more time with Alex..... when he expressed an interest in cycling I got him a road bike, but after two road rides with him as a 12 year old I was so terrified (or homicidal to anyone who came close to us in a car), he and I took our old shitbox MTB clunkers/my pub bike up to the RNP and rode a few of the old trails I logged hundreds of hours running on back in the day. Had such a blast next day went and dropped some coin on a couple of bikes... and booked a trip to... Thredbo.

Hadnt been there in years. Stayed at Riverside apartments and.... loved the place. Reminded me a little bit of Boulder (its nothing like it actually) but Alpine environments in the summer are just wonderful places. Alex started racing down there and did ok, made his own way which was awesome - I knew nothing about mountain bikes at all. He raced a few national series races and won the Aussie All schools king of the mountain overall title a few years back, got a sponsorship off Pushys and Commencal and to put it lightly the learning curve has been steep (and yes there have been broken bones for both of us), but we are nothing if not resilient. 

So fast forward 5 years, Im a part time resident, after having zero interest in skiiing (and not being even able to stand on skis) have now learned to ski to an acceptable standard, done a trip to Japan, even started dabbling in back country and have all the gear (and not much of an idea), but I love the serenity. Alex has gone from being a little kid to a 6 foot, 90 kilo young man and drives down on his own now.

I was a bit lost after retirement and having a 'worst unit in the best block' scenario to renovate and make our second home in Thredbo gave me a purpose and an entirely new life and challenges. I love the road trip, its 2 hours to Goulburn (which I could do in my sleep due to my past life), then an hour to Canberra, an hour to Cooma, all of sudden you are in Jindy, hit the Woolies and head up the hill. Usually takes just over 5 hours for me door to door. (hint - dont drive at night without a bullbar and a capacity to drive straight over the top of oncoming wildlife... which is preferable and a recommended alternative to having a head on and killing yourself). 

So have had a few bikes, currently have a Pivot Firebird 29, a spare Commencal enduro bike and a nice Focus XC rig. Im fat and shit. But no one cares. And we love it. 

So I have a reasonable handle on the place - do yourself a favour and go. Dont bother with a road bike unless you are taking a smart trainer, its not really road bike friendly up that side. Has an awesome 50m pool, a gym and believe me an MTB workout is twice the work in half the time - even heading down. 

Anyway fire away with any questions, Ive had the full entertainment experience even got myself in serious trouble waaaay out back this year in the middle of winter on my own and had to hit my emergency beacon and get rescued. That wasnt fun but it was a solid lesson in alpine survival, and I have all the best survival gear. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Callum Dalgleish McGregor
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How long ago were you there mate? 

Last year was the first full year since the completion of the dirt art contract and the trail crew in Thredbo is now in house. As you probably know the bottom of the hill at the Kosciuszko express (yeah I can spell it without thinking now) gets changed every year as it is also the bottom of the super trail in winter i.e. it gets bulldozed and rebuilt. 

Last year of course we had 6 weeks at the start of the season, then the fires came (and we held our breath as it looked like we were all going to lose our places), then after a short respite the placed closed due to Covid. It that short time after xmas there was a new jump line put in about three quarters of the way down the flow trail; a new timber wall ride (much easier than the DH one went in at the fork at Woodys; and this year the bottom jump line has multiple choices and is the best Ive seen it in all the time Ive been there. 

Gunbarrel chairlift also runs every weekend and over much of the holidays and there is easy street that goes onto the flow trail; Richochet which goes down and across the high noon ski run and the all mountain trail (which I love) and is now open all the way after the Gondola work has now been completed. 

Additionally up the very top going behind Eagles nest you can do the top part of the flow, and the all upper all mountain has opened all the way for the first time before late Dec (its usually closed due to left over snowfall). The home run part of the AM can be ridden by going around the back near the mid station Gondola without going on the chairlift. 

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Yeah its changed a lot since then, Richochet has opened and there are a lot of different features. One point worth making is the ride from Thredbo to Crackenback although not entirely easy is a great day out on the MTB and you can book a bus back (or a bus up from Crackenback.... BUT!

After wating patiently for the lower TVT to open to Gaden trout hatchery I did it earlier this year. Its 20km one way in and one way out. And its not easy. Although you are dropping in altitude once you essentially climb down to the river and back ... twenty times. I still have the strava file. Be prepared and its a good day out. But be prepared, and have someone to get you at the Trout hatchery or its 7km back into town. 

 

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...oh Ill add though if you have a road bike and a very low gear you can give this segment a crack...... Id need a 34 on the back and would probably only go down to Leatherbarrel Creek, even the ride from Thredbo up to Dead Horse Gap is a steady climb, and once you get to Siberia its down down down to Tom Groggin. There is no phone reception at all so you need a Sat device like a Garmin inreach or a back up crew. 

If you know anything about cycling at the national/NRS level in Australia and see some of the names who have given this climb a crack (and ended up on the second page of times) this may give you some insight into how difficult a challenge this beast is. 

 

https://www.strava.com/segments/8818311

 

Edited by Callum Dalgleish McGregor
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On 08/12/2020 at 9:14 AM, Callum Dalgleish McGregor said:

Alex has gone from being a little kid to a 6 foot, 90 kilo young man and drives down on his own now.

Time sure does fly!

Last time I saw Alex he would have been lucky to be 10 or 11. I think you guys came down for a Ken Dinnerville

Mate just got back from Thredbo.

Kept raving about it and insists that I need to buy a MTB and get dirty.

 

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Cheers CDM.  Heading to Thredbo tomorrow (was meant to be today but life got in the way).  The plan was for a 30km run tomorrow morning but my crook knees and a pretty bad case of Planta Fascia won't let it happen.  I'm not a Mountain Biker but will take the MTB and probably have a toddle around.  Am also thinking of a run/hike to the top of Aus, but will play it by ear and see what happens.  From memory it's about 8km's from the top of the chairlift to the summit, is that about right?  Also what time does the lift open?

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Yeah its about a 14km round trip. Chair opens for foot traffic at 9am. Mountain bike passes have been selling out every weekend since the start of the season.... my advice would be if you are not technically proficient exercise caution up the top, the fire road is a bit sketchy. Around the back is also pretty techy in bits but with a longer travel bike its good, and you come out at the bottom of the fire road/black sallees. Round one of the Thredbo Gravity series is on this weekend so it will be busy. We arent there. Maybe next week for us. 

MTB from Thredbo to Lake Crackenback is a decent workout. Get a lift back. If you decide to keep going onto the bottom TVT thats ... difficult. Once you go across the bridge at the skitube there is one way in and one way out. See my comments above. Get a pick up at Gaden trout hatchery if you do that.  

Or ride the village XC course (they use it in the all schools) and do a few loops (also a good workout, it starts at Gunbarrel, across Friday flat and then a little switchback, a traverse then a longer climb up the Friday flat/easy does it ski run and then a techy section, I have done 3 or 4 loops of it as a solid little workout.

Its fun and hard with a new end bit that goes back down to Gunbarrel. Alternately when at the top of that climb at the Gondola mid station you can go down the little fire road across the bridge near the toboggan park you will end up on the home run part of the all mountain and back at the Kosi express chairlift/Valley terminal. 

Edited by Callum Dalgleish McGregor
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Thanks for the additional info.  Have done Thredbo to Crackenback, but not the bit down to the hatchery.  Am not much of a technical rider so will probably stick with the easier stuff.  I don't mind climbing, but am not so great on the technical descents.  Will be meeting others up there so will probably go with the flow.  Dinner at The Denman will no doubt be a highlight!

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Hey Callum, I'm a pretty useless mountain biker but have nevertheless entered the Snowy Trex off road tri, any idea how technical the bike course is? I've seen all the You Tube videos but they are only a snapshot of a handful of sections.

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Had forgotten about this part of the forum.  

As you were typing this opening post, CDM, I was recovering from the tragic error of hitting the wall ride at the base of Cannonball in the damp and busting my ankle, as I inevitably washed out the front on the newly painted boards.  Bloody sponsorship.  Bloody split second stoopid decisions.  It is always the "last run" too.

No Dr on the mountain til 26th so RICE and an achy trip home.  Xmas off work in a boot.  Young bloke thinks its hilarious coz its normally him.  At least the cricket is on.

Denman is a great spot for drink.  Will catch you down there later in the season.

I must admit though, I love Thredbo, but after quite a few trips I find the runs repetitive and eventually boring.  I am more likely to do half a day at most now and go for a run, swim or 9 holes of golf. 

Not a lot beats walking down the the river with a 6 pack and sitting on a rock in a fast moving section either.

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I have passed on my sympathies to Diamonds privately, I have also enriched the local medical practitioner through various contributions including myself, my son and one of my many wives for various broken bones. Anway may see some of you over the next few weeks if you are there. 

By way of information I did read last night about some lodges or apartments not offering refunds after recent Covid lockdowns, which is just shite.

That is NOT the case with the mob I use TAM, Thredbo Apartment Management which you can get a hold of on the main Thredbo number and on the website thredbo.com.au (NB stay right away from the 'dot com' without the au) website, its a separate business that I would be staying right away from.....

If you ask to stay at the Thredbo Alpine Apartments you will have a good experience. Managed by TAM, kitchens, parking and bike friendly Trust me on that one :) 100% covid refund policy, summer or winter. Cost me a few bucks this year with fires and covid but wont in the longer term.

If you see a fat guy on a really nice Pivot Firebird and all the gear with no idea..... say hi. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just got back after latest trip, had a blast only rode for a few days but got up around the back, onto the upper all mountain and Richochet, trails are a bit wet a slightly muddy but awesome. Never seen so many people there in the 'off' season.

What a difference a year makes, 4 Jan last year the village was evacuated, all the snow making machines were fired up and pumping out water and was pretty sure the Tom Groggin fire was going to rip through the village. And I was going to lose my place. Our insurance has gone up 300 percent this year .....:(

This year at the precise same time (6pm on 4th) it was 9 degrees and pissing down rain. Rode the next day and a storm came throug and apparent temp dropped to zero with rain and hail... loved it. Must be global warming.  

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