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Trail > 2011 Trail Finding and Building News #2

This is the second installment in my trail finding and building news. I have decided that I will break this down into smaller chunks and put them up at the same time. So this post covers Friday the 15th of January and Saturday the 16th of January.

Friday was building an extension to one of my favourite trails, “The Blue Pill”, this was phase 1, scope out possible lines. Saturday we took a group of local riders around a new trail we have been scoping out. The idea was to test out the trail and see what it felt like with a group, and also to get some trail feedback from a variety of other riders before I take clients on the trail. Of course it was a great opportunity to meet up with some friends and have a great day out, enjoying this sunny epic!

For this adventure we were six Navarrans, two Spaniards, 1 Errant German and 1 Errant Scot. We met at a little bar in the mountains, around 9:30am and after the usual banter and faffing we set off. This is a ride that Carlos and I have been checking out for a while, it follows a big ridge up to it’s highest point and then comes back down. Total ascent/descent was 1500m over 35km but the numbers don’t tell the true story, this is definitely an epic ride.
The climb up is tough, in fact this whole route is tough. It won’t be for everyone but as a hard physical and technical day out it takes some beating.
We climb on a combination of scenic fireroads, woodsy technical singletrack and exposed ridge.
There were a few lunch stops, all with amazing views to the Picos de Europa in the west and the Pyrenees in the east.
The descent mainly follows the ridge, however keeping towards the opposite side than the climbing route which means we repeat very little of the climb.
The descent is pretty technical in places, with a combination of jumpy, rocky, ridgeline singletrack and technical contour singletrack with a bit of air to the right. It’s fun though. (The photo below is the same ridge, but taken in August 2010, just to show the difference in colours. Basically everything that is browny just now is green.)

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The best bit of the descent is the last 500m, for me anyway, it becomes a bit wider with lots of line choice and is very rocky and rooty. Nobody cleared it all, and indeed I heard a few shouts of LOCO as I tried a couple of sections, but it is all possible. I will clear it this year, that is without doubt. I didn’t take any pictures of the last part, the light was low and my camera wasn’t playing ball. I will return and photograph that section.
Friday was a mixed success. I worked out some sections of the second part of “The Blue Pill” and I also spent some time working on the upper section to make a few improvements. I also had some fun riding the upper section; I’ve missed this trail. The pictures in the woods didn’t come out well, here’s one anyway.

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