When finished next May, the intermediate trail will stretch from the top gondola station, out towards Meall Beag, and in sight of the famous World Cup downhill run, before following the ridge line down into the forest below.
The singletrack trail will include a mix of fast flowing sections, slow technical features and a token climb, project manager Bob MacFarlane told mbr.
The first section (of seven), already built at the top of the new route, is a fast flowing gravel trail with lots of tight turns and rock features, Bob said. “As it gets out towards the ridge there is a boardwalk section to get across a wet section of the hill. The boardwalk has smooth cambered turns with a couple of small drops and jumps built in. Where possible we linked it up with some boulders just to break up the sections of timber.”
The second section is also finished, and goes down a steep section of hill so has some switchback turns. The top ones are gravel the going into timber boardwalks with the turn been ‘islands’ dug into the hill. “I decided to make the tight turns out of gravel as I hate tight turns on boardwalk,” Bob said.
The third section, the last one completed to date, traverses across the slope of Meall Beag, out towards the ridge. This is the longest section of boardwalk on the trail. The ground here would have been very difficult and expensive to build a trail into as its solid bedrock with a thin layer of peat on top, meaning a timber boardwalk was the most cost effective solution.
Section four is the start of the ridge line. “There are some amazing views from this point and its also very remote feeling,” Bob explained. “This section will be mostly gravel trail with quite a few sections on bed rock. There will also be a short climb at the end of this section, though nothing too strenuous.”
The fifth section is very similar to the previous section though with more sections of bed rock. It also passes an old commando machine gun post with spent cartridges to match, a relic of the training area it once was in WW2.
Section F is the start of the descent down into the forest. A steep section of hill this will have some tight switchback turns with a few bedrock sections in between.
Section G is in the forest: “In this part of the track Im planning to build so fast flowing berms and quite a few jumps with some tight technical sections through the trees. Taking you to the puggy line,” explained Bob.