Flow Nation: Thredbo, NSW

Words by Flow | Images by Damian Breach / Flow

Thredbo has held a very special place in Australian mountain bike folklore for over two decades now. (Want proof? Here you go.) Lord knows how many of our most famous downhillers cut their teeth on the legendary Cannonball Run downhill, or how many National Round after-parties have run wild in the village…

But despite its strong history, over the past ten years it had started to become clear that Thredbo’s lustre was fading a little; other alpine resorts were investing heavily in mountain biking and Thredbo was losing ground. Simply having ‘the hill’ was no longer enough. Thankfully, rather than allowing the mountain biking program to slip metaphorically downhill, Thredbo too have launched a program of rejuvenating the mountain bike side of their operations. Since our first trip to Thredbo over 15 years ago, we’ve held this place in high esteem, and so we had to come see for ourselves just what changes were underway at Thredders.

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Tim Windshuttle from Thredbo MTB, feeling the love on the freshened-up downhill track.

What we found left us feeling extremely positive. After years of talking about expansion, it’s really happening. With Resort Operations Manager Stuart Diver at the helm and a seriously passionate crew running the Thredbo MTB outfit, the wheels are in motion. Already there have been some great revitalisations to the downhill track, the new Kosciusko Flow Trail has been souped up, the magnificent Thredbo Valley Trail is ready to roll and a master plan for 40km of new trails has been unveiled.

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One hell of a place. Thredbo’s setting in glorious.

We spent four days in Thredbo: you can read about each of them here, here, here and here. During that time we checked out the absolutely stunning Cascade Trail, rode the downhill and Flow Trails, and took in the Thredbo Valley Trail too. Whereas in the past we’d only considered bringing our downhill bike to Thredders, there’s now a true variety of riding on offer and you’d be silly to leave your trail bike behind. It’s only going to get better too, with more cross country trails planned for the valley floor, and an new 11km-long all-mountain trail going in from the peak too.

As we said in the video, this trip to Thredbo left us feeling more positive about this old dame than we’ve ever been before. New trails, spruced up oldies and big plans for the future make us sure we’ll be spending a lot more time in Thredders than we have for many years, and not just for racing, but simply to ride. Thredders, it’s good to see you back on top form.

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Our first ride in Thredbo was actually outside the village, on the Cascade Trail, which Stuart Diver called the ‘original Thredbo downhill’.

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The Cascade Trail. Idyllic.

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It feels vast up here at Dead Horse Gap. If you come to Thredbo and don’t ride this trail, you’re really missing out.

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Brumbies. We were very excited to catch a glimpse of some wild horses, but the locals tell us they’re everywhere.

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The second day of our trip to Thredbo was a real contrast! After sunburn the previous afternoon, we awoke to snow! Even in December, the high country weather can be pretty unpredictable, so it pays to be prepared. Thankfully it had largely melted by the following morning.

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The valley terminal hire centre is huge now. The workshop has been greatly expanded, as has the hire fleet of Giant Glorys and Reigns.

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Workshop guru, Petri, in his domain.

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The view from Eagles Nest at the peak of Thredbo never gets old.

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That Thredbo fire road corner. Gotta love it.

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The new nine-metre canyon gap on the downhill adds some huck to the mix.

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The Snakes and Ladders section of the Cannonball downhill has been opened up to make it faster and more flowy. A welcome change.

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The bottom of the downhill track gets some flavour too, with a new wall ride, doubles and a big 30-foot table top.

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Good cub scouts are always prepared. Jackets, hats made from dead animals and beer.

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The Flow Trail adds a whole new dimension to the hill, offering a 10-minute chair-lifted descent that’s purpose built for the kind of bikes most of us ride.

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The Thredbo Valley Track is a multi purpose trail running alongside the Thredbo River. It’s not the world’s most technical trail, but it’s absolutely stunning.

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Along its course, the Thredbo Valley Track criss-crosses the Thredbo River eight times, on bridges that are built to withstand a once-in-a-hundred-year flood.

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