Flow Nation: Thredbo, Day 4

Words by Flow | Images by Damian Breach

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It's easy to become a little fixated by the hill at Thredbo. When you wake up and look out the window, it's right there, bearing down on you. Even when you're riding the chairlift, it's sometimes hard to stop looking at the hill too, watching riders on the downhill track, trying to spot the best line or checking out the conditions. But part of Thredbo's appeal is its amazing surroundings, the resort lies smack in the middle of 600,000 hectares of pristine National Park. Unfortunately as mountain bikers we're generally denied the right to appreciate the beauty of National Park areas from the comfort of our bikes. Feature_flownation_Thredbo_Valleytrail-1 But a recent development at Thredbo is helping buck this trend of exclusion; the new 17km Thredbo Valley Track. This superb dual-use track runs all the way from Friday Flats in the village, hugging (and crossing) the Thredbo River, down to Lake Crackenback. It's absolutely perfect terrain, with dark loamy soils in between granite outcrops, wildlife galore and the constant cooling sound the river over the rocks. It's nearly all descending too, though if you do choose ride back up after a beer or two at Lake Crackenback, it's not a hard return climb. Alternatively you could get a mate to shuttle you too. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="710"]Feature_flownation_Thredbo_Valleytrail-4 The Thredbo Valley trail is easy to find and easy to ride. Don't expect a gnarly challenging singletrack - this trail is all about the location.[/caption] The investment in this trail is pretty staggering. Each of the bridges across the river has been built to withstand a once-in-100-years flood and wouldn't look out of place alongside the Opera House. At present, the trail is 90% completed, with a couple of bridges yet to go in, meaning a short detour onto the road is needed to ride the whole trail. But hopefully the next few months will see the whole trail ready to roll from Thredders to Crackenback ('n back). The ultimate plan is for Thredbo to link their proposed all-mountain track, which will descend 11km from the peak of the chairlift, into the Valley Track making for 28km of predominantly downhill trail. This is likely a couple of years off, however, but the thought of it all is pretty damn exciting. Full credit must go to NSW National Parks for opening this area up to both walkers and riders. We've said it before; allow people access to enjoy these parts of the world and they will become the most ardent supporters of wilderness areas - lock them out, and they'll never appreciate it, so when the developers come knocking there'll be no one to speak up. After four very different days in Thredbo, we're leaving feeling more positive than ever about this place. The resort is finally taking all the right steps to live up to its massive potential. If you, like us, had formed the opinion that Thredbo had fallen behind, it's time to take another look. Thredbo's back, baby, it's back. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="710"]Feature_flownation_Thredbo_Valleytrail-C2 The Golden Gate bridge?[/caption] Feature_flownation_Thredbo_Valleytrail-5 Feature_flownation_Thredbo_Valleytrail-C3 Feature_flownation_Thredbo_Valleytrail-7 Feature_flownation_Thredbo_Valleytrail-C4 Feature_flownation_Thredbo_Valleytrail-9 [caption id="attachment_67960" align="aligncenter" width="710"]Feature_flownation_Thredbo_Valleytrail-10 The loamy soils are mixed with a native granite that provides the best mix of traction and drainage.[/caption] Feature_flownation_Thredbo_Valleytrail-C1 Feature_flownation_Thredbo_Valleytrail-14 [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="710"]Feature_flownation_Thredbo_Valleytrail-1-2 Our love for Thredders is back. See you again soon![/caption]