Flow Nation: Thredbo, Day 1

Words by Flow | Images by Damian Breach

It was only a couple of days ago that we were trawling the net, looking for mountain bike videos for our regular Throwback Thursday feature. In our YouTube haze we came across some footage from the 1994 National Champs, held in Thredbo.

Ah, Thredbo – as that video served to remind us once again, Thredders is a destination that’s an integral part of of Australian mountain bike history. We’d struggle to count the number of times that we at Flow have made the drive from Sydney to the idyllic Snowy Mountains, usually with a downhill bike in the back of the car, all set for another weekend of riding Australia’s longest chairlift accessed descent.

And now we’re back again, this time on a mission to learn more about the changes afoot here in Thredbo. Of course we’ve got our downhill bikes with us, but we’ve also got the trail bikes too; the recent development of the Flow Track and the commencement of work on the new Thredbo River Trail has opened up the hill to riders other than those on downhill rigs.

Our first day here couldn’t have been more spectacular, with perfect blue skies and temps in the mid-twenties. Local legend Stuart Diver (Thredbo Operations Manager) had something special to show us, a little way out of the village itself; the Cascade Track. This absolutely magnificent fire trail revealed to us a side of Thredbo that we’d never seen before. It climbs up into some of the most stunning alpine country we’ve ever seen in Australia. In fact, some of the vistas didn’t even look like Australia at all, with the huge open expanses reminding us of rides we’ve done in places like Colorado and Utah.

With a crystal clear river running through the valley floor, wild brumbies roaming the hills and the ghostly fingers of dead snow gums clawing the air, it was a sight we’re not likely to forget. If you ever come to Thredbo and don’t explore this area, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

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The Cascade Track starts at Dead Horse Gap, about five kilometres from the Thredbo Village, which you can see nestled down in the valley.

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Just magnificent; grassy tundra, spooky snow gums and blue skies that went on forever.

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From Bob’s Ridge you can look out across the range to Victoria’s Mt Feathertop.

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Stuart Diver has been exploring Thredbo for almost 20 years.

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The ‘Devil’s Kitchen.

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This ride is one where you earn your turns; there’s no chairlift out here, but the descent feels all the better for it.

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Warning: horses! Wild ones!

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Moments after this shot was taken, the photographer crashed on this creek crossing with such violence that he almost cleared the entire creek with his body. Amazing stuff!

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