Downhill Summer at Coronet Peak
FOLLOWING ITS DEBUT LAST SUMMER, MOUNTAIN BIKING AT CORONET PEAK IS GEARING UP FOR A LONGER SEASON WITH A BRAND NEW TRACK AND INCREASED FACILITIES FOR THE 2006/07 SEASON.
The new track, due to open on January 3, is a 4.2 kilometre downhill cross country track designed to provide thrills, fun and challenges for all levels of mountain bikers. And it’s downhill all the way with the uphill slog provided by the Coronet Express Quad chairlift.
Earlier this year, Coronet Peak Bike Park unveiled its 1.6 kilometre downhill single track in time for the 2006 New Zealand Community Trust MTB National Series. The track received high accolades from some of New Zealand’s top riders including Scarlett O’Hagan, and was hailed as the start of what should become a world class mountain biking facility. Coronet Peak sales and marketing manager David Ovendale says the company was delighted with the success of last year’s season and was committed to developing an extensive facility that would attract riders from around the world.
“Coronet Peak is a designated recreation reserve which until now has mostly been used only during winter. Mountain biking has been part of the company’s planning for some time and we have been working closely with the Department of Conservation towards providing a facility that will allow people to enjoy the reserve throughout the summer season as well.
“Last summer we opened the downhill track which offers a competition level, challenging ride for serious mountain bikers. But mountain bikers are a pretty diverse bunch of people and the new trail means that fun and challenging mountain biking is now on offer for all level of riders – young and old,” he says.
“People can get their wheels off the ground or not and either way the experience will be exciting and exhilarating riding in a stunning scenic environment. It’s perfect for a daylong family excursion. ” Under the guidance of experienced designer Nathan Greenwood and incorporating the superb earth-shaping techniques of digger driver Graeme Morgan, the new track was created as more of an adventure trail rather than a gravity orientated one. Lumps, bumps and contours, the course ducks and weaves around on itself across the tussock covered mountain.
The pair is well known for its mountain bike course creation skills – Nathan and Graeme have worked together for 10 years constructing and designing mountain bike courses for movies, commercials, public facilities for Councils and tracks for the Queenstown mountain biking club.
Nathan describes the track as beautiful and
scenic featuring a huge amount of planting and landscaping. “The average person will really enjoy and have fun on this track.”
The Coronet Bike Park is to see plenty of competitive mountain biking action during the season with excitement for both riders and spectators. The 2007 New Zealand Community Trust MTB National Series is to be held from 12th – 14th January and is again expected to attract riders from around the world. Another highlight will be the 6-hour adrenalin packed Super D Endurance Race on Saturday 3rd February. For more info on both of these events see – www.bikenz.org.nz and www.adventuresourced.co.nz Tracks will be closed to the riding public throughout the duration of major events but lift served spectator access will be available and on course excitement is expected to be high. “The downhill track was put to the test last summer and the feedback was universally excellent. The sport is continuing to gain momentum in New Zealand and around the world. Strong crowds and healthy fields last season indicated Coronet Peak’s potential as a summer destination and we expect to build on that this season,” says Mr Ovendale.
Mark Angus at the bottom section of the 2005 National Series event held at Coronet Peak