Posts in Tracks
Help us build a new modern skills park

12 September update

The Southstar team are well into their prep work moving dirt around and planning the new jumps and lines. This is going to be a great resource for the whole riding community and your donation will help make it happen. Donate now at https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/makara-peak-skills-park.

 
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We're building a new skills park at Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park! But we need your help to make it happen.

We’ve raised $25,000 through generous grants from NZ Community Trust and Karori Brooklyn Community Charitable Trust (via Lion Foundation) to get the project off the ground and the work underway. But we need your help to raise $40,000 to fully complete the project. The more money we raise, the more work Southstar can do to bring this plan to life.

Donate now at https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/makara-peak-skills-park.

The current skills area is going to be completely overhauled and rebuilt. With input from our tracks team, WCC, WORD and local elite downhiller Bryn Dickerson, Southstar Trails have put together an amazing plan to build a completely new skills park at Makara Peak.

It's going to be ideal for for kids and beginners right through to seasoned experts. There will be jumps and features of all shapes and sizes, professionally built in a way to help riders safely progress their skills.

If you're keen to get your kids into mountain biking, this will be the first to visit after buying them a bike. Parents and instructors will be able to better supervise kids and beginners, with loops created to enable riders to session lines to improve their skills and build their confidence.

If you're an advanced or expert level rider there's going to be lines with the sort of features you've always wanted at Makara Peak.

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New summit track underway

TGL are building a short new section of trail near the summit. Riders climbing up Aratihi will be able to go under the Upper Leaping Lizard bridge and then up to the summit on singletrack, avoiding that nasty bit of 4WD.

Riders climbing up Zac’s will also use this new section to reach the summit, reducing the chances of a head on crashes on the high speed two way section of trail from the summit down to North Face.

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TracksSimon O'Brien
Starfish extension build complete

The new bit of Starfish is now open.  This completes 2 years of volunteer track building so that we have a grade 4 run from the bottom of Ridgeline all the way to the carpark. 

It is going to get pretty trashed over winter, but that should just bring out its character.  Let us know what you think.

The entry to the new start to Starfish, opposite the end of Smokin and Ridgeline Extension

The entry to the new start to Starfish, opposite the end of Smokin and Ridgeline Extension

Trailforks map showing Starfish line

Trailforks map showing Starfish line

May 2019 update

A keen group of volunteers have continued to carve out some awesome new singletrack over the last few months.

A new rock garden was concreted in thanks to about 30 volunteers who donated some of their Saturday to help with the build. A bridge has been built and a big reversal was completed.

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 Many hands have made a big job much easier. Thanks everyone who came out  

The tracks team are pretty stoked with the new track. They’ve made the most of what is a pretty flat bit of land. There’s lots of natural features retained (roots roots and more roots) plus a few rollable jumps and drops.

There’s some surfacing to be done to stop it turning into a bog over winter, and will be opened once the new SWIGG line is complete. Look out for details in early June.

29 January update

2019 dig days at Makara Peak have kicked off in fine style with progress continuing on the new section of Starfish. Around 250 metres of fresh new grade 4 trail is pretty much now complete, plus we’ve been fine tuning corners, and adding a wall ride and berm to the line. It’s shaping up nicely as a fast but challenging bit of trail.

We’re nearing one of the major features, that will see the new trail drop down steeply into a dry stream bed before exiting via a wall ride/step up/appropriate feature of some sort.

Thanks to everyone who’s turned out - what’s really exciting is seeing all the families and kids coming along to lend a hand on what we’re sure will be a favourite with the young pinners.

8 December update

Great progress with 20 keen men, women and children on the tools. Most of the digging was in the shade of a section of mature regenerating bush. Just a bit of benching and shaping with plenty of roots left in place to reflect the grade 4 conditions. 

Thanks to:
Margaret,Hannah, Clint, Ross, Steve, Jonathan, Stanley, Wyatt, Phil, Lloyd, Myles, Sebastian, Austin, Clinton, Demelza, Ryan 1, Ryan 2, Ben, Oliver, Andrew

6 December update

A team from the Commerce Commission were on site this week donating some of their work time to help progress the Starfish build. With help from Ranger Frank from Wellington City Council, the team did a couple of hours of hard work roughing out another 10m of trail and clearing some trees - despite some damp weather. A huge thanks!

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1 December update

We got through another 25 hard fought metres on Saturday. We’re now back into some nice forest which provides more cover from the relentless Wellington summer sun (!).

A big thanks to Caerwyn, Wyatt, Phil, Rebeca, Miles and LLyod, Johnny, Ryan, Austin, Nick, Garth and Iain for putting in the hard yards so everyone can enjoy more advanced (grade 4) singletrack goodness at Makara Peak.

We’re back next Saturday from 10am. Only two more sessions to go in 2018 before a well-earned break over Christmas.

18 November update

Despite the weather gods continuing to not place nicely, good progress has been made on the new “Starfish Extension” line which starts at the end of Ridgeline Extension (so many extensions…).

We’ve cleared about 200 metres which is about the equivalent of the length of Big Tom’s Wheelie. We’re focussing on building it to complete standard before progressing on - there’s quite a lot of water run-off from SWIGG and Big Tom’s so we’re working hard to find the right balance of leaving roots and rocks while making the trail surface sustainable (i.e. not a bog).

27 October update

Quick dig today before the rain hit - the first berm is coming together nicely thanks to the large rocks provided by Horokiwi Quarry and delivered by Rapid Earthworks.

This section will get a rock garden added before the track is opened.

14 October 2018

We’re building some awesome new grade 4 single track from the end of Ridgeline Extension down to the start of Starfish. It will be a similar style to Ridgeline Extension with rollable drops and jumps, optional hard lines and plenty of stoke. 

We’ve scoped the line and it’s looking pretty sweet. Check out https://www.trailforks.com/trails/starfish-extension/ for a rough map and line.

Map showing roughly where the new Starfish will run from the end of Ridgeline Extension through to near the transmitter at the end of SWIGG/start of Starfish

Map showing roughly where the new Starfish will run from the end of Ridgeline Extension through to near the transmitter at the end of SWIGG/start of Starfish

New section of SWIGG now open

The new section of SWIGG is being opened today! Starting from near the bottom of SWIGG (before it changes to Starfish), this new bit of grade 3 (intermediate) goodness weaves its way through some fantastic native bush, all the way down to the main carpark.

It features some of the biggest berms in the park, and is a great option for riders who have mastered Lazy Fern, and more advanced riders looking for a different way to end their ride.

Thanks to Wellington City Council for funding this work, and TGL Contracting Limited for their track building genius.

Check out https://www.trailforks.com/trails/swigg/ for an up-to-date trail map.

SWIGG new build update

January 19 update

TGL are continuing to make good progress on the new bit of SWIGG - they’re about half way down, but have reached a series of switchbacks that need a bit more time and construction to get just right.

It’s on track for a late Summer/early Autumn opening. Check out the photos below - it’s going to be an fantastic addition to the park and offer something really fun for riders of all skills levels.

November 18 update

2018 must be one of the busiest years in the park’s history in terms of new trail being built, and it’s not over yet! TGL are weaving their magic on our latest new trail, which will see Swigg extended across and down to near the bottom of Lazy Fern. 

The intermediate grade trail is being built in part by digger and part by hand and goes through some amazing native bush.  

This complements the new Advanced trail currently being built by the Supporters which goes from the end of Ridgeline Extension to Starfish. 

Upper Leaping Lizard rebuild complete
 

26 October update

The final piece of the Upper Leaping Lizard puzzle was tidied up this week by Ricky, who widened, tweaked, and finished off the short link between the new (upper upper?) and lower (original/lower upper) bits of track. So you can now avoid the pinch climb all the way up to the 4WD track.

14 October update

TGL have been busy upgrading the lower section of Upper Leaping Lizard over the last few weeks, which has been paid for by WCC. They’ve been widening some narrow sections, removing ruts, improving the drainage, berming up some corners, and building an intermediate bypass of the advanced steep rocky section - which is being kept open for those who prefer a steeper line. The best of both worlds!

They’ve done a great job retaining as much of the natural, rugged feel of the track, while giving it an update as it hasn’t seen any major maintenance in quite a few years. This is a key section of track that all riders will use to access the south west corner of the park, where we’ll be building a lot of new intermediate and advanced grade tracks. So getting it back to intermediate grade was a priority.

There are some great views from the track over Cook Strait and the South Island, plus looking back to the swing bridge and the Peak. Once it’s complete, there’s going to be a great intermediate loop in the South West from the summit down Upper Leaping Lizard, into the easy section of Leaping Lizard and then back along Supa Kanuka and Aratihi. Advanced riders have got a bit more choice with Nikau Valley or Leaping Lizard into Bail Out or back up via Possum.

We’ll post something on Facebook as soon as it’s open - only a couple of weeks of finishing and surfacing to go.

 
Tweaks made to bottom corner on Ridgeline.

Ricky, Scotty and Red Dawg made some tweaks to the bottom corner on Ridgeline on the weekend. The big ruts are gone, now replaced with some rock ledges which provide hard or harder lines. If you haven’t ridden Ridgeline recently - get into it. It’s pretty sweet at the moment.

Upper Leaping Lizard bypass underway

There was a good trail building session on the Upper Leaping Lizard bypass on Saturday, with about 30 metres scratched out by a keen group of volunteers.

This short section of new trail will bypass that nasty pinch climb and create better flow between the new section of Upper Leaping Lizard and the old bit (which is currently being upgraded).

One more session this Saturday and we should have it completed.

Spotted some Puawhananga in flower as well.

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Ridgeline Extension rebuild continues

Ricky has been tweaking, rock breaking and armouring on the top (older) section of Ridgeline Extension. It’s looking pretty mint! Designed to improve flow and drainage, we’ll continue to increase the fun factor and incorporate new features.

Volunteers, TracksSimon O'Brien