A few weeks back, a couple of us at 360 decided to dedicate a whole Sunday to the sole purpose of getting dirty on two wheels in Queenstown.
Having spent the morning working on our pedaling fitness around 7 Mile, it was time to switch into lazy mode and enjoy more downhill riding and less uphill… In steps the shuttling sessions on Rude Rock.
A few laps and a broken derailleur later and we were down to two, with a default driver. Perfect! No need to paper-scissors-rock for pick up duties in Arrowtown.
For the two of us that were left, it was time to climb and head to the start of the Corotown Track. But since we were first-time-Corotown riders, we weren’t 100% sure where the tracks began. Fortunately for us, we found a guide. Well, two actually! Fellow Wanaka-ites Justin and Lucien were well acquainted with Corotown and were happy to lead the way.
We headed across the Coronet Peak base area and made our way up what’s known as the “Downhill XC” trail – a track that is still left over from when Coronet used to operate their lifts for summer mountain biking, but with a name that really doesn’t make sense. Let’s be honest!
10 minutes and a bunch of snow-patch crossings later (did I mention it was October still?), and we’re close to the edge of the Coronet boundary, ready to take the first downhill section (and a fairly technical one at that).
And that’s where we lost another. This first steep section claimed three out of four of us – no injuries fortunately but a burst a rear brake line for one of us. The decision for the unlucky member of the group was obvious; walk out through the tussock, back to the Coronet base area and call our “designated” driver for a pick up.
The rest of the track (if you can call it a track) seemed a lot tamer than the first section. Yes, there was plenty of butt dragging on real wheels and the constant smell of burning brakes, but we found our flow and rode top-to-bottom without another crash.
The lower half of the trail is a lot less intimidating than the top half. But you get really wet!
There are well over a dozen crossings to be made over Bush Creek – nothing more than two meters wide, but it’s certainly impossible to stay dry. Especially in October with all the snow melt pouring off the mountains.
Arriving in Arrowtown is always beautiful, but riding in on bikes from a direction you wouldn’t otherwise take, was particularly refreshing. Definitely time for a beer!
Check out the location page we’ve created for Corotown, giving more information on what the track is like and where it is located.