After the previous week’s warmup trip up the Grandview Track, this seemed like a fairly easy undertaking when we checked out the maps. Little did I know!
I had previously journeyed up to to Rock Peak by foot, which is a nice hour or two stroll from the carpark at the top of the Crown Range, so I knew there was a fairly substantial climb to kick off the route. Tracks seem to suddenly get much steeper when you’re pedalling your bike up them however.
Starting from the top of the Crown Range (a pleasant altitude of about 1055m) and descending down to the Cardrona Village (at around 500m), you can easily be lulled into a false sense of security… bit of climb, a nice cruise along the ridge, followed by a fun downhill, right? Not quite!
The numbers are a little different (courtesy of Google Earth)… 1014m elevation gain, 30 degrees at it’s steepest, 22kms from the carpark back to the highway (another few kms along to Cardrona Village itself).
You may notice that the screenshot above shows the steepest downhill pitch is 43.5 degrees. We either plotted the way points incorrectly or Google Earth is trying to make us feel like heros… either way, it certainly wasn’t that steep coming down. But the length of the descent way pretty epic!
Most of the route is a 4WD track, with a few narrower sections and lots of loose rocks just where you want them (watch out on those descents).
It’s no epic single track, but it is a fun mission to tick off with some challenging climbs, pleasing views and a long descent to put a smile on your face. Enjoying a local brew at the Cardrona Pub is the icing on the cake!
Check out the Pisa Range Conservation Area on the Department of Conservation’s website, for more info on mountain biking routes in this area.