The 2013-14 season has been a great year for trail building with the Queenstown Mountain Bike Club. This past season the QMTBC has built 2 awesome trails entirely on volunteer labour. GSD and Pack Track and Sack are both already local favorites and being enjoyed by riders from all over the world.
GSD which is an acronym for the clubs motto Get sh%t Done is a downhill trail in the Queenstown Bike Park. Lots of local riders are after more challenging black diamond trails in the Bike Park and Fraser Gordon worked hard to get permission from QLDC to approve a technically challenging line that linked 2 other black diamond trails. The club held vollie digs every saturday morning and monday evening over the summer and completed the trail early April in time for the last month of gondola access to the bike park.
The club’s other volunteer trail building group group ‘the Wednesday dig crew’ meet every Wednesday night, rain or shine, light or dark, year round to build and maintain Queenstown’s mountain biking trails. The past seasons main project has been a link track from the clubs massively popular Rude Rock trail on coronet peak to the old gold mining trail the Skippers Pack Track. The 1.5km trail is 100% hand-built singletrack through open tussock country with awesome views and a mixture of flowy singletrack and some technical sections. The link enables a 12km descent from the top of Coronet peak to Long Gully which is regarded as one of the best in the country. The track, named Pack Track and Sack, has already been used for the Queenstown Bike Festivals Coronet enduro and a major bike company’s media release campaign with great reviews.
The Wednesday dig crew spent a combined total of 1005.5 hours on the track over 29 digs with an average of 14 diggers per week. Cookie Time provides food for the diggers with One Square Meal Bars and Speights and the QMTBC provide beer for vital after dig refreshments.
Club president and organiser of the wednesday diggers says “the Wednesday night digs are a great example of how great the biking community is, no one is forced to come, they come because it’s a good time and ultimately bikers need tracks to ride and most mountain bikers prefer technical singletrack trails and that’s what we are building. There are no budgets or timeframes, just people having fun and building trails for locals and visitors to enjoy.”
Since it’s inception in October 2012 the crew have built 5 new trails including BoB (Built On Beer), a 2 way trail avoiding an existing steep dual use track, Gold Digger, a singletrack following gold mining remains alongside Moke lake road, 2 trails in the 7mile scenic reserve and their latest creation Pack Track and Sack. All of these trails are open to bikers and walkers to enjoy.
As well as building new trails the diggers maintain biking and walking trails between new projects. The crew has spent 220 hours managing vegetation and fixing slips on the Moonlight track, 123.5 hours managing water erosion and rebuilding sections on the Skippers Pack Track with Vertigo bikes and most recently 82.5 hours clearing the overgrown Arawata Terrace Track.
Approximately 265 hours has been spent on club trails such as Rude Rock, Gold Digger and BoB. Lots of these dual use trails receive very little maintenance and if bikers didn’t take care of them tracks like Skippers and the moonlight may not be usable at all for walkers and bikers.
The club has also started a trail adoption program for local businesses to cary out basic maintenance on club trails. Bidvest have been doing great work on BoB and R&R Sports have been looking after Gold Digger.