Friday, June 26, 2009

Thursnight: McPleasn'tGreenmitMondgans squirrelville

forgive us for we have sinned... Last night, nelsh picked me up about half 7, we cruised to McCormacks Bay and headed up into the valley. there's been some work going on in there, and they've mulched the hillside of its brush, so the track was a soft sucky heap of sticks and mulch, albeit a fennel fragranted one. headed off the mulched track onto the single track and started squirrelling our way up, me walking heaps cos i just couldnt get good traction... by the time we got into the switchbacks parts of the track were saturated with water oozing from the hillside, and much walking ensued... onto the road and we tried out Longridge Drive, on up thru to Upper Major Hornbrook, which was a steep wee grunt, tho got rid of a lot of the duller sections of Mt Pleasant Rd...

got to summit rd, hung a left, and rolled on down to the start of Greenwood. here began the badness and sinfulness. which, if you read on, we ameliorated a little, did some pennance as it were. yes, i read now on ccc website that it is Avoid, but earlier i'd figured, no rain since weekend, should be good to go, right? wrong. anyway, we soldiered on, i ended up mostly riding several metres away from the track, parallel, following sheep lines through the tussocks, something that isnt too bad to do on those slopes. due to the trail being reasonably flat in that area, it holds ALL the water. we stopped and cleared out one particularly bad drain, cleaning up the wooden drainage channel and its feeders. at the same time, bumped into someone i know who was up walking with a mate.

continued to squirrel around on down and round, past the ruins, the trail picking up a bit in places, over all the rocky corners, all good, nice flow on, with minimal wet spots, until down round on the east face... rode through a bunch of stuff and i holla'd to Nelsh that we oughta stop and do something... so, out with the shovel, and repair repair repair. the water is just ooozing out of the hillside, and in places it is running down the track, so we took measures to stifle its flow down the track by making it drain straight across. fixed up a few really bad spots, but left others for another time.

on down, round into gloomy gulch, boardwalk so sweet compared to old slats. nasty section over the rocks and then i was super tentative further down on the rocks, but then good flowy sections into the top of the next few switchbacks, where i found nelsh stopped. out with the spade, where one place water was running down round a corner, really trashing the track. this was cos of a completely blocked wooden drainage channel, which i had to get my hand into the stinky anaerobic mud to clear, dug, diverted water, cleared out drain... corner pretty much sorted. should dry out nicely now.

on down, sketchiness prevailing, round and up to that little creek, part of which was running down the trail... so. out with the spade, yet again, and dug it out so it wasnt running down the trail. and then on down and out, the rest of the track being pretty good cos its north facing and has enough rocks around.

Up Summit road to the big pines on Richmond Hill, nice flowy cruise down paddock towards Panorama. over stile, through cattle, over style, down rooty interesting fun section, over stile, more rooty under trees, over stile onto Clifton to Panorama, down to "Private R.O.W" down round tanks and down steps (vibrating mud off)to Tuawera, down next bit Kinsey, and on down Mulgan's Track. if you didnt know the area, i doubt you'd find your way down all that. Nelsh managed to hop-ride all of the mulgan switchbacks, amazing.
then, on through redcliffs back to the vehicle. homeward bound 10.30ish. guess we spent about an hour digging... so, yes, i freely admit, these were far from ideal riding conditions, and really shouldnt have been up there, but, we did some work and maintenance on the trail, which is more than most who trash the tracks ever do...

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