Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thursday night Gauntlet pixies

Usual pick up from work, traffic jammin' across town and up Major Aitken and on up to the top.  Changed and on up the trail, taking the dirt rather than the gravel, wending our way up under the pylons and on upwards.  Nelson was reveling in how smooth his climbing was, so i took a go at it, but my weight compresses his suspension so much i could only feel the smooth, but not the 'easier' climbing...  Swapped back pretty quick and continued to the top.  Too many walkers and runners around for a repeat of our recent friday night excursion, so we headed up over Vernon and bombed it round and down, traction a bit random at times, to top of Rapaki.

Explosions have been happening on Witch Hill recently, and so signage was up to stay out, but they'd finished today, apparently, and it was dark, and night time, so we climbed the plastic tape and headed round.  Good wee climb, rocky technical interestingness, one rock getting the better of me, then it was detouring past the sign at the other end and onto the road.  Nice and easy up round and up and through an easily opened gate set up below the Tors, and on up, a few new rocks on the road, from the blasting and loosening that's been going on.  Finally, the top of Castlerock track and a bit of a bite to eat.

Off down the trail we headed, me in the lead, feeling pretty on form all the way down to the first hairpin, only one or two damp spots, tho, a bit of livestock damage.  But, round the first hairpin and half way along, the old wetspot, mucky as, then round the second hairpin, more cattle damage hoof holes and then bad wet bits, bridge, climb started and wet spot we worked on years ago.  Stopped here and Nelson got his spade out and dug and cleared, then back to the next wetspot and we moved a bunch of rocks and built an armoured section, under which was a wee spring, then back up to between the hairpins and dug a few drains but not much else we could do.  After this we were done with maintenance so climb up, we did.  Clamber clamber clamber, did really well, cleaning everything til near the top just outright lost my balance, let Nelson past and onwards up, the last usual rocky steep getting both of us.

Off down the road, crap (literally, crap) flying off our wheels, through the gate, onwards down the road and back onto the Witch Hill trail, better in this direction, short climb then nice rolly return.  Across the top of Rapaki, couple of lights heading up, and straight into the singletrack climb, good pace, big ring the whole way up, finally crossing the road and heading into the singletrack again, blazing across then dropping down the offpistes, sheep trails in the tussocks then down the gravel, then at last, the jumpy (and rutty) trail down and back to the car.

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