Sunday, June 24, 2018

Sunday Wharfdale Surprise

Got a surprise leave pass so headed out to Nelson's.  Nice fine nor'west day, and we headed around to View Hill and up the road.  Pete's Ford ford is all good now, raised concrete that it is, but the 2nd ford was a little marginal, but Nelson's pretty confident, so he just powered on through, no problems.  Shared gate duty with a girl in a Rangey (ie, I opened them, she followed Nelson through), but luckily it was only the first and last gates (2 in between open).  Gale blowing at the car park, quite cool, but still a sunny day so off we rode.

First time up here for 2 years!  Nice uneventful climb in, up, down, up.  On the longer downhill cruising along, trail pretty dry, a few puddles but no bother.  Moved one tree that was easy.  Tried to move a couple others that weren't.  Met three hunter/tramper guys.  Said there were 6 more trampers behind.  The first of the six was rather chatty.  Then proceeded to meet the rest, first a couple.  Then a couple of guys.  Then a woman.  Spitty rain started to fall.  It was looking pretty bleak further up, but on we rode.  Made the saddle and the rain was slightly heavier, but we were keen to check out the Black Hill track, so rode down towards the hut to the turn off for that, thinking we might carry up it for a bit before turning back.  Got there, walked up the first 20 metres of it and realised it'd be sketchy as hell.  Rain was quite heavy now.

Turned back here, climbing, and the trail was ever increasingly running with water the further we progressed.  Jackets soaking wet, water pouring off us.  Awesome blast down from the saddle, after having cleared a log off it on the way in we had a clear run, high speed, roots-a-poppin' blast.  Around the corner, down over the trenchguts, around the corner and onwards.  Fantastic.  Climby bits weren't too bad, and the descent to the creek that used to be quite dodgy is all nicely benched now.  Same with what was once a rockface drop after that creek.  More cruising climbing, wind howling in the trees around us, more and more as we progressed.  Sometimes tailwind pushing along, other times blasting from the side.  On the ridge where all the windthrow was from the past it was blasting through just before the descent through all the bridges. Great blast down this and then final climb, soaking wet, dripping.  Passed a bunch of walkers on the final descent blasting down to the car where the wind was ripping through, freezing cold.

Worked out well tho, cos we got in between the walking group's two vehicles, and the girl from the front one opened and shut the gates for us all.  Got to the ford and it had risen quite a bit.  The front 4wd got through, and stopped to see if we would.  Water right up over the bonnet, but made it, then the 2nd (less burly 4wd) also made it.

Good ride.  Tho mucky and cold(ish).  22.5kms, 724m climbed.

No comments: