First Mtb Ascent Of The Lyell Saddle

Postby Sickman on Sun 5/Dec/10 11:33am

The first MTB ascent up to the Lyell Saddle from Lyell Carpark.
7 Hr return trip, I was on a Reign, while AJ single speed it.
Dry conditions. 30-40 mins of bike carrying.
The earthquake slips section is still to be worked on so are only just walkable at this stage carrying bikes. Very exposed (200 m fall if you fell) so need a head for heights and good weather. Currently the marked route goes over top of the slips to avoid this dodgy section.
Native bird life, heaps.

Trip report to come. Here some photos.
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Lower Slip, 200m drop off to the right

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Upper Slip which is even more dodgy at the moment

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Old gold miners tea pot at what is now named 'Tea Pot Camp'

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Got mossy near the Saddle

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Lyell Saddle with great views. Has been cleared for heli access and proposed Ghost Road hut site

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Riding some of the exposed sections

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Looking at where you do not want to go - Lower Slip

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AJ riding over a typical large tree fall. Riding is generally like this most of the way.
Sickman
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Re: First Mtb Ascent Of The Lyell Saddle

Postby onyabike on Sun 5/Dec/10 11:56am

cool. iv only been to ten mile. will have to push on full mish next time!
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Re: First Mtb Ascent Of The Lyell Saddle

Postby swtchbckr on Sun 5/Dec/10 1:46pm

nice!!!!
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Re: First Mtb Ascent Of The Lyell Saddle

Postby Brokendown on Sun 5/Dec/10 1:57pm

Looks like those slips would be a mish. Last time I rode up the Lyall I saw a real life genuine Kiwi only time ive seen one in the wild even got some photos to prove it. Its mint up there that Ghost road is going to be pretty sweet.
Brokendown
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Re: First Mtb Ascent Of The Lyell Saddle

Postby XCguy on Sun 5/Dec/10 2:12pm

Nice one Timo! It's looking good :)

I look forward to heading in there again to see the new work
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Re: First Mtb Ascent Of The Lyell Saddle

Postby Kyle on Sun 5/Dec/10 3:57pm

Cool photos. That slip crossing in the second photo looks ridiculously sketchy.
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Re: First Mtb Ascent Of The Lyell Saddle

Postby Nick_K on Sun 5/Dec/10 4:42pm

The drops to the side of photos 1 and 2 look well terrifying!

Anyone thought of bolting a safety wire to hold onto into the rock face? Was a reasonably common thing I saw riding in Europe.
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Re: First Mtb Ascent Of The Lyell Saddle

Postby Oli on Sun 5/Dec/10 6:13pm

Superb aratard! :D
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Re: First Mtb Ascent Of The Lyell Saddle

Postby Simonk on Sun 5/Dec/10 7:46pm

Wow! That look pretty spectacular, alright. [scurries off to put on the 'To do' list]
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Re: First Mtb Ascent Of The Lyell Saddle

Postby JaredTheAmazing on Mon 6/Dec/10 2:03am

Impressive!......makes you the human equivalent of these dudes
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Re: First Mtb Ascent Of The Lyell Saddle

Postby Sickman on Mon 6/Dec/10 1:06pm

Yeah the slips are quite sketchy at the moment, that is why the marked route is up and over the slips at the moment. The plan I hear is to make a track across the slips wide enough so a 1.5 ton digger can get across. Yeah a safety cable might be an option as was.

I liked the ride even thou the bike carrying and scrambling over the sections still to be worked on got a bit to me. It felt like a true adventure ride. The adventure, rawness, and technically of the ride will disappear a bit once a digger has been though the whole lot (that should happen by March I hear). However in saying that a couple of diggers have been through to 8 Mile hut just over a year ago but you would not know it now with the thickness of the leaf litter. But if you want a moderate technical adventure then now is a good time to do it (take some garden snips and a folding saw if you have a slower rider in the group and taking out the occasional bush lawyer/sapplejack for the next rider would be good). It would be a good first jungle mish ride to take a newish rider on as it is 4% grade all the way up and not really technical and all downhill on the way back. The ride up to the 8 mile hut is 99% rideable for beginners but they need to be fit as it is a steady 4% uphill in soft leaf litter for 7 km.
Sickman
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Re: First Mtb Ascent Of The Lyell Saddle

Postby AdamMTB on Mon 6/Dec/10 3:27pm

Good work Tim! Shame I wasn't around to join.
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Re: First Mtb Ascent Of The Lyell Saddle

Postby Sickman on Thu 9/Dec/10 4:57am

I see the track has just got $2m of funding signed today
http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/quotold-ghostquot-trail-receives-2-million-new-zealand-cycle-trail-project/5/74939
Excellent. Will be a good track.
Sickman
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Re: First Mtb Ascent Of The Lyell Saddle

Postby Brokendown on Thu 9/Dec/10 11:50am

The funding is awesome news nice to see off road cycling getting such good news lately what with this and the Q.T. Gondola trail and the heaphy reopening a credit to all those working their butts off behind the scenes.
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Re: First Mtb Ascent Of The Lyell Saddle

Postby Sickman on Mon 3/Jan/11 1:59am

I have only just noticed that I only just posted the raw exciting photos that may scared some of the less experienced and adventurous bikers off.
Here are some photos of the first 8 km uphill (gentle but constant 4% grade) to the 8 Mile Hut, which is suitable for all abilities.

Check the latest details on the trail here
http://www.oldghostroad.org.nz/home

Has anyone done the ride or tramp up to the saddle during the holidays?

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Standard track conditions for the first 8 kms


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The track edges it way slowly up the side of the valley


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The bird life is fantastic, plentiful and sooo friendly.


Tramping - Lyell to Glasglow Traverse-5.JPG
Old gold mining relics. You might have to walk to this one. Photo taken during my first visit to the Lyell track on a tramping mission.


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There maybe the occasional new slip on the track


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Typical Lyell track riding


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Volunteer track builders taking a break in the Buller sunshine with majestic views near the slips.
If you are keen you can help out with the track building
Sickman
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