Help - Lost On Fringed Hill! - Nelson

Postby mfw on Tue 7/Feb/12 1:35pm

OK, I'm actually safe behind my computer now, but this time yesterday I was lost, or semi lost at least, which started off as an adventure but it turned into a bit of an ordeal :(

I have since checked the maps on tracks.org.nz and it sounds like my route was Black Diamond ridge -> Sunshine Ridge -> Peaking Ridge =} Can anyone confirm this...

My plan was to climb Fringed hill then find some nice singletrack down to either Brook or Matai valley.

The long(!) climb was uneventful up the unsealed '2WD drive' road, got to the top and explored around the twin peaks with antennas. The higher one, with at a memorial seat thing, had some most promising looking tracks to get down, one to the left, marked with a faded black diamond symbol and MTB club name, and one to the right (forget the name, maybe a walking track to Brook valley?) I took the 'black diamond' one.

The foresty track was a bit of a rootfest, and instead of being the big descent I was expecting it felt more like a ridge with lots of undulations, it went on for quite a while until a sign posted intersection (forget the names) with a turn to the left or carry straight on. I took the left and to my disappointment instead of descending it was still pretty undulating (another ridge?) and it got worse, there were large sections of dense forest where there was no real track at all, (I guess the track had been completely washed out in the recent storms) large treefalls proved a nightmare to try and get the bike across, with some mountaineering type experience trequired in places, I was seriously worried about losing the track in places. Thankfully there were white rectangles at regular intervals marking the track but it was still pretty sketchy in places.

I eventually came out into a clearing around some bee hives, and 4WD tracks (yay!) which eventually led down to the Matai river (double yay!), and then some easy tracks down the Maitai valley.

From the Maitai campsite it took me an hour to climb up Fringed Hill and another 3.5 hours to get back down - bit longer than the 2 hours I had planned for, I came out a bit beaten up, scratched and bruised :hmmm:

If this was Black Diamond / Sunshine / Peaking Ridge it was great surroundings but I won't be going back in a hurry(!), not much fun riding at my ability (i.e. a long bike carry).

=} So, onto my main question, are there any 'intermediate' tracks descending from the lofty Fringe?, i.e. fun but not too technical.
Last edited by mfw on Tue 7/Feb/12 3:05pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Help - Lost On Fringed Hill! - Nelson

Postby hickie on Tue 7/Feb/12 1:47pm

From someone that is from Wellington and has only down Fringe/Black Diamond/Sunshine/Peaking ridge once it sounds like you missed the turn from black Diamond to Sunshine as I was following your description up til the bee hives/4wd .

Black diamond/Sunshine are undulating but generally slightly up, then much more down and very technical :)

took me about 4 - 5 hours including climbing Fringe hill, but then I stuck to the road down Matai valley rather than go back over the saddle to the bottom of Fringe hill as I had no hill legs left at that stage...
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Re: Help - Lost On Fringed Hill! - Nelson

Postby onyabike on Tue 7/Feb/12 2:42pm

sounds like you did black diamond and sunrise then down bob taylor road. also sounds like you shouldn't have been on that sort of track. dont know till you try it though. keep pedaling.
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Re: Help - Lost On Fringed Hill! - Nelson

Postby onyabike on Tue 7/Feb/12 3:10pm

and maybe checkout 'the classic' as a descent to brook valley. descends down through the gate from the carpark before you get to top of fringed hill. 4wd type track. major speed can be obtained - or just cruisn.
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Re: Help - Lost On Fringed Hill! - Nelson

Postby Jono on Tue 7/Feb/12 3:36pm

Yeah - Peaking ridge is a damned fun track, but it is at the "jungle riding" end of the scale, with a lot of roots (as is typical with beech forest). That said, once you've got to the end of sunshine ridge and turn onto peaking it's pretty much down all the way. And the last time that I rode it, all but about 5 minutes of the top of fringed hill -> maitai dam was rideable.
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Re: Help - Lost On Fringed Hill! - Nelson

Postby mfw on Tue 7/Feb/12 4:44pm

Thanks for the tips ;)

Yep most of the the tracks were not super technical, just relentless, I could handle that sort of thing in small doses but not for kilometer after kilometer - not the tracks fault though just my lack of ability :D

However, where there had been major slips there was a genuine safety issue (if you were stupid enough to be in there on your own like me), I lost it a bit mentality in there and was thinking I would have to abandon my bike at one point in order to make it down before nightfall :crazy: However a warning sign (about the track slips) wouldn't go amiss, that would have been enough to deter me ;)

Still loving the riding in Nelson though :love:
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Re: Help - Lost On Fringed Hill! - Nelson

Postby kaiteri on Wed 8/Feb/12 7:53am

mfw wrote: =} So, onto my main question, are there any 'intermediate' tracks descending from the lofty Fringe?, i.e. fun but not too technical.


I think that track is waiting to be built...

Meanwhile, the best option is probably to take the turn off Black Diamond that drops you onto the Dun Mountain Trail, then carry on up & over Coppermine Saddle. At least that way you get a long, fun, intermediate downhill.
It's the route for the Coppermine Epic.
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Re: Help - Lost On Fringed Hill! - Nelson

Postby swtchbckr on Wed 8/Feb/12 10:48am

i'm with Onyabike on this one, definitely sounds like you missed the Peaking Ridge turn off and came all the way down Sunshine to BobTaylor hives...
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Re: Help - Lost On Fringed Hill! - Nelson

Postby XCdog on Wed 8/Feb/12 6:45pm

Sounds like you were seriously lost.. There is a Nelson City Council Sign at the black diamond / Sunrise Ridge junction that warns of storm damage etc.
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Re: Help - Lost On Fringed Hill! - Nelson

Postby nz_kgb on Tue 21/Feb/12 9:30pm

Sounds like a good adventure to me actually :)

In regards to tracks that you might like to try, I would recommend either the trails in Codgers (good loop is up fireball road, down Turners trail, back up to the skid site at start of Turners then back down IV line, gully track and out).

Other option is Sharlands Creek trails, in Hira forest up the Maitai valley - there are some easy ones (Wiggles, Waggles, Waterloo ) or for a bit of a step up Supplejack, Rimu and Matai. Then there is Maitai face, Broken Axe and Kaka Downhill up there for a big step up.

Or for more intermediate, head to Kaiteri mtb park.

Heaps of options in Nelson - good to see you out there enjoying the trails!

Cheers,

K
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Re: Help - Lost On Fringed Hill! - Nelson

Postby Dr. Fuentes on Wed 22/Feb/12 8:45am

kaiteri wrote:
mfw wrote: =} So, onto my main question, are there any 'intermediate' tracks descending from the lofty Fringe?, i.e. fun but not too technical.


I think that track is waiting to be built...

Meanwhile, the best option is probably to take the turn off Black Diamond that drops you onto the Dun Mountain Trail, then carry on up & over Coppermine Saddle. At least that way you get a long, fun, intermediate downhill.
It's the route for the Coppermine Epic.


Indeed - or better still, for someone who doesn't like techy riding, hit the Coppermine Enduro course - follow the Dun Mountain trail the whole way to Coppermine Saddle, then head down to the Maitai Valley from there...
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Re: Help - Lost On Fringed Hill! - Nelson

Postby mfw on Wed 22/Feb/12 1:03pm

nz_kgb wrote:Sounds like a good adventure to me actually :)

In regards to tracks that you might like to try, I would recommend either the trails in Codgers (good loop is up fireball road, down Turners trail, back up to the skid site at start of Turners then back down IV line, gully track and out).

Other option is Sharlands Creek trails, in Hira forest up the Maitai valley - there are some easy ones (Wiggles, Waggles, Waterloo ) or for a bit of a step up Supplejack, Rimu and Matai. Then there is Maitai face, Broken Axe and Kaka Downhill up there for a big step up.

Or for more intermediate, head to Kaiteri mtb park.

Heaps of options in Nelson - good to see you out there enjoying the trails!

Cheers,

K

Cheers for the advice, done a number of the Codgers tracks now, was set to try Sharlands with a group ride but it was closed (fire risk) so ended up going up Fringed Hill and Black Diamond again. Found out where I went last time, I had took took the trail signed 'Peaking' (Sunshine ridge I guess). This time round I stayed on the Black Diamond track until the Dun Mtn trail and the long fast descent to the Maitai, may have been longer but much easier / quicker due to no slips :D

Still lots more to explore :love:
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Re: Help - Lost On Fringed Hill! - Nelson

Postby j2hyde on Wed 22/Feb/12 10:52pm

Yeah sunrise probably needs a bit of clearing again. It's a bitch to get a chainsaw up there and there's other projects getting the attention right now so it might be a bit overgrown. But describing it as mountaineering is probably a bit over the top, seriously, it's not that hard.

If you'd turned right about 2/3rds of the way along you'd have hit peaking. And if you'd turned left when you hit that first big clearing with 4WD track you'd have hit 629. Both are awesome trails, but neither are suitble for intermediate riders - a bit steep in places.
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