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New Altura trail at Whinlatter

marfismarfis Posts: 10
edited October 2009 in Routes
Hi folks. Has anyone else tried the new Altura trail at Whinlatter? I know it doesn't officially open until tomorrow but i've been up today and done the sections of the north loop that are open, along with quite a few other people.
I'm a bit of a novice when it comes to singletracks of this type (only done Grizedale before!) but it seems pretty good. Good variety of surface and gradient with quite a few jumps thrown in, especially the last downhill section! The triple very nearly caught me out big time as it's deceptively quick into it. However the downhill bit was so good I went back up for another go!
The only bad points are that it really needs bedding in with water as it's been so dry up here lately the berms and new track hasn't sealed together. Here's hoping it gets better!
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  • Took a spin round it yesterday. Have to admit this was my first experience of a single track trail so it was all a bit of a 'Learning Experience'!
    Thoroughly enjoyed it, though as Marfis says it's decidedly loose in place, especially the last bit, though the fella in the bike shop said they are going to sort it before it opens officially.
    Anyone thinking trying it, be warned, watch the last section. It's zig zags down a very steep fellslope and wouldn't forgive a mistake.
  • mtb.boymtb.boy Posts: 208
    Rode it this morning after the opening ceremony (the free glass of champagne and goodie bag was an unexpected bonus).

    It is a good trail. I was knackered by the end (although I have not ridden off road for over a year). I had to walk a few sections as the berms were too steep for me to get up them (cos I was not going fast enough) and the bottom of the berms were about 6 inches deep with really loose gravel/rocks.

    Good hour and 30 mins ride on my hardtail with no off-road confidence.
    The first rule of cycling is - Tell everyone how great cycling is.

    The second rule of cycling is - Tell everyone how great cycling is !!!!
  • marfismarfis Posts: 10
    free glass of champagne

    There's nothing like a good healthy drink to start the day! :lol:
  • After a long wait for a manmade trail close to home I finally tried the Whinlatter first half today.

    The parking area and facilities look fantastic with parking costing roughly £1 p/h which is pretty normal. Though for myself being local the £15 pass is tempting. Saying this though just outside the centre there is lots of free parking very very close by so why buy a pass - which was why they were full and the main carpark pretty empty - I paid btw.

    Set of with high hopes having sampled many Trails throughout the UK I was looking forward to this - I like riding new trails before they bed in as often it makes them more technical which is what I like. I must say for a new trail it looks fantastically groomed with clear waymarkers and an Altura arch at the start of the route similar to stuff you see at the start of Coed y Brenin routes.

    Often new routes are rough and stony but roots still have bark on them offering better grip to begin with - Whinlatter breaks this mould though. The start is fun with a couple of Black graded (well marked) features to the sides that can be avoided - this is nice to see and a great idea - for example you approach a rock drop an dthe left is marked black the right easy side red - unfortunately this great idea is not continued. It's a bit of usual trail fare as it weaves it way to the obligatory climb. It's a nice start and really had me excited so i pushed hard up the fireroad climb - which isn't difficult by lakes normal standard but you gain alot of altitude pretty quickly with some nice views over to keswick/Dodd Wood and bass lake.

    After this it's some once again well manicured gravel single track with nothing really technical but the odd root (alot have been cut away) but there is nothing to make you think much - some tight stony and slippery switchbacks are the only real difficulties but i suspect most will manage due to how much work has gone into the trail surface itself.
    Once these switchback climbs bed in and loose the loose stones they will not be a problem at all.

    The trail continues much the same with nothinig but the same continued but its good stuff so.., no really difficult sections - nothing that won't have you wanting to go back and see if you can clean it next time. I'm not the best biker but nothing had me wondering if i'd make it ok.

    [Edited out a complaint coz it wasn't really valid]
    Last section is a bit more down hill and first time i done this I wasn't too happy with it - what a difference a different approach makes (and some heavy rain) had a fantasic thrill ride down and what first seemed a bit scary becomes pretty simple with a bit of speed.

    Though saying this it needs the lower banks to be cleared of stones as if your not confident due to the side drops the inner path is leathal - nearly hit someone at the bottom of one as they were forced to walk down and I has committed

    Initially I said it was a bit easy but some rain really made it a pleasure to ride and it held up well under the torrential stuff - no quagmires to negotiate.

    Overall it's a well made track (too well made some would argue including myself) and mostly newbie friendly with no real technical climbs. There isn't any northshore except a tiny section on one of the two black features.

    I really did enjoy the last section the second ride and grinned like an idiot all the way down
    still prefere a more protracted decent but hey its different.

    Personally I like rocky sections and man made rock gardens but I suspect they arn't there to be sympathetic to the surroundings.

    Yeah it's a bit short just being the first half of the course but there is a fair bit of altitude involved so the full thing will be fantastic.

    Overall its a great flowing track and HT friendly due to the lach of very rough stuff.
    Don't ride a HT i'm just guessing.
  • CappieCappie Posts: 22
    Rode it last night on my coiler, seriously wrong choice of bike!

    It's a hardtail must!
  • cakesiecakesie Posts: 27
    Well I rode the AT again last night. Third time in as many weeks. I don't know if it's just the bad weather but it seems to be cutting up pretty badly in places. Is this common in new trails? There are lots of potholes where the trail is soft and on the top section that skirts under Seat How there is quite a lot of water running across. This is probably due to it being cut into the peat! The second two single trail sections are standing up pretty well but it was intresting to see where the wheel tracks disappear into the undergrowth! :lol:
  • Aye most trails do this. Once the trail builders see where it waterlogs they can sort it out.

    Rode it today in the rain and noticed several areas that had seen some patching and it was a great deal better than when I rode it wet a week or so ago.
    Of all the courses i've ridded this has next to no pools of standing water, the one or two that were have been filled in with chippings in the last week.

    Remember it's been pretty much raining here on and off all the time and I for one have been pretty impressed as most courses have multiple quagmires, the kind where you see tracks entering but nowt coming out :P

    Clearly it's impossible to tell exaclty where problems will arise until they do. So the trail like any other takes some bedding in.
  • Yukon LadYukon Lad Posts: 423
    Hi,

    After reading MBUK and WMB i had a look on here and decided it looked like a useful site so joined. I live in the area and want to use the trail but am unsure about the difficultys.

    Am a complete noob and although i've been cycling for a bit have never done any trails. I've got a yukon fx2 and want to try it. Are there varying difficultys and would i be alright to tempt it.

    Thanks, Yukon Lad :D
    Drop, Berm, Jump, Sky, Sky, Sky, Sweet Beautiful Earth OUCH, OUCH,OUCH, ****! GORSE BUSH!!!

    Giant Yukon FX2
    Kona Stab Deluxe 2008
  • marfismarfis Posts: 10
    There are no real difficulties with the trail as such. I'm not that experienced and only find trouble with entry speed into the jumps on the last downhill section. Have a crack at it and enjoy!
  • Yukon LadYukon Lad Posts: 423
    Thanks, am definitely going to go, thanks for the help.
    Has anyone got any information on difficultys (red, blue, black e.t.c)

    Many thanks, Yukon Lad
    Drop, Berm, Jump, Sky, Sky, Sky, Sweet Beautiful Earth OUCH, OUCH,OUCH, ****! GORSE BUSH!!!

    Giant Yukon FX2
    Kona Stab Deluxe 2008
  • marfismarfis Posts: 10
    It's 95% red with a few short black sections thrown in as an alternative.
  • Yukon LadYukon Lad Posts: 423
    What is the height of the highest drop (if there are any) and what is the hardest technical challenge on the red trail and are the black sections avoidable or are they alright.

    Thanks, Yukon Lad
    Drop, Berm, Jump, Sky, Sky, Sky, Sweet Beautiful Earth OUCH, OUCH,OUCH, ****! GORSE BUSH!!!

    Giant Yukon FX2
    Kona Stab Deluxe 2008
  • marfismarfis Posts: 10
    Everything can be ridden on the red and the blacks are easily bypassed. The trickiest bits are the steepish sections but they aren't bad and the jumps in the last downhill section.
  • Yukon LadYukon Lad Posts: 423
    Thanks, hoping to go this weekend, would an XC frame hold up on it or would it break (Yukon FX2)

    Thanks, Yukon Lad
    Drop, Berm, Jump, Sky, Sky, Sky, Sweet Beautiful Earth OUCH, OUCH,OUCH, ****! GORSE BUSH!!!

    Giant Yukon FX2
    Kona Stab Deluxe 2008
  • ratty2kratty2k Posts: 3,872
    :lol: Bike will be fine, you will be fine. Get out and ride it!
    My Pics !


    Whadda ya mean I dont believe in god?
    I talk to him everyday....
  • Yukon LadYukon Lad Posts: 423
    :lol: am hoping to go either this weekend or next week. Will probably walk down before the downhill section and the couple of black bits and have a look so i know what to try and avoid and what to do slowly.

    Many thanks, Yukon Lad :D
    Drop, Berm, Jump, Sky, Sky, Sky, Sweet Beautiful Earth OUCH, OUCH,OUCH, ****! GORSE BUSH!!!

    Giant Yukon FX2
    Kona Stab Deluxe 2008
  • Yukon LadYukon Lad Posts: 423
    I went yesterday and it was awesome :D:D ! Really nice singletrack, nice and fast but perfect for a beginner like me because you can roll over anything but i did most of it apart from the drop on the first bit which is mental for me to even try :oops: ,

    Reallly enjoyed the last downhill bit but found on one of the jumps before the very steep berm (which was fine) that the exit ramp was too close and i completley overshot it.

    Am possibly going tomorrow because i really enjoyed it, thanks to everyone from here for helping me get over my initial fears :)

    Thanks again, Yukon Lad :D
    Drop, Berm, Jump, Sky, Sky, Sky, Sweet Beautiful Earth OUCH, OUCH,OUCH, ****! GORSE BUSH!!!

    Giant Yukon FX2
    Kona Stab Deluxe 2008
  • bungalisticbungalistic Posts: 543
    So far the trail is pretty good, though it is definatley more based toward the XC'ers out there. In my mind there is more uphill (some very gradual but still uphill) than downhill. The last section is by far the best bit about the trail, though there are a few issues with that I have.

    The table tops are actually too short, it is very easy to clear them to flat and since they rounded the lips off they aren't as much fun as they were, but I understand why they did that.

    There is also another small tabletop jump that again is too short and steep, any dirt jumpers will know what I mean if they ride it. The three braking bumps after are pretty horrid too, you're carrying quite a bit of speed when you hit them and they could definately catch out some riders. In my opinion they should remove these (or turn them into a double) and then make the berm straight after bigger so you can safely keep your speed without launching off the top of it.

    All in all I think it's great we finally have something like this in our area, it has taken far too long, it is pretty good for a red route and more or less what I would expect of one, it is nice they have tried to add in some black options to the trail and I would personally like to see a few more of these being put in.

    There is still alot of work to do on the trail, with the other half only being built as we speak and the trail will also be getting a good going over and fix up over this time also, according to the guys who run the Whinlatter bike shop.

    Trail should be all finished by October I was told so keep your eyes peeled for new stuff soon.
  • marfismarfis Posts: 10
    As you say there is still a lot more to come at Whinlatter. I was talking ot the guys in the shop and they were reckoning that the South loop will have a section of pure downhill 2 miles long! Just how many "features" will be incorporated I don't know.
    I was up there on Sunday again and found it a lot better having fitted new bigger wheels and tyres.
  • cammercammer Posts: 55
    Hi all,

    Was up there earlier this week and loved the trail until I hit this section:
    The three braking bumps after are pretty horrid too, you're carrying quite a bit of speed when you hit them and they could definately catch out some riders. In my opinion they should remove these (or turn them into a double) and then make the berm straight after bigger so you can safely keep your speed without launching off the top of it.

    Straight over the handlebars onto my face just before the berm. Those in the shop hadn't heard of anyone crashing on the bumps before but I'm surprised if nobody has. Quite easy to lose it as you are breaking for the berm as this point.

    Shouldn't have been going as fast on first (and only) lap really but I can't see the need for them. You can see the berm so you don't need 3 bumps to 'slow' you down. A sign would do a better job if something is needed to warn people.
  • Yukon LadYukon Lad Posts: 423
    yep, same problem with a couple of the tabletops, way to small especially as if you pump the berm before for speed then you just soar straight over the first bit and just land flat completley, also with the braking bumps, i wouldn't have any problem with them but they're too steep and too close, i now avoid them and just use my brakes.

    Fell of on friday because i went too fast into a berm and dropped onto the inside line which is covered in loose shingle, back tyre spun and i faceplanted and sprained my thumb and it still hurts to shift the three big cogs.

    Still absolute love it their though but i must admit the last bit is the best but on the southern loop 2 miles of pure downhill sounds too much for me, am useless at drops and other technical elements such as rock gardens but if its red with avoidable black sections then i'll try it but need to get better gear (gloves, shin and knee pads and full-face helmet)

    Thanks for everyone on here for all the helps and convincing me to try it. Am so glad I did.

    Thanks again, Yukon Lad
    Drop, Berm, Jump, Sky, Sky, Sky, Sweet Beautiful Earth OUCH, OUCH,OUCH, ****! GORSE BUSH!!!

    Giant Yukon FX2
    Kona Stab Deluxe 2008
  • marfismarfis Posts: 10
    Glad you enjoyed it. I suppose it's like all new rides; the more you go, you learn about where the tricky bits are.
  • bungalisticbungalistic Posts: 543
    Yukon Lad wrote:
    Still absolute love it their though but i must admit the last bit is the best but on the southern loop 2 miles of pure downhill sounds too much for me, am useless at drops and other technical elements such as rock gardens but if its red with avoidable black sections then i'll try it but need to get better gear (gloves, shin and knee pads and full-face helmet)

    At the moment there are no plans for any sort of serious downhill sections, they do not have permission to build it yet, this info comes directly from the bike shop guys and builders themselves who I was talking to last week.

    What I was told was that they only had a license to build a red trail but what they would do is build jumps, drops offs etc into the trail for those who liked that sort of thing, not too disimilar to the last two sections they have now. The build on this is starting up about now and should be done for October.

    You can take those horrible three bumps quite fast if you are careful, just lean right back, and very quickly pump into all of them to stop yourself jumping them, a decent fork does help in this as it will absorb more and make you less likely to go flying head over heels.
  • Yukon LadYukon Lad Posts: 423
    Sounds good, am alright with jumps (to a certain extent) but with jumps i still need to get the hang of things like manuals and front lifts to do drops with landing front wheel first.

    I also need to get the hang of bunny hops for use on natrual trails to get over stumps and stuff like that.

    Thanks, Yukon Lad
    Drop, Berm, Jump, Sky, Sky, Sky, Sweet Beautiful Earth OUCH, OUCH,OUCH, ****! GORSE BUSH!!!

    Giant Yukon FX2
    Kona Stab Deluxe 2008
  • SlatSlat Posts: 16
    The three braking bumps after are pretty horrid too, you're carrying quite a bit of speed when you hit them and they could definately catch out some riders. In my opinion they should remove these (or turn them into a double) and then make the berm straight after bigger so you can safely keep your speed without launching off the top of it.

    Just have to say i disagree with this. If the 3 bumbs wernt there then you would definetly get people wiping out on and over the berm and taking a few trees out along the way. If you compress the bike down before them you can jump the lot and then set up for the berm, there is no problem. Its the same with the rollers further up the trail, if they wernt there the more inexperienced riders may just fly right the way off the end of the berms landing perhaps in Cockermouth.

    Well done to Hugh Clixby for so far making a great trail!
  • Just have to say i disagree with this. If the 3 bumbs wernt there then you would definetly get people wiping out on and over the berm and taking a few trees out along the way. If you compress the bike down before them you can jump the lot and then set up for the berm, there is no problem. Its the same with the rollers further up the trail, if they wernt there the more inexperienced riders may just fly right the way off the end of the berms landing perhaps in Cockermouth.

    Well done to Hugh Clixby for so far making a great trail!

    Which is why I said to make it a double or create a bigger berm. It's fine for you to say compress and jump them but many riders won't be comfortable in doing that. Quite a few folk have hurt themselves (some badly) on this particular section which I think needs rethought out and changed.

    Even making the bumps a bit longer and smoother, and not quite as sharp would be better, less chance for inexperienced riders to stack it on them and more experienced riders can still jump them or smoothly pump through keeping their speed up.

    I'm sure the guys at Clixby's and Whinlatter have heard thoughts on this already and will take it into consideration as they check the trail for wear and tear and fix up any problems that may be occuring.
  • SlatSlat Posts: 16
    I see what you mean
  • Yukon LadYukon Lad Posts: 423
    yeah, can't wait till both loops are finished should be awesome, for some reason when i went first time i did great, took everything really smoothly even though i pushed well beyond my limits, i've been 4 times since, know now where everything is but am riding really badly and am going really slowly through berms, i am new but aren't that bad.

    Still am enjoying it but can't work out what it was, maybe i had a fluke on my first time and am really just rubbish :D
    Drop, Berm, Jump, Sky, Sky, Sky, Sweet Beautiful Earth OUCH, OUCH,OUCH, ****! GORSE BUSH!!!

    Giant Yukon FX2
    Kona Stab Deluxe 2008
  • MikeTMikeT Posts: 7
    with regards to the bumps before the berm, i see them as a rhythm section rather than braking bumps, and because it is positioned before the berm it convieniently slows riders down. Its good to see this feature on the trail as although it doesn't look very technical, it does require a lot skill to ride through fast, whether your jumping, rolling or manualling through it. However, the one at Whinlatter is very small, so it is hard to see it coming up, and the first bump is actually smaller than the second two, which makes it hard to get any kick off it as there isn't much of a lip, I for one nearly went flying over the bars trying too clear them. I like the idea of a rhythm section and like i said it is cleverly positioned to slow riders down, the bumps just need making a bit bigger and taller so that good riders can jump them properly or manual through them and they will also be easy to see so no-one will get caught out by them.

    As for the tabletops, I definately agree they are too small. They should make them longer with a bigger landing area, a bit like the ones on the glentress bikepark, so they are more fun to ride and are trickable. The way they are at the moment, you either have to slow down, or squash the jump which isn't as fun as pumping it. Same goes for the two doubles as well.

    I also can't really understand the section just after the rhythm section when the trail comes back out of the forest to a line of about 10 kickers, all of them to flat landings. I can understand having a few as it teaches you to keep your bike as low to the ground as possible ( squashing it) or maybe even to manual them, but 10 of them just gets a bit repetetive and isn't really fun to ride. They could have thought of something more interesting to build, a few drops or some more tables and doubles would have been better, Its like they ran out of ideas.

    Don't get me wrong I love the trail, but if they made these alterations, I reckon the last descent would be way more fun to ride than it already is.
  • speleospeleo Posts: 1
    Rode the Altura route twice in the last week (once with the singletrack climb open) and think it's great. It was wet both times and the northshore was stupidly slippy, but the trail was all rideable. The final section is superb. Having done a fair bit of riding but not much jumping it's a great learning spot. I did about 5 loops of the final descent and by the end could just clear the triple braking bumps or whatever they are. The doubles are good for learners and if you over jump them the landing is fine. Hugh and the team have done a great job and I eagerly await the other loop.
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