From October and beyond
Summer was brutal, all the trails on the open side of the hill really suffered from the winter with rills, under runners and slumps. So much so, we spent the whole summer just trying to get the trails back up to scratch. Handle the Jandal and Airteroa being the main culprits.
A very wet September and October put the main works on hold which didn’t help. The soils on the hill are a very particular type called Loess soils. Loess soils come under different engineering parameters to other soils and there are specific building regulations because they are known to be so erodible.
Loess means windblown and they predominantly consist of glacial flour (Finely ground rock) blown over from the glaciers on the southern Alps over millions of years. Too wet and the soil runs away with the water, too dry and they turn to dust.
We have known since the fires that we needed to be building in the trees. The problem we had was that the block beneath Sign of the Kiwi was still under an insurance claim and there was the potential that the trees may have been harvested.
Fortunately, earlier this year this block was released back to us and it was confirmed that no harvesting was required. This was a key moment because we knew full well that if the trees were harvested it would have significantly impacted the Park.
We also know the park is black and double black heavy, We are planning on changing this as much as the terrain in the trees will allow (a lot of the terrain is too steep for blue trails). The next 3 trails to be opened are all blue and designed to be progressive for the intermediate rider and good fun for the higher end riders.
The first trail is a blue flow trail designed to fill the gap between Handle the Jandal and Airteroa with more variety of features such as transfers and hip jumps.
The second is a blue technical trail coming down from the head of the valley and is using a machine for the corners and major works with hand built sections in between, hopefully bringing the best of both worlds…
The third is a hand built trail put together by the mighty CAP volunteers headed up by the creative genius Aaron Hogg (Builder of Shredzilla, Kama Sutra, Throw the Goat and Yoda), this is bound to test the boundaries of just how tech a blue can get…… Cannot wait!
Needless to say, we are cracking on with the maintenance. We know the trails in the open area are in poor condition and it makes us sad. It also motivates us to turn it around. Our biggest issue at the moment is the stability and availability of soil…..
It's going to take a lot longer to build CAP than anyone anticipated, the fire and logging was just the start of the issues. Moving into this new phase however, the mist is finally clearing, seeing the new saplings coming through is a sign of things to come. With your help, we're slowly changing the story.