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  • Nevis new blue opening?
  • Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    I’ve just been looking but cannot see an official opening date for this. Does anyone know?

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    My mate who works at NR was quoting summer – I’ll give him a shout.

    Premier Icon swavis
    Full Member

    Can’t wait for this, it’ll be brilliant with the kids.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    Absolutely swavis, the place has been crying out for it for years, opens it up to a whole different market. I hope Glencoe invest off the back of this, they’ve a huge captive, passing market.

    Premier Icon swavis
    Full Member

    Yep, the wife and I can alternate laps of the red and the kids get to razz down the blue. I can see us heading down the A86 quite a bit 😁

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    From what I’ve seen, you may be razzing down the blue more often than you think, it looks fantastic!. I’ve said for years that a blue up there would be amazing, just purely because of the length it’ll need to be.

    Premier Icon thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Please lord before the end of July…..

    Premier Icon momo
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    I’m really looking forward to this, hoping to get up there later in the year, fingers crossed it’s good for laps with the kids on the Macride!

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Indeed, I have a family keen to roll a few laps…

    Trying to organise a possible late summer date in the diary as FtBill Blue Day.

    Premier Icon richmtb
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    This is great news but was the original reasoning behind not building a blue-graded trail to begin with not that they wanted to avoid noobs and tourists getting into bother halfway up an exposed Scottish mountain?

    Granted its not exactly Denali or the North Face of the Eiger, but it can get cold, wet and exposed pretty quickly up there.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    This is great news but was the original reasoning behind not building a blue-graded trail to begin with not that they wanted to avoid noobs and tourists getting into bother halfway up an exposed Scottish mountain?

    What, like they did when the GT brigade got into a proper kerfuffle on the ‘red’?. 🙂 They’ve finally realised that biking is not quite the minority sport they had it down as, it’s guaranteed annual income for them, unlike the snow season.

    Premier Icon danposs86
    Full Member

    What happened with the GT brigade?

    Premier Icon thegeneralist
    Free Member

    I’m guessing the went down the [ex] red ( is it called Top Chief or something?)
    and were massively out of their depth.

    It’s now listed as a black I think

    Premier Icon 13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    Wondering how they stop it getting blown out by gnarcore shredders treating it like a massive Berm Baby Berm?

    Could you keep the gradient mellow to push more hardcore riders towards the red? Or maybe just loads of gates to slow them down?

    Sounds fun though, blue is about my level on the MTB these days 😎

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Full Member

    Yeah it was called Red Giant and was officially graded the same as the red route at GT. So people that could get round the easiest red route in Scotland were having a go at trail that’s harder then the majority of trail centre blacks.

    They sensibly re-graded it as black (and renamed it Top Chief) in 2018

    I guess the answer for access to the blue graded trail is just to shut it on days that are a bit marginal.

    I hope they continue to expand it and it encourages other “ski” centres to properly embrace mountain biking. Some of them seem to be doing their best to ignore how marginal winter sports centres are in Scotland

    Premier Icon thegeneralist
    Free Member

    hope they continue to expand it and it encourages other “ski” centres to properly embrace mountain biking.

    When you say others, do you mean the lecht, which already has chairlift served MTB, The Mighty One ( ditto) or that piece of shit abomination Cairngorm that explicitly signed up to a train which isn’t allowed to do open MTB uplifts and then dismantled the only chairlift that could have saved the situation?

    Bastards.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Sounds fun though, blue is about my level on the MTB these days

    I think T shirts for the new RUCKUS group need to only be available in blue and green. Asking for a red one should bar you from membership!

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Full Member

    or that piece of shit abomination Cairngorm that explicitly signed up to a train which isn’t allowed to do open MTB uplifts and then dismantled the only chairlift that could have saved the situation?

    Yeah those guys.

    Glencoe and the Lecht are at least trying – they obviously don’t have the advantage of having a marquee event that brings in money and recognition like Fort Bill does. But given the all year tourism that Aviemore and Cairngorm get it almost seems criminal that they are ignoring what could be a more reliable source of income than the fickle snow.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    Wondering how they stop it getting blown out by gnarcore shredders treating it like a massive Berm Baby Berm?

    Maintenance, same as they do regularly on the two existing trails, my mate is always out working on both tracks.

    Back to the OP – looking like end of June/beginning of July, cold weather and materials holding things up at present.

    Premier Icon citizenlee
    Free Member

    Glenshee has lots of potential too. I know you can ride the landy track but they could do so much more with the place.

    Premier Icon stanfree
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    Glenshee has an SDA this year , as does Glencoe using the red. They must be planning to use the existing wee track off Glenshee and putting in jumps or drops I spose.

    Premier Icon a11y
    Full Member

    I’m looking forward to it. I was volunteer bike patrol first aider for a few years but I definitely don’t have the appetite for smashing down the WC track now. At the time (2010-2014) I attended a fair spread of injuries across both tracks, probably 70/30 split favouring the WC track – relatively few folk rode the red yet quite a few who did underestimated it. IMO suits its current black grade status more than it did red.

    I’ve not been back since doing this to myself on closing day in Sept 2014, and yes being the first aider I had to extract myself…

    https://tinyurl.com/zz2wp5xyOuch

    Premier Icon stevemuzzy
    Free Member

    Glenshee had full plans to go bike park drawn up but never progressed due to reasons.

    I think the diversification of them into proper parks would be an amazing revenue stream for the local areas. I am just over an hour from the coe but have never ridden it,i think the black is beyond me and if I am going a big drive to ride I would want more than the 1 trail. If however there were a couple reds, blue flow trail, something slower but techy (like top chief) i would be there!

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    One of our club runners’ brother runs Glencoe ski centre, I’ve mentioned to him a few times, but he says his hands are tied due to the landowner (national trust? Canny remember)

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Full Member

    Its kind of frustrating how little progress there has been at mountain resort style destinations in Scotland

    No one is expecting Whistler but at the minute we can barely rival BPW! Sometimes it feels like anti-bike prejudice is at work, I’ve no real evidence, just an impression.

    Full credit to the guys at Nevis Range for giving it a go. I’ll no doubt be back at some point in the Summer to mince down Top Chief and try a couple of runs on the blue if its open.

    Premier Icon lewzz10
    Full Member

    This is great news but was the original reasoning behind not building a blue-graded trail to begin with not that they wanted to avoid noobs and tourists getting into bother halfway up an exposed Scottish mountain?

    I’ve never taken my emergency bivvy or any first aid with me when riding the existing trails. How is an advanced rider getting stuck up the hill less serious than a beginner?
    I imagine it was based around offering an extra trail for the people who already rode the WC track, who would be excited to go to a bike park with only one trail they can ride?

    Premier Icon GolfChick
    Free Member

    Great news, we’re waiting on this to visit again. We visited before lock down and did the top chief just the once as didn’t want to pay to reride one trail especially as I knew it would be a little above my fellas skill level. This will mean he can ride the blue sometimes and I won’t have to wait and check on his progress.

    Premier Icon TheBrick
    Free Member

    No one is expecting Whistler but at the minute we can barely rival BPW! Sometimes it feels like anti-bike prejudice is at work, I’ve no real evidence, just an impression.

    I’ve often thought this. I’m usually up in Scotland at least once a year for family reasons and have some ridden some amazing trails but so surprised that someone on the highlands haven’t taken advantage of the potential. Maybe its because the boarders are easily accessible to a larger population and hence a business case?

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Full Member

    I’d guesstimate that BPW can put a lot of resource into trail building because it has a very high number of visitors year round – and the hill’s all pretty easily accessible for digging.

    In contrast, Nevis Range (as an example) has very limited opening dates, doesn’t seem so busy and is largely a soggy peat bog. So any new track creation must be a huge undertaking.

    Premier Icon hels
    Free Member

    I think the trail was originally designated a “red downhill” as in not a technical as the WC DH course but not one of the XC trails.

    I can see where the market confusion came in! FWIW I have ridden it and only minced one bit so it can’t be that difficult.

    Premier Icon mashr
    Full Member

    I imagine it was based around offering an extra trail for the people who already rode the WC track, who would be excited to go to a bike park with only one trail they can ride?

    It’s pretty crap on a DH bike, and they would’ve known that when it was first going in. I believe it was built to make the hill more appealing to a larger audience. Ride the “normal” trail but dabble in the WC track if you want a look

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Full Member

    Just noticed it’s on the map now, goes out a bit further than I expected! Wee climb in it, that’s a lot of trail. Crosses over the black too, good for mixing it up. Wouldn’t be surprised if they make a link from that last wee summit down to the witches trails in the future to give more options… Lots of really positive stuff like formalising the Blue Crane which was already announced and… Pro line “one dot”? Looks like a parallel ending on the dh, is that new or just something I’d not noticed before? All good excitement-boosty stuff, I reckon the blue could be as big a gamechanger and new lease of life as the red was.

    https://skimap.org/data/1053/2052/1605486450.jpg

    I was going to hold fire til it opens but couldn’t resist, heading up in a couple of week. It’s been far too long… I’ll head up again once the blue’s open, and my fatbike still has an appointment with the downhill.

    Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    What, like they did when the GT brigade got into a proper kerfuffle on the ‘red’?

    Nothing to do with the “GT brigade”, just what happens when you wildly misgrade a trail, it’s bad juju. Or, it seemed more like the project drifted and what they built wasn’t what they originally planned, but they were already committed to having a “red”? The really daft bit was still having the taster loop in the skills area, where the black taster was easier than the nevis red. “Is this for you?” And of course the only comparable existing trail was the Cackle/Nessie- graded black, while their own reds were mostly pretty easy.

    I reckon that’s also part of why they’re being a bit coy with opening dates this time- they committed to a date for the red, had a grand opening etc, and then it just wasn’t finished on opening day. I don’t mean how it didn’t go all the eway down, I mean stuff like the corner where the boardwalk just ended in mid air and there were helidropped bags of stone sat about, but no corner yet, and you just had to drop into the hole 🙂 Poor old Dougie Vipond…

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    I too think it is a numbers of visitors game.

    Despite good visitor numbers in the Highlands you don’t have as much day trip potential. Edinburgh is 3 hours away via A9 and A86 Spean Bridge, Glasgow 2.5 hours via the (twisty and often slow) A82.

    It is a long way North for most of the population to holiday (particularly for a weekend), even from some of the central belters.

    Even when on holiday up here, Fort William is a long way from many places in Scotland. I think a lot of people underestimate the geography, the size and the travel speeds on our roads. It was news to a colleague a couple of years ago that she was getting a ferry at Corran – she glanced at a map and assumed Inverness Airport – Strontian was an hour on an (easy) A-road and the ferry wasn’t 24hour…

    We have wilder weather and a much shorter season – see todays fresh snow on the hills.

    The economics must be poor compared to BPW (et al.)

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

     everything to do with them just wildly misgrading the trail.

    This. Not just Nevis, see many highland trail centres who seem to pride on ‘the most challenging trails in Scotland/UK’…and then undergrade.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Full Member

    The season length’s been pretty interesting, it used to definitely feel like it was pretty constrained, like there was a really formal “bike season” that was actually pretty short. Now it feels like they open it pretty much as soon as they can every year and run it til they can’t run it any more. I think that itself’s probably a healthy sign… Not 100% but IIRC it used to open first or second weekend in May, and close mid september.

    hels
    Free Member

    I think the trail was originally designated a “red downhill” as in not a technical as the WC DH course but not one of the XC trails.

    Nah, it was all the same signage, descriptions etc as for the witches trails etc, the exact same “is this for you”. This was the day before the grand opening:

    All I can say is I got better, fast, that day 🙂 Amazing what happens when you don’t have much choice.

    Premier Icon TheBrick
    Free Member

    Good point on season length. I had considered the remoteness but not the shorter season

    Premier Icon joe-m
    Full Member

    All I can say is I got better, fast, that day 🙂 Amazing what happens when you don’t have much choice

    That was very much my experience, I’ve only ridden it on a 100mm travel hardtail so id be keen to go back with a full suss, the second time I went I went back armed with a full face and elbow pads mind.

    Premier Icon TroutWrestler
    Free Member

    To secure repeat visitors (the best customer is the one you already have, and all that…) a centre needs to offer variety and progression. There also needs to be enough variety that trails can be closed for maintenance, and any visitor that comes can STILL have a great day and travel home wanting to come back again. The ability to ride blue with a bit of red, or red with a bit of black, or black with some jumpy bits, a la carte, so to speak, means riders can mix and match and build skills and experience. Whistles is an excellent example. 3 lifts? Over 70 named trails in the bike park. Endless mix and match options.

    Good on Nevis. Keep going!

    Premier Icon pothead
    Free Member

    just what happens when you wildly misgrade a trail

    Very true, I will never forget passing a young lass near the end of the top boardwalk a few years back (when it was still the red giant), she was absolutely terrified and had been talked into it by her boyfriend who’d said it would be ‘just like Glentress but without the uphill bits. It was p*****g down at the time and the look on the boyfriend’s face when we caught up with and told him quite a bit further down was priceless, glad I wasn’t in his shoes that day. It should never have been a red trail

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    Aye, you are correct NW, it was definitely undersold, rumour always was that it was a marketing decision, who knows, maybe a wee urban myth. Defo wasn’t red dh either, given the wee climb in there.

    Was funny though, watching folks walking their hardcore hardtails down it, realising they weren’t quite as hardcore 😉

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