Whinlatter Altura comments

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  • Whinlatter Altura comments
  • simonfbarnes
    Member

    In the past I’ve criticised trail centres for being dull and predictable, so I led a ride in Whinlatter without great enthusiasm (at the insistence of others), but I have to admit I enjoyed it a lot πŸ™‚ It was frustrating to find one of my favourite downhill sections has been converted to a climb – but given the scary drop to the side, I can see why the decision was taken

    Now my main concern is that, as with the NFT, it has been done on the cheap, and sections are already eroding badly as the unstabilised orange gravel is cut away by tyres πŸ™

    Premier Icon neil853
    Subscriber

    i think its a really good trail, just a shame that when i went up there one of the loops was closed, was it this weekend?

    I went round Ingleton on sunday doing the MBR ride loop, it was a real slog but enjoyable. Thats the main thing i like about trail centres that i suppose is there down fall, they are always the same. any type of weather.

    Did you go in the shop? the guys in there are mint!

    Premier Icon twinklydave
    Subscriber

    last descent was quite good, as you say a lot of it was already falling apart when a couple of us rode it back in the summer, which was a bit crap

    oh and the lakeland slate that sticks out everywhere is amazingly slippy in the wet, i found myself facing the wrong way several times after hitting a patch and spinning round wildly!

    if i hapened to be up keswick way again i’d probably do some natural stuff round skiddaw rather than have anther go at the trail TBH. It’s by no means awful, but there’s better natural stuff nearby

    Wozza
    Member

    I tried this for the first time this weekend. I thought the trail could have done with more substantial stone in it, the mud/ground is getting worn away quite badly in places but that’s hardly surprising considering how busy the place was.

    I wasn’t really all that impressed until i hit that downhill on the North Loop. How good is that?!

    grumm
    Member

    Seem to remember a few weeks ago you describing it as ‘crappy whinlatter’ and wondering why ppl would bother riding there when there’s so much better stuff around – so you actually hadn’t been there? πŸ˜‰

    Not tried the new section yet – the first bit was ok, enjoyed the dh bit at the end. Think they have had trouble with freeze/thaw erosion on some sections according to the FC website.

    simonfbarnes
    Member

    was it this weekend?

    yes, Saturday – the higher section of the south loop was closed to prevent trail breakup while it was frozen – which is symptomatic of the construction methods

    if i hapened to be up keswick way again i’d probably do some natural stuff round skiddaw rather than have anther go at the trail TBH

    that has always been my feeling, but I limit myself to doing the tour of Skiddaw 4 times a year (and the longer loop including Caldbeck Fell once). However, if the others demand Whinlatter again I shan’t object πŸ™‚

    simonfbarnes
    Member

    so you actually hadn’t been there?

    I’ve ridden Whinlatter previously about 6 times, before the new trails were built. I admit I was wrong to dismiss them untried, OK ?

    Premier Icon twinklydave
    Subscriber

    However, if the others demand Whinlatter again I shan’t object

    the pub at the bottom of the hill does a nice pint too; there’s almost a reason in itself πŸ™‚

    robdob
    Member

    I was thinking of going there for a day trip next week. Worth a 2 hour drive to get there? Whatdya think? Was it muddy or snowy?

    steve_b77
    Member

    oh and the lakeland slate that sticks out everywhere is amazingly slippy in the wet, i found myself facing the wrong way several times after hitting a patch and spinning round wildly!

    What the hell we’re you riding ❓

    grumm
    Member

    OK I’ll let you off πŸ˜›

    robdob I wouldn’t drive for 2 hours to get there myself at the mo with part of it closed.

    Premier Icon twinklydave
    Subscriber

    What the hell we’re you riding [:?:]

    2.4″ racing ralphs @ 30psi on a rigid on-one scandal. Any off camber bits of rock and i just slithered down them.

    robdob
    Member

    Cool. Might ask again next week, nearer the time. Every hill round here is 2 foot in snow or a muddy hell because the snow has melted, so it’ll be worth travelling somewhere. I’ll have to go 1hr at least. πŸ™‚

    simonfbarnes
    Member

    Worth a 2 hour drive to get there? Whatdya think? Was it muddy or snowy?

    If I were to do a 2 hour drive there I’d do the Borrowdale Bash in preference, though it depends how much you like the artificial forest-based trail idiom. There was plenty of snow about, but the trails were sticky/muddy, and my bike was plastered by the end. I’m told the bike wash costs Β£1 and only lasts a minute πŸ™

    There is free parking at the Swan Hotel (below the white rock), and you can include the excellent bridleway DH to finish. There’s a fire road climb into the forest from NY222258

    Ridden it a few times but ive not done the south loop yet.

    I think its pretty good, its a bit more technical the grizedale or llangdegla (the other two ive ridden) and the descents are half decent

    scruff
    Member

    How do you ‘lead a ride’ around a waymarked trail ? πŸ˜›

    We rode the nice fast trail down from the Forest (much better than the Altura trail itself etc etc) and I saw a red squirrel, which was nice.

    simonfbarnes
    Member

    How do you ‘lead a ride’ around a waymarked trail ?

    I started outside the forest, and had intended to do the old trail over Tarbarrel Moss as well, when I heard the south loop was closed. Also I arrange lifts, look after stragglers etc etc

    scruff
    Member
    hora
    Member

    I led a ride a few weeks back. It involved me saying ‘I think its this way’ and ‘wait for me at the top/bottom’.

    Good route mind!

    Ridden the trail probably about 15-20 times so far. Its a convnient trail for me to do a quick 45mins lap in my lunch break or do both loops after work with lights.

    I have ridden the 7 stanes sites for years and as such this one doesnt throw up many suprises. Its a safe loop that gives a few thrills and spills. No real breaks in the riding, you are either climbing or descending and tbh i havent really noticed it cutting up that badly compared to others. Comparing it to the 7 stanes and NFT i would say it has tood up to the weather amazingly well and shouldnt need that much to keep it in order.

    They must have done ‘some’ trail work on it in recent months. When i first rode it there were one or two roots which were imo dangerous. Not to alert riders etc, but to novices they were blooming dangerous. You would clear the first and land at a bad angle on the second so it guarenteed an off. A lot were on bends as well. These seem to have been cleared up now, along with a few other mods.

    All in all, its not one i would drive too far to ride but its in no way a dissapointment.

    fisherking
    Member

    I was there on Saturday and enjoyed it. I think I was a little out of my depth TBH, and found the long fire road climb hard going and boring after the wonderfully technical (for me) singletrack climb that precedes it. I was slightly dissappointed with the downhill, and felt it didn’t quite flow and required too much concentration, but that may have much to do with my fitness, or rather lack of! After a short lunch break I did the South Loop which I was rather apprehensive about as I was knackered, but had a big grin when I finished. I managed the twisty climb without putting a foot down and was smiling all the way downhill as I thought it flowed a lot better than the North Loop, but was obviously not as difficult for me. I would certainly think it was worthwhile for a 2 hour journey, but would probably check that the full South Loop was open first (it wasn’t Sat). Certainly worth the 1 hour trip for me, and am looking forward to going back as I’m sure the fitter and better I get, the more enjoyable it will be.

    james
    Member

    “they are always the same. any type of weather”
    The north loop was ‘interesting’ in the wet with all the de-barked roots. Though last time I went they’d built up most of the approaches/run-outs from them with soil/rock making them a lot easier (but much less fun/challenging)

    “found the long fire road climb hard going and boring after the wonderfully technical (for me) singletrack climb that precedes it.”
    Before the zig zagging singtrack was open, the ‘long’ fireroad went all the way from the exit of the very first peice of singletrack (straight after the shop)

    “I’m told the bike wash costs Β£1 and only lasts a minute”
    It was 50p when they opened and a tap, so unlimited. Though on my return recently there was a ‘pressure’ washer unit similar to those found at other trail centres (ie the ones that don’t actually have any) – which at a Β£1 per minute is a real shame

    parkedtiger
    Member

    If you live within riding distance, it’s a nice alternative some of the natural stuff (great at night) and there’s more interesting riding than there was in the past (especially the south side as it was mostly dead ends unless you took a few cheeky detours). However, it’s obviously much busier than it was, so swings and roundabouts I suppose. I like it though.

    I agree with Parked Tiger,it seems to flow really well at night,theres lots of natural stuff in the forest thats great for linking bits of the Altura trail up.

    I think Clixbys (the builders) got the drainage wrong on the upper most sections of the first climb though,when it freezes you cant even walk up the trail never mind ride a bike!

    Hopefully it will get sorted before major errosion sets in,or someone gets hurt.

    To be fair the newer Southern side has been well thought out with flatter hairpin corners (my pet hate on the first trail)and a good consistent gradient.The decent is wide enough for the quad mountainbikes,and not overly steep for newcomers, so its good to see they have thought of all users. πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon Trekster
    Subscriber

    parkedtiger….hows about popping in to bikemagic/forums/rides/ hobo style and giving us the benefit of your local experience sometime???

    Premier Icon lowey
    Subscriber

    It was hell on earth for me over Christmas. The whole place was frozen up and I hate ice. Was rammed too.

    All, as someone who lives locally to Whinlatter and rides there reguarly, I would like to set a few things straight. The guys from Clixbys have done a cracking job in making a trail on a budget that apeals to a pretty large area of mountian bike riders. Not scary technical for beginers , not too dull for the more experienced. Further to this there has been a lot of tweaking and minor alterations to the trail, mainly north loop ever since it opened. There have been quite a few soft areas refilled and compacted with larger gravel, and the muddy areas are less common. Lets not forget that, the south loop is still very fresh. It only opened at the begining of December. The guys in the shop have been blown away with how popular its been. Anyone riding the south loop may have noticed a couple of caravans, these belong to the Clixby`s team who are still working on and improving the trail. Very little could be done until the frost is finally over and the ground setles. Why not reserve judgment for a few months, let people finish there work let the wether calm down and stop moaning. Someone commented that their bike “got very muddy” ITS FEBRUARY IN ENGLAND!!!!What do you expect?
    I dont work for the FC or Clixby’s but I understand why the are feeling a little frustrated at the moment.

    yoda
    Member

    I love the way folks are complaining that it’s not natural enough and in the same breath complaining that it’s eroding/wearing already!
    Forgive me , but………isn’t that the trail becoming more “natural” or am I missing something?

    I like natural,road,trail centres…whatever……..it’s just riding to me! 8)

    I think the eroding bits and the exposed roots are what makes it good.

    I went to Llangdegla and it was far too smooth, I could have rode most of it on my bmx.

    The only gripe I have with the Altura loop is the long straight on the downhill section with loads of bump type drop off things. Dont understand the point is with them. Should either make them into whoops or mellow doubles or table tops. At the moment there nothing but useless.

    2hottie
    Member

    Well I went with Wozza this weekend and found it slow going in places. The drive there for us was way too far. Felt it was 90% up hill all for that last drop. Not worth it IMHO. I feel there is far better riding in the lakes which isn’t as busy. I can’t understand the need for the large logs placed on the outer edge of most bends meaning there is no run off point? Anyhow its good for a hack around but not a full days biking. It seems the perfect place for an uplift day.

    I don’t think I’d be heading back again until there is some major extentions an so on.

    grumm
    Member

    You do realise that its not all open at the moment don’t you?

    parkedtiger
    Member

    parkedtiger….hows about popping in to bikemagic/forums/rides/ hobo style

    Cheers trekster – will do (you might regret the offer though :D)

    I think the policy of building trail centres is sustainable trails that appeal to all abilities,that means they should be designed to be ridden in all weathers with no potential water damage, and be challenging enough to satisfy all kinds of riders.

    Understandably clixbys are keeping riders off the newer sections until the trail has time to settle,I think they have been surprised at how popular its been.

    Theres plenty of way marked “Natural”trails in the area,the Altura trail is an exellent facility that complements the area perfectly,I just want it to be there in another 10-20-30 years! πŸ˜€

    Premier Icon smokey_jo
    Subscriber

    Was there on Saturday and enjoyed some parts of it mainly the last downhill on the north loop. Found the twisty climb of the north loop very difficult with regards to the switchbacks which seemed either very steep or very tight in places – there are two or three which need a re-design.

    Also thought it was one on the most slippery tracks I have ever ridden on where there was exposed slate bedrock – especially a couple of the off-camber turns.

    After finishing the north loop I was left pondering how the group of young teenage girls setting off on hire bikes from the cyclewise shop, who didn’t know how to work their gears properly, would survive it.

    I could imagine loving it on a dry, dusty day but I much preferrred the natural bridleways around Derwent.

    I also feel that the amount of debris left at the side of the tracks is excessive and at best is distracting to less confident riders and at worst is interfering with the surface run-off. And if it looks poorly maintained it probably is.

    My opinions could all be down to the fact that I am of limited talent.

    duir
    Member

    Try incorporating the new side into a proper ride by doing Grizedale Pike and afterwards do the old side. Did this on new years day and it was awesome. The pike will provide more technical and scary options than any trail centre ever will.

    Premier Icon Trekster
    Subscriber

    Understandably clixbys are keeping riders off the newer sections until the trail has time to settle,I think they have been surprised at how popular its been.

    No. It`s just been badly executed. Probably due to lack of cash/resources/understanding of weather/ground conditions.

    Having said that it is unlikely any trail centre will have survived without any or some frost damage

    steve_b77
    Member

    Personally I loved it when I rode the North Loop in October last year (I was on holiday up there at the time).

    Regarding slippy roots etc, you can only make something so safe before it comes boring.

    The last descent os great, I like the bump things just enough to get some air time and not too much to make you think “Thats a bloody big drop to the side”

    On another note has anyone signed up for the whinlatter challenge thingy ?

    parkedtiger
    Member

    A couple of friends have so I’ll probably ride up on the day. The Wild Boar’s also up that way later in the year – just over the other side of Lords Seat: http://www.singletrackworld.com/2009/02/wild-boar-24-mountain-bike-challenge/

    grumm
    Member

    Anyone got any routes that incorporate the Altura trail into a longer ride – gpx files or whatever? Ta.

    anc
    Member

    Theres lots of great stuff in the area, lot of its cheeky trails though. Climbing Gasgale gill to Coledale hause the head south and Descend off whiteless pike being a personal fav.

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