Wild country riding along the main ridge at the top of the
Remarkables will be the new grand finale of the eagerly
awaited Queenstown Bike Festival and a first for Australasia,
The Remarkables Mega Avalanche was yesterday confirmed for
the third annual festival, being held in late March, by
director Geoff Hunt, of Queenstown, after four months of
negotiations with the Department of Conservation (Doc).
The Mega Avalanche will challenge up to 100 daredevil riders
in four waves from the starting line 1980m high on the main
ridge line, which is visible from Queenstown.
Riders will descend the main ridge for 2km, dropping 440m, on
track, rocky drops and tussock.
About 4km of road will lead to more downhill single track and
on to the National Series downhill course before reaching the
valley floor - a drop of 1650mMr Hunt said Doc Wakatipu
granted permission for a one-year trial using the main ridge
line of the Remarkables.
''The upper part of the course is entirely within the Rastus
Burn recreation reserve, which is managed by the
department,'' Mr Hunt said.
''Owing to potential environmental concerns, the event is
being run on a trial basis and the field has been limited to
''Part of the route through the reserve does not have a
formed track and Doc requests that competitors do not use the
race route in the reserve before the practice day.
''The route will be carefully marked just before the practice
day to ensure environmental impacts can be minimised.
''In the meantime we ask that all riders respect the mountain
bikers' environmental care code and stay on one of the many
formed mountain bike tracks already available in the
''Damage to the race route before the course is
professionally marked may result in parts of the route to be
closed and could stop the event from being held again.''
NZSki contractors were working on the Shadow Basin access way
as access to the Shadow Basin was restricted because of a
blasting programme, Mr Hunt said. The Remarkables Mega
Avalanche was inspired by the French event Megavalanche,
which attracted a field of 1900 riders, Mr Hunt said.
''The idea of the festival is to have a diverse range of
events and this fills one of the gaps.
''The Remarkables Mega Avalanche will provide another
challenge for elite downhill mountain bike riders in a race
on the iconic Remarkables ridge line.''
Registration would be on a first-come, first-entered basis,
registrations opening on January 10. The registration cost
was yet to be determined.
Between 25 and 30 riders were expected in the elite group and
riders from Rotorua had already expressed interest, Mr Hunt
For more details visit the Queenstown Bike Festival website.
2013 Bike Festival
Saturday, March 23: Speight's Summit Super-D, Queenstown Bike
Tuesday, March 26: DirtMasters Downhill practice, Queenstown
Wednesday, March 27: DirtMasters Downhill, Queenstown Bike
Thursday, March 28: Teva Slopestyle, Ballarat St car
Saturday, March 30: New World Tour de Wakatipu, Millbrook
Resort to Chard Farm.
Sunday, March 31: The Remarkables Mega Avalanche, the