It's Autumn In Australia And The Riding At Mt Buller Couldn't Be Better!
5 Apr 2014
Q&A: Mt Buller Bike Park!
Who are you and what do you do at Mt Buller Bike Park?
My name is Ben Annear, my role is the Bike Buller Representative & Events Assistant for the Mt Buller & Mt Stirling Resort Management. I work within the marketing team to promote all things bike-related (MTB & Road) here at Mt Buller plus assist with the delivery of numerous events throughout the year, summer and winter.
How long ago did Mt Buller become a Bike Park? Who or what was the driving force?
Mountain bikes have been popular on Mt Buller for nearly 20 years, with early trail development conducted by Buller Ski Lifts, under what was then called Horse Hill Chairlift. Primarily DH trails “Abom”, “International”, “Outlaw” and “Yellowpost” are still today, stalwarts of the DH fraternity.
More recently the Mt Buller & Mt Stirling Resort Management Board, (RMB) have developed close to 100km of dedicated XC MTB trails, mostly single-track.
Built over a seven stage process over the past five years, Mt Buller has now been recognised as the first IMBA Ride Centre in Australia. This includes “Stonefly”, a 10km circuit, highly regarded as Australia’s best XC Wilderness ride, “Copperhead” Australia’s first Flow Down trail, and the recent purchase of a modular Pump Track, again the first of its type in Australia.
How many visitors do you get in a weekend/season? What was your biggest day ever on record?
We have 7 motion sensitive trail counters hidden on our trail network. This allows for a cumulative total of trail users. Recent year by year statistics are as follows:
2011 11,593 counts
2012 30,581 counts
2013 46,288 counts
What is the most popular trail at your bike park?
Without a doubt the “Delatite River Trail” would be our most popular trail. It is a predominantly descending trail, which drops over 1000 metres into the Delatite River valley below our resort, and includes 13 log bridges. Riders can then catch a convenient shuttle service back to the Mt Buller Village on weekends. Popular with all ability levels from beginners to advanced riders, XC athletes, or DH pinners!
Have there been any new trails added this year or have you re-develop an existing trail?
Our newest “trail” for season 2013/14 was the purchase of a modular Pump Track from the Checz Republic based company Bikeparkitect. It has become a great focal point for our village and a facility used by all ages, some kids even as young as three years old have been seen ripping laps! As for new single track please read below, yes we have something big planned for 2014/15!
Here are videos of the tracks being built and ridden:
Describe the predominant “style” of riding at your park? (Natural vs. Manmade, DH/Tech/Steep vs. Flow/Features) Typically, what kind of terrain do you have? (Rocky, Dry-dusty, Tacky, Roots)…
I’ll break it down like this:
DH: Our four downhill trails are suitable for intermediate or better riders, definitely rocky and dusty, and with a number of man-made features (nothing too massive though). The “International” track is often used during state DH series events plus National series rounds held annually at Mt Buller.
XC: The XC network has been masterfully constructed under the guide of Glen Jacobs from World Trail. It has plenty of flow, a few rocky sections and defiantly plenty of climbing and switchbacks (but hey that’s the nature of the beast when riding in the mountains). Your rewards are some amazing descents and stunning alpine views and enough trail to occupy even the fittest rider with more than a weekends worth of trails to explore.
Flow Down: Copperhead is a unique ride experience. Some class it as a beginners DH trail, however, we see this as a unique descending trail suitable for all types of riders and styles of bike. It can be ridden on its own and return to the top via the chairlift, or link it into an XC circuit.
What is the mountain bike scene/culture like at your resort?
The resort is in its growth phase at present, so people won’t get a “Whistler-mobbed-by–thousands” experience, however, visit the village on any given weekend over the summer months and you will know for sure that mountain biking is on the up and up! A weekend that is hosting a major bike event will see close to 2000 visitors on the mountain. One thing we can guarantee is the best MTB experience in Australia.
Tell me a little bit about your town. Where do out-of-towners like to stay while visiting Mt Buller? Are there any restaurants or bars that mtb-ers like to hang?
Our village is home to less than 40 permanent “residents” during the summer months. We do, however, have an increasing number of accommodation venues opening their doors for the cyclists to stay on the mountain. We have developed a “Bike Buller Recommends” program that assists these lodges and hotels in becoming cycle-friendly, and then help promote their venues to the cycling masses heading to Mt Buller.
Each year a select variety of café’s, resteraunts and bars open here on the mountain including the popular Arlberg Hotel, the Corner Store and at the base of the mountain the popular Mirimbah Store are definite highlights.
Do you have any big events going on this summer at your bike park?
The past season we have hosted a number of events:
i. A round of the MTBA National Mountain Biking series
ii. A leg of the Alpine Gravity Enduro series
iii. The Scody High Country Cycle Challenge (road event)
iv. The finish of the Mansfield-Mt Buller road race (road event)
v. The 6th Bike Buller MTB Festival, a unique 3-day, 5-stage mountain bike race which regularly attracts 400 – 600 entrants.
What does the future hold for Mt Buller?
2014/15 is going to be a very exciting year for our resort and MTB trail network. Glen Jacobs and his team from World Trail have spent the past 5 months in construction of a new trail that is set to become Australia’s first recognized “IMBA EPIC” Trail. Close to 43 kilometres in length and descending over 1000 metres, this will be the “BIG THING” next summer. We can’t wait to ride it! Scheduled to open December 2014.
We have a dedicated page for The EPIC trail development on our website, with recent press releases etc. Click here to check it out in further detail.
Please check out our newly developed BIKE BULLER website, we think it’s awesome.
We have our own iPhone and Android App, called Buller Live. A free download from the iTunes store here.
And like our Bike Buller facebook page of course!
Reviews: Two recent reviews of our trails can be found via the following links. The first a full review on our entire network here, and the second on our recently run Bike Buller MTB Festival here.