‘Movement at the station’: The Snowies Mountain Bike Festival takes flight

I love Australian folklore. From bush poets like Banjo and Lawson to the Shakespearean tragedy that is the Kelly Gang, we do alright when it comes to epic tales. So when an event called the Snowies Mountain Bike Festival crossed my desk my ears certainly pricked up.

My first question was: will there be an actual stockman and brumby? Upon hearing yes I only had one other enquiry: when and where?

In a pretty competitive market it’s important that event organisers try and make their set-up unique and memorable. Kicking off a race chasing down a stockman, complete with Drizabone and whip, on a mountain-bred beast is something you’ll have to search for pretty far and wide before seeing again.

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So what’s the Snowies MTB Festival all about?
Put simply, the Snowies MTB Festival is a stage race. There are two course options and the event runs from 14-16 February, 2020. Each course is made up of six stages (varying in length and challenge) but more on that later.

The Festival is part of the overall MultiSport Festival that takes place in the Snowy Mountains region and stands alongside the TreX Australian Cross Triathlon Championships and the Trail Run Australia Snowies Ultra.

A unique event complete with some pretty stunning scenery is one way of summing up the ethos of the Snowies MTB Festival and leads us onto the next big seller.

Location, Location, Location
The Snowy Mountains really are an oddity of the Australian continent. We are a harsh, dry land surrounded by huge coastal forrests. But the south-east of the country provides an escape from the typical Australian climate. Indeed from Cooma in NSW to Mt. Buller in Victoria you will discover a landscape that would be very European if not for the unmistakable blue hue of gumtrees.

It’s against this rare alpine backdrop that riders compete in the Snowies MTB Festival. Anyone who has been to this part of the world will know how vast it is and how quickly landscapes can change from damp eucalypt canopies to massive glacial valleys.

Fortunately for riders all stages are located within an area of just 35km, making travel easy while not compromising on the quality of the background. This also means that there’s no need for participants to pack up and move every night. There are plenty of accommodation options available.

But enough about the views, what’s actually on offer?

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The Wild Brumby
The Wild Brumby is the festival’s flagship event and is designed to test riders to their limits in true Snowy Mountain fashion. Made up of six stages, the Wild Brumby takes riders around popular spots like Thredbo, Lake Crackenback and Jindabyne.
Held over three days and traversing 128km, the Wild Brumby isn’t for the fainthearted. In a new addition for the 2020 event, riders will take on the Snowy Legends Descent. Competitors begin at the Gunbarrel Chair in the shadow of Mount Kosciuszko and ride the full expanse of the Thredbo Valley to Gaden in Jindabyne.

STAGE 1 | Fri AM | Thredbo Summit Smash - Smash it up the 19.5km ascent climbing 533m from Lake Crackenback to Thredbo Resort.

STAGE 2 | Fri PM | Lake 2 Lake – 16.2km traversing Lake Jindabyne.

STAGE 3 | Sat AM | New Stage - Ricochet - 5kms of intermediate flow trail including a memorable chairlift ride to the start of the stage.

STAGE 4 | Sat AM | Snowy Legends Descent – 35.5kms from Thredbo, to Lake Crackenback and on to Gaden in Jindabyne

STAGE 5 | Sat PM | Happy Hour Time Trial - 5.5km fast and furious time trial lap finishing at the Alpine Larder at Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa, just in time for Happy Hour.

STAGE 6 | Sun AM | Release the
Cracken 45k - Finish up with 45k’s of epic riding on the 15k XC circuit in and around Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa.

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The Brumby
For those wanting a less full-on technical ride the Brumby is a better choice. Don’t worry you’ll still get a challenge as well as see some of the best scenery Australia has to offer.

The Brumby has five stages and covers 90km and follows much the same schedule as its ‘Wild’ counterpart minus the technical downhill and a shorter 30k stage on Sunday.

STAGE 1 | Fri AM | Thredbo Summit Smash - Smash it up the 19.5km ascent climbing 533m from Lake Crackenback to Friday Flat at Thredbo Resort.

STAGE 2 | Fri PM | Lake 2 Lake – 16.2km traversing Lake Jindabyne.

STAGE 4 | Sat AM | Gravity Check – 18.5 kms in a downhill roller coaster ride from Thredbo to Lake Crackenback

STAGE 5 | Sat PM | Happy Hour Time Trial - 5.5km fast and furious time trial lap finishing at the Alpine Larder at Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa, just in time for Happy Hour.

STAGE 6 | Sun AM | Release the Cracken 30k - Finish up with 30k’s of epic riding on the 15k XC circuit in and around ake Crackenback Resort & Spa.

How do I get there?
Car is definitely the easiest way to travel from Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. Given the location of the stages Jindabyne is an ideal spot for basecamp. Alternatively if you want a bit more luxury, then Thredbo and Lake Crackenback also provide an excellent location from which to start your adventures.

To find out more and to enter online go to in2adventure.com.au

This article is part of a relationship with in2adventure.

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