MTB Britain crew (minus myself!) set up a long weekend to hammer some of the 7Stanes routes
and see how they stack up against our well worn Welsh trails.
distance 7stanes Glentress: Black Route Helly Hansen V Trail
29Km. Red Route 17Km.
Glentress is Here
Facilities: just about everything: toilets, showers, bike wash, good bike shop, bike hire, cafe:
The Hub in the
3 ' Glentress
Glentress is the most developed of all the 7 Stanes locations and has the best facilities: toilets, showers, good bike shop, bike hire, bike wash, cafe, lots of parking etc. As always, there was a choice of routes: 1.2 km Green Skills loop, Two blue loops (8km & 14km), 17 km Red route and the 29 km 'Helly Hansen V trail' Black route. Obviously, we opted for the Black route.
Black trail starts with some uphill single track followed by a fire
road climb up into the forest. Of all the 7 Stanes locations we
visited, Glentress has the most height to play with and the Black
route spreads across several valleys ' very much like the Karrimor
Trail at Coed-y-Brenin or the Syfydrin Trail at Nant-yr-Arian.
The first section of single track, 'Soor Plooms' was very stony (not great for hard tails) but not technical.
After this, a short climb, followed by more woody single track,
'The Goat Track'. This section has some fast single track and
stony chutes ' but nothing very difficult. At the end of the
single track section, a long 2.5km climb takes you up through the
wood and out onto the fells, and
a well deserved break at a wooden refuge hut. From the refuge hut,
there's further light relief in the form of 'Britney Spears' -
a short stretch of bermy single track, which leads you to a short
climb, 'The Mustard Snake' ending at
the radio mast, the highest point on route.
From the radio mast
there's a chance to take in a 'variation' on the Black route,
which we were lucky enough to sample after bumping into some
friendly locals. They guided
us half a mile across some boggy ground and along some single track
to the top of a newly built DH course which now forms part of the
The downhill course is about
one and a half miles of very fast banked turns, with small jumps, berms & drop offs. We set off and what a course, its a cross between the final section of the Dyfi Cli-machX and the final section of the Marin Trail at Gwyder. You can ride it pretty much flat out and the banked turns flow into each other beautifully. A top detour and a lucky find.
After the DH course, we had a 20 minute hard climb back up through 'Spooky Wood' to the Radio
mast. Now back on the Black route, we headed off for some excellent loose, steep, stony single track 'Boundary Trail' ' a 3.4 km descent!
At the end of the wooded single track, the section opens up in to some more fast single track cut into the hillside.
After half a mile on a fire road you arrive at the start
of 'Deliverance', a monster (5 km) single track descent into the valley base.
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