Thursday, March 13, 2008

Brechfa, Gorlech

Day2 of our sneaky mid week trip greeted us with a pleasant calm day and even a smidgen of sunshine. After a hearty breakfast we drove around the Brechfa hillside to the quiet village of Abergorlech and the quiet trail head for the Gorlech trail - named after the local river.

Neither Uphilla or I had ridden this trail and I was keen explore it's length and with a gentle ascent we began the next leg of our journey. A few km's in and the double track eased to a wide path before starting to gently wind it's way into the woods. The climbing continued into a fantastic atmospheric section amongst moss lined spooky trees, which I found mesmerizing. I surprised a bird of prey towards the top and the large red kite swooped from down from it's perch and elegantly flew off down the tree lined trail - awesome.

There's a fair bit of fire road on this ride but they have gentle inclines and have plenty of loooong views to entertain ya. Before the halfway point we were guided into a felled section of the hillside which is reminiscent of Cwm Carn's highest point on the XC course with berms, small jumps, table tops and lots of cheeky little lines that often used tree stumps as launch pads. It'd be great to ride this bit again but unfortunately we didn't have time to look around for a route back up.

This trail has been designed/built very well indeed as it gradually starts to get more and more difficult and although it's graded red both Uphilla and I found bits some of the subsequent bits were worse than Afan's black. The trail is predominantly compressed, credit card sized slate which my Bonty's found quite slippery in places. Mind you the super flowing sections are designed to keep your speed up and with lots of free speed available if you have the guts to hold off the brakes. The switchbacks aren't much slower as they're mostly massive berms that grab, spin ya's around and then catapult you even faster down to the next obstacle. The trail easily hits some fierce speeds and I dread to think how painful a wrong decision might be.

The trail gets more intense the further you progress and a particularly fast and ill predicted berm had me at a full stop atop an odd little section that starts between a couple of trees. I've not suffered "mind games" for a while but the line though this played on me and I decided to leave it for another day. As I recall I'd already slithered around a couple of loose'n'steep berms not too mention the odd fast sideways slither all of which had clearly got me rattled. "Breathe" ;)

This little beauty gets a big Farqui rating and will definitely see my knobblies again.

A Tracklog and few pic's of our trip can be found here.

Posse; Farqui (5.5 Spot), Uphilla (5.5 Spot)
Weather; overcast, a few sunny spells, breezy
Mechanicals; none