Back in 2009, digging commenced on the steep wooded hillside above the Irish Sea. A few dedicated racers; Tom Fryer and Si Ward at the sharp end, had heard of a line skidded in by a few of the local kids. On private land above the Welsh Language centre, they sought permission to develop the line.
The first winter the track was a real handful – ruts to the hubs through black peaty mud and some insanely slick sections. Every uplift was full, at one time whole coaches of people wheezed up the steep tarmac, and the track developed a reputation for being punishingly tricky. In the summer of 2010 Simply Downhill (Tom and Si!) hosted a great double race – race runs on both Saturday and Sunday, and far too many beers on the Saturday night overlooking the beach.
Aaron Gwin has even spent a day riding there a few years back.
Off the back of that success MIJ held a really muddy race and the BDS came knocking. For those of us who had been involved in digging and helping the track evolve, this was a big deal, and to see Britain’s fastest on a track that had so much loved mattocked into it was stunning. Sadly March in Wales isn’t known for it’s weather, a weekend of mist and rain combined with a bit of a cramped finish didn’t do the venue or the hard work justice.
Undeterred, an alternative finish packed with jumps was started, and some digger time was spent very wisely. From there Nant’s reputation as a gnarly track, combined with a bit of an erratic uplift schedule (both Tom and Si using vast chunks of their spare time as it is) meant that the few uplifts that did run were rarely full and a few didn’t happen at all.
Since then, the diggers have been busy, a second track has been built, giving a less gnarly and more trail bike friendly line top-to-bottom. In addition the Centre at the bottom has been developed, with a much larger finish area and a much bigger finish to the trail. The boys behind Antur Stiniog are due to take on the uplifts at Nant, and will be releasing a load more news in the coming weeks and months, including their first uplift on the 19th and 20th November, and a return visit from the BDS. We can’t wait to see Nant back on the uplift and race calendars, so are understandably excited by this news! Hopefully it will bring many more riders deep into North Wales to the steep, myth filled valley they can’t pronounce.
Check out the new Facebook page for more info.
NANT GWYTHEYRN IS ON PRIVATE LAND AND RIDING IS NOT ALLOWED OUTSIDE OF UPLIFT AND RACE EVENTS. ANY RIDING OUTSIDE OF THESE TIMES WILL SERIOUSLY RISK THE FUTURE OF THE TRACK – JUST DON’T DO IT!