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Fort William Gondola News

Gondola accessed bike trails reopen in May / Season Tickets available for the first time.

The Off Beat downhill trail and the Nevis Red XC, which only opened for the first time during the summer of 2009, both reopen in May 2010. Riders are able to use the Nevis Range mountain gondola, the only one of its kind in the UK, to transport them and their bikes up the slopes of Aonach Mor, to the start of these trails.

The Off Beat downhill trail at Nevis Range is home to the Mountain Bike World Cup which takes place this year during the first weekend in June and a number of other Mountain bike races and endurance events.

The winter had delayed the start of work on the tracks; the final ski tracks on the Red Route have only just disappeared. There are now three diggers working on the downhill track, reprofiling the old route, digging for bed-rock, and building new bumps and jumps. The boardwalk on the Red Route is being covered with bunny wire in order to make it ‘super grippy’. As there is no road to access the tracks, the helicopter will arrive later this week to transport even more materials from the Nevis Range carpark onto the upper parts of both tracks.

Following feedback from customers Bike Season Tickets will available this year for the first time.

Nevis Bike School also reopens its doors for the 2010 season mid May 2010. It offers guiding through the Witch’s Trails in Leanachan forest as well on the Nevis Red XC and the Off Beat downhill. It also offers coaching sessions at all levels, from easy cross country to technical downhill riding.

The Off Beat downhill will reopen on Saturday 15 May. The Nevis Red XC will open on Saturday 8 May, albeit with restricted access as there is a downhill race taking place during that weekend. The trails are normally opened from 10.15am – 3.45pm each day during the summer, other than certain race, maintenance, and bad weather days. The final day of the season is Wednesday 15 September. The Nevis Range website at www.nevisrange.co.uk provides the latest information about race, maintenance and bad weather days, and anyone wishing more details should phone Nevis Range on 01397 705825 during office hours. Day tickets allowing unlimited access for both trails are priced at £28 for adults and £19 for youths (12–17 years). All users must read, complete and sign a Participation Statement before buying tickets, and those aged from 12-16 must get a parent or guardian to sign on their behalf. Those visiting regularly will be able to purchase a Frequent Riders Card to save them filling in a new Participation Form each time they ride. All riders must also read and adhere to the Code of Practice.

Following feedback from customers, Nevis Range has this year introduced a 2 consecutive day ticket, a 6 consecutive day ticket, as well as a Bike Season Ticket. Consecutive two day tickets are priced at £54 (adult) and £37 (youth) and the six day tickets offer 6 days riding for the price of 4. Season tickets are priced at £269 (adult) and £135 (youths) and allow unlimited gondola bike uplift for the Bike season, as well as unlimited gondola rides from the day of purchase until the resort closes mid November for its annual maintenance. Early Bird tickets priced at £230 (adult) and £115 (youth) are available up until the end of May. The website contains more details and lists all prices.

For those bikers who have already purchased a 2009/2010 Winter Sports season ticket, a generous 50% discount will be available on the 2010 Bike Season Ticket. A Super Season Ticket will be available for the 2010/2011 winter and summer seasons and will include all year round gondola access, unlimited Bike access during the summer season, as well as unlimited access to the ski lifts during the winter. More details will be published nearer the time.

Nevis Bike School also reopens its doors for the 2010 season mid May 2010. It offers guiding through the Witch’s Trails in Leanachan forest as well on the Nevis Red XC and the Off Beat downhill. It also offers coaching sessions at all levels, from easy cross country to technical downhill riding.

Known race days at Nevis Range which will affect Gondola uplift for bikes include the following:

British Downhill Series race (formally NPS) (Sat 8, Sun 9 May)
Nevis Red XC remains open with restricted access, as priority on the gondola will be given to competitors.

10 Under the Ben (Sat 15 May)
Orange Downhill and Nevis Red XC marshaled at the crossing with the 10 Under the Ben route, so be prepared to give way.

MTB World Cup (Sat 6, Sun 7 June)
The Off Beat downhill will be closed from Sat 29 May – Sun 7 June (inclusive). The Nevis Red XC will be closed from Thurs 4 – Sun 7 June (inclusive). Both trails are planned to reopen on Monday 8 June, but may open slightly later than normal to give time for the clear up operation following the World Cup. Access to Nevis Range will be by event ticket only during the weekend of Sat 6 and Sun 7.

Scottish Cross Country (SXC) Round 4 / Scottish Championships (Sat 13 June)

The route for this race is not yet finalised. If it crosses the Off Beat Downhill and/or the Nevis Red XC, then the crossing points will be marshaled, and priority given to race competitors. The route will affect the Witch’s Trails.

SEPA FIM Trial World Championships (Sat 26, Sun 27 June)

The Off Beat downhill and the Nevis Red XC will be closed from Fri 25 to Sun 27 June. Access to Nevis Range will be by event ticket only during the weekend of Fri 25, Sat 26 and Sun 27 June.

Endurance Downhill (Sat 24 July)
The Off Beat downhill will close early at approximately 2.30 pm, by which time the track must be cleared of riders.

SDA downhill race (Sat 11, Sun 12 Sep)
Off Beat downhill closed on Sat 11 and Sun 12 September. The Nevis Red XC will remain open with restricted access and priority on the gondola will be given to competitors.

Check out the NevisRange for more details.

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