Wrestling the Unknown

Throughout the winter of 2018 I spent a great deal of time riding and GPS logging the Wilberforce Valley and its tributaries. It looks small on a topo map but it takes a surprising amount of time to ride the entire area to find out what's ridable, and what's not. What's fun to ride, and what isn't. This is mainly because your average speed drops significantly the further up each valley you progress due to the increasing size of the boulders. As a result, the terrain eventually becomes Grade 5 to Grade 5+ and is slow going.

The main focus for day #1 of this trip was to GPS log and photograph the headwaters of Unknown Valley. Also to set a Mototoken at a massive rock that has tumbled down from the surrounding mountain range and placed itself squarely on the valley floor.

The plan for day #2 was to meet up with Mark and Daniel to ride a section of river bed that is heavily covered in scrub, but has narrow channels ploughed through it from previous floods. From Google maps it looked as though these would provide a fun twisty way to wind down the river valley. At the time of planning I was hoping the terrain of these channels would be sandy or small material, however I was well aware of the likelihood that they could be very rocky. There was only one way to find out so it was locked into the route plan and I was off…

This was the first ride on the KTM 500 all dressed up in its new RemoteMoto graphics.
The start of the valley presented good fun Grade 2 and Grade 3 terrain.
The impressive Mount Findlay Rockfall.
Reference Link : Mount Findlay Rockfall
As I hit the Unknown Valley the terrain immediately became more challenging.
Eventually the rocks increased in size making the terrain Grade 4 and Grade 5. The rock wrestling was worth the effort, the views up this valley are absolutely stunning.
I finally reached Rolleston Rock. This was no walk in the park!
Rolleston Rock from Google Earth.
After a good workout, it was time to head to the hut for the night.
Using the bike, I collected some firewood just before the sun started to slip behind the hills. The AltRider bags proved handy for this.
AltRider Hemisphere Saddlebag
Author of this article: RMOTO