Thredbo’s famous Cannonball Downhill Trail offers plenty of technical features for advanced riders
Thredbo’s signature downhill trail is so famous it is the namesake of an entire weekend’s festivities. From the Mt Kosciuszko chairlift it descends 600m vertically starting on loose gravel fire roads, but quickly transitions into technical rock gardens, wide-open ski runs and native Australian bush. The exhilarating single track is chock full of jumps, rock drops, and other technical features to make it an action packed adventure from start to finish. The trail is suitable for advanced riders.
Cannonball Downhill Trail - What You Need to Know
|Difficulty||Level: Advanced Technical – Full-face helmet compulsory|
|Starting Point||Kosciuszko Express Chairlift (Kosciuszko Express MTB Chairlift Pass required – available at the Thredbo Ticket Office)|
|Map||Mountain Biking Trail Map|
Cannonball Downhill Highlights
Starting at the top of the Kosciuszko Express Chairlift, the gravity trail begins on a steep access fire road with marble sized loose gravel featuring a hairpin comfortingly named ‘Hell’s Corner’. From here the single track starts descending 600m vertically through tree-lined Supertrail slopes, taking in off-camber roots, rock drops, optional big jumps, a wall-ride and other technical features, before reaching the bottom of Kosciuszko Express Chairlift. The trail is full of fun and variety but not for the faint hearted, so it mainly attracts advanced riders who want to test their physical and mental limits. Here are some of the best highlights this downhill trail has to offer:
1. Play the Game of Snakes and Ladders
The most technical section of the Cannonball trail is the top sector of the course known as ‘Snakes and Ladders’. It features a rock grid with sharp twists and turns, and rollable step downs, to keep you on your toes and the adrenaline pumping. Riders have described the entry to Snakes and Ladders as ‘brutal’ as it has a double drop which, if you mess up, lands you onto solid rock. The section has recently been opened up to make it faster and more flowy.
Image Source: PinkBike
2. No Time to Spot Rabbits in Bunnywalk
Cannonball is one of Australia’s longest downhill courses and also one of its speediest. This is due to fast, fun sections like the Bunnywalk which has riders flowing quickly through the trees but it’s not a walk in the park. There are berms, multiple drops and jumps to push the pace and excitement levels up.
Image Source: PinkBike
3.It’s Not Over Til You Try The Milk Run Wall Ride
As well as utilising the awesome natural landscape Cannonball also includes quality man-made features like a huge wooden wall ride near the bottom of the track. This cool feature was introduced to spice up the trail for downhill competitions and requires full commitment to pull it off.
Image Source: Thredbo
The wall ride is also totally avoidable if you want your wheels to stay firmly on the ground, as this rider does in his GoPro video. Check out the Cannonball trail from top to bottom:
4. Stay Safe, Be Prepared
To get the most out of your ride make sure your bike and your body can handle the ride. Holding a fast pace for the entire length of the run is hard on arms, wrists and fingers if you’re not prepared for it. A full-suspension downhill bike (or DH tyres at least) is recommended for stability in handling the steep rocky trail. Tighten all connections with an allen key or get the Thredbo Workshop at the Valley Terminal to give it a quick service. A full-face helmet is also compulsory for riders tackling the Cannonball. We have included an essential items checklist below. The mountain patrol makes regular sweeps of the area and is never far away if you or one your mates need assistance.
Image Source: www.mtbiking.com.au/
Essential MTB Items Checklist
- dual long travel suspension bike – your own or rented in Thredbo
- full-face helmet
- body armour for shins and elbows a must
- body armour for back and neck well worth considering
- hydration pack/backpack + water bottle
- lunch/snacks or cash for the on mountain restaurants
- first aid kit
- multi-tool/spare inner tube/CO2 inflator
- shoes for biking
- padded shorts
- wicking t.shirt
- long-sleeved thermal top
- rain jacket
- lip balm
Use our local knowledge to help you plan an unforgettable Thredbo experience. Ian is an avid mountain biker and is happy to give you MTB tips and advice.
Ian and Jill Foster came to Thredbo in 1989 to begin working as property managers for the Lantern Apartments complex. Having spent the previous 10 years working and playing in ski resorts around the world, they decided on Thredbo because they believed that Australia offers the best lifestyle and Thredbo is the best ski resort in Australia.
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