Video: Moving Mountains
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The two Kiwi riders Khulan Tumen and Viet Tieu on a pair of kona’s 2022 bikepacking-ready fully-rigid steel Unit X’s… Their goal? To ride New Zealand’s latest purpose built alpine bike packing route, The Paparoa Track on the west coast of the South Island.
The 56.2km (32.5 mile) Paparoa Track is New Zealand’s latest mixed-use backcountry ride. It joins the already extremely popular Heaphy Track and Old Ghost Road as prime bikepacking trip destinations. Its point-to-point route is what bikepacking dreams are made of: the perfect gradients, insane views, epically-located backcountry huts, and some of the most beautiful bush New Zealand has to offer. The track crosses the Paparoa Range, taking riders through alpine peaks, limestone karst landscapes, and thriving rainforests. While it can be ridden in a day, the route is dotted with three backcountry Department of Conservation (DOC) huts to encourage people to take in an overnight or multi-day experience. Each hut provides track users with bunk beds and mattresses, running water and gas cookers. Track users need to carry all their own food, sleeping bags and clothing—especially wet weather gear. The Paparoa range is situated on New Zealand’s West Coast where it rains 195 days a year on average, with 3,000 mm (118 inches) of rainfall annually.