While the racing world is caught up with the ending of the biggest enduro season so far, it is important that we remember the true reason why our enduro bikes were conceived! It is easy to get caught up in the endless pursuit of seconds, perhaps missing the all important spirit of adventure that our two wheeled companions permit. There can be few things in life that rival that feeling when you arrive at a foreign airport, bike bag carefully packed, marveling at new sights, smells and the culture of the new land! The spirit of adventure runs deep in most who choose mountain biking as their love, and some destinations have adventure seeping up from the very earth itself. We head over to Argentina with Destino All Mountain, to hear of a location where the riding is as wild and vibrant as the culture!
Salta is one of the most important provinces in the northwestern of Argentina, its capital (also called Salta) is located in the Lerma Valley at the east of the Andes Mountains (1400 km from Buenos Aires).
In order to discover these majestic trails and gain access to Los Cardones National Park from the known Recta del Tin Tin (way to Cachi), one of the most spectacular place to practice Enduro in South America, 4×4 vehicles are required from Salta!
After traveling about 40km by vehicle, we are ready to begin this voyage of MTB Enduro. We started climbing the West face of the Cerro Malcante mountain, revealing awesome and very fast mountain roads, continuing the down hill over large steppes through a big valley. The amazing descents were punctuated with long climbs overlooked by truly stunning landscapes.
We soon arrive at the highest point in the bike journey, and feel the shortness of breath at 4200m. Here we find a sinuous trail that descends from Quebrada de Las Arcas.
At the end of the descent we stop for a while to grab something to eat in an old mountain school. Then begins the most technical and dangerous part of the ride, following the river that was seen from the top of the canyon we were descending. This section is named “El Manzano”. Due to the elevation (3300m) and narrowness of the trail, the ride in this section is very vertiginous.
The highland climate is very prone to change, rolling into the winds causes chilling temperatures, endless changes from rain to sunlight on the same singletrail. We were 3 bikers, and survived without mechanicals or health problems on this journey, but it was not really easy.
This journey is only possible between the August to October month, Because the heavy rain can make the river crossing very difficult. Is necessary to employ a specialized guide for this region as well as good logistics to access over the mountains. To best explore the terrain an enduro or all mountain bike in good condition and perfect health is required.
Facts – Bike Adventure
Time: 6 to 7 hours. Length: 55 Kms. Uphill: red dusty trails with some rock garden areas Downhill: rain forests, river crossing and wet trails.
Words & Photos: Destino All Mountain