Must Watch: Gee Atherton Goes Even Bigger in 'Slate Line'

Mar 31, 2021 at 6:54
by James Smurthwaite  

Remember the Ridgeline film that saw Gee Atherton hitting huge hucks metres from a sheer cliff drop? Well Gee has now produced another film that sees him go even bigger among the razor-sharp scree of a slate quarry. The Slate Line was filmed at Aberlleffeni’s Wincillate quarry and boasts an even bigger gap than the Ridgeline. The final sender tops the lot at 81 feet, making it one of the biggest gaps Gee has ever hit.

Here's what Gee had to say about the film:

bigquotesIt’s such an intimidating spot to turn up to; as soon as you arrive and start hiking up you just feel like you’re going to slide off the edge or fall down a mine, there are cliffs everywhere 4,5,600 feet drops…

It’s like the mountain is never still, fragments of slate are constantly breaking free, every step starts a mini avalanche and it’s kind of eerie, super quiet except for the odd crow. There’s a mortuary at the bottom of the track – one of three small stone buildings, I’m glad I didn’t know what it was till we were finished filming.

The fear at the top of this line is incredible – you’re balanced on the edge of this mountain and you feel like as soon as you start moving you’re just going to get carried to the bottom and smashed to pieces and there’ll be nothing you can do about it.

We’ve been aware of this place for years, I drive past it all the time but we’ve always dismissed it as too gnarly, too dangerous. Then one day in January I was driving past with Jamie (Robertson, a key member of the Red Bull Hardline dig crew) and just on the spur of the moment we hiked up there and began to think just maybe it would be possible.

Building a line like this is very much a process. The initial reason I’m drawn to a location is that it’s unique, spectacular but it seems that’s likely to equal ridiculously difficult! I’ll always stand at the top and wait; piece by piece the line reveals itself, it shows itself in segments, gradually, you have to tease it out, very slowly a possible line crawls out of the mountain.

The next step is to hike back up here with the crew – I rely on them a lot, they’re all great riders and experienced builders and they bring a lot of creativity.

The step down at the bottom is one of the biggest gaps I’ve ever hit - 81 feet we measured, and it’s complicated by the fact that as soon as you start to move, the whole surface of the mountain starts to move with you. It’s like an avalanche trying to drag you down and super-sharp shards of slate are flying up everywhere.

It’s a huge mental challenge not to ride defensively, you drop in and it’s so tempting to lean off the back and skid slowly down but you haven’t enough control like that. I had to hit it hard, like it was a DH track, force myself to ride faster, to attack, pushing my front end into stuff.

Test day was so gnarly – Dan had come down to help me and I could tell that he was anxious, it wasn’t the actual size of gap that worried him, the take-off there is pretty blind and the landing is narrow, a case on there could have cut me in half.

The bike felt sick, absolutely amazing, it’s like you’re totally connected to every tiny bump in the trail, the DW6 suspension platform gives you loads of sensitivity at the top of the stroke which is vital with the amount of small, loose bumps, but you still have the support you need for the massive hits. Projects like this and the Ridgeline are a great way for me to demonstrate the bike’s capabilities but it works both ways – having that bike that we’ve designed and manufactured ourselves gives me a lot of confidence - the last thing I can afford is for doubt to creep in .

When you look up from the bottom of the track you can see the whole mountain, top to bottom and it stares down at you. I look up, I look at my bike and there comes a point when I know that I’m going to do it, I’m going to conquer the mountain and it feels like the perfect progression from the Ridgeline, I remember how much I love needing to bring my A game and that’s all I need.
Gee Atherton



191 Comments

  • 174 4
 Love the RedBull swig mid climb. #sponsordream
  • 36 1
 He's so dreamy
  • 99 0
 Who among us doesn’t find hiking uphill while carrying a pickaxe to be the best time to crack a Redbull?
  • 68 1
 @Drew-O: I take my pickaxe to the mall just so I can drink RedBull without getting strange looks from people.
  • 20 0
 The far away firm browed look while holding and ax... so hero.
  • 61 3
 Was cheesy to be fair. But we wouldn't have videos like this to watch if he didn't do it...
  • 7 2
 @Drew-O: Mattock!
  • 12 0
 @Drew-O: I use my pick axe to crack open my redbull
  • 146 6
 This video is slated to be one of the best of the year
  • 27 5
 I keep trying to find fault with it but I can’t dawggranite
  • 64 1
 I have been looking for a good deal on those tires but they never seem to go on shale.
  • 56 2
 The Geeology lesson in slate is quite impressive.
  • 14 3
 That was pretty rocking
  • 60 1
 Bike porn! Not suitable for miners
  • 5 6
 @sewer-rat: I thought dawggranite was a good effort. The lack of upvotes must mean I'm the only one that got it;-)
  • 13 0
 Welsh Rampage - Wampage
  • 8 0
 He's the only one with the stones to ride such a huge line.
  • 6 1
 Gee-z that was rad! Though it-slate in the day, I think I shale go on a bike ride after watching this.
  • 4 1
 One of the best tire commercials I've seen
  • 2 0
 Don't spoil (heap) it for me.....
  • 13 0
 Nothing Gneiss about this one.
  • 3 0
 @mi-bike: This comment rocks
  • 2 0
 Shaled it!
  • 3 0
 RIP. I would like to dedicate this movie to the thousands sidewalls slashed during its filming.
  • 3 0
 Thought I was a halfway decent rider before seeing this; I guess igneous is bliss.
  • 104 0
 Scientists will soon be arriving to the site to explore new theories on Continental drift.
  • 8 0
 Continental Drift has long been refuted. The intrepid scientists studying this site will instead find fresh evidence of Slate Tectonics.
  • 96 1
 All this for his brother to record it in portrait, not landscape mode.
  • 2 0
 Lol
  • 9 0
 Probably fits better in the frame with the size of that jump and landing. unless you want to see the trees??
  • 6 0
 Probably shooting for Tik Tok.
  • 3 1
 ever heard of social media? Big Grin
different type of channel, different needs in terms shooting style and also quality
  • 84 1
 Owe owe owe owe owe owe owe owe owe owe -Gee's tires
  • 18 0
 What would this video sound like with those VHS tires?
  • 45 0
 Plattekill 'shale surfing' to the next level!
  • 8 0
 Was just about to say, nice to see Plattekill back in the news
  • 5 0
 That's what I said! Correct me if I'm wrong but from a nerdy geological standpoint the Catskill and this quarry were attached at one point forever ago. Plattekill rules!
  • 2 0
 @dhjunkie: Mind blown!!! Gotta get back to Platte and channel my inner Gee :-)
  • 2 0
 Still less shale than Powder Puff... lol
  • 4 0
 I thought the same thing when I saw all that shale... I'm also curious how many tires he went through. Plattekill was so brutal on tires. Some of those early soft-rubber tires would get torn to shreds from one run there. I also remember Plattekill being one DH venue where I really wanted clips over flat pedals - made shale surfing so much easier.
  • 2 0
 @IanJF: G-Man could do Rampage clipped in Im pretty sure!!!
  • 5 0
 @dhjunkie: the Slate Gee is running down was laid down as clay near the equator about 500 million years ago and at one point was 1 mile below ground. Another bit of interesting information. Slate from the mine was made into headstones and exported to Martha’s Vineyard
  • 1 0
 @Andystumpuller: yes, all within a 2 degree range
  • 3 0
 @mhaskins00: plattekill riders are not impressed
  • 2 0
 Long live Platty!
  • 45 1
 You can love him or hate him... But when it comes to the Gee man, You just can't slate him.
  • 41 1
 This is straight up lord of the rings epic. Gee's a beast and that last drop was unbelievable.
  • 9 0
 "An impassable labyrinth of razor sharp rocks! And after that, it gets even better!" Indeed.
  • 41 2
 Brendog needs to step up instead of wasting time deciding which dormer window he’s going to ride over next on his old house. Gee’s got some big kahunas!
  • 14 3
 Yeah or riding his ebike for his sponsors in the Surrey 'hills'
  • 21 1
 Gee's kahunas are bigger than the Surrey 'hills'
  • 6 5
 Too late, he's too busy selling out on youtube.
  • 10 1
 @Molesdigmyjumps: fyi the word y'all are butchering is "cojones", not kahunas lol
  • 3 0
 @jaycubzz: yeah I realised after I posted but couldn’t figure out how to edit. Thanks for the corrections. Either way Kahunas tend to be large as well
  • 38 0
 Trail grading:
Beginner
Intermediate
Advanced
Expert
Pro Line
Hard Line
Atherton
  • 37 0
 Great ad for Continental for their tires to hold up.
  • 8 0
 FOX too. That close up one the Kashima was something that they should have rolling on repeat on their IG. But yeah the entire video I was thinking... wonder what inserts he's running.
  • 1 1
 Yes But the tires are Prototypes not for sale yet
  • 1 0
 @Takisanandreas: interestingly, not good in semi-muddy we loam, but the der kaisers in dh casign are fantastic intermediate tires.. the enduro ones, not so good..
  • 3 0
 @onemanarmy: don’t worry Gee will be on marzocchi soon. Fox is for the races only. marzocchi for the freeridders.
  • 1 0
 For Atherton Bikes as well, was a fan when the Robot frame first came out must ... resist ... placing ... an ... order ...
  • 1 0
 @Takisanandreas: nah. You can clearly see the tyres in the video are your everyday Kaisers. The yet to be released on has Prouto-Tyre on the hot patch.
  • 37 1
 What can't this man do?
  • 30 83
flag likeittacky (Apr 2, 2021 at 8:03) (Below Threshold)
 many things probably
  • 32 2
 @likeittacky: OH COME ON
  • 18 0
 Unreal... I've ridden down a shale chute before and it was impossible to control your speed and no zero grip/control with the front wheel. It ended very poorly and shale hitting/cutting open your shins riding down absolutely sucks. Gee is so gnarly.
  • 6 1
 @scott-townes: The slow-mo shots are great here, you can really see how much he is riding the line between rolling and drifting with the rear wheel locked up.
  • 7 0
 @scott-townes: exactly! Shale absolutely is scary to rode on. Doesn't matter how max grip your tires are because the slab your tire is on is slipping on the slab Below it
  • 3 0
 @sino428: Agreed. Seeing that rear wheel lock made me think of how much he's focusing to maintain control because of the difficulty riding on all that shale. Cool video.
  • 6 24
flag deaner2 (Apr 2, 2021 at 11:50) (Below Threshold)
 Win another world cup ever?
  • 4 0
 @sino428: and that's with a majority of the loose shale scraped off, still so sketch. That last hit was messed up, it must have been a huge gamble judging the speed coming into that. I feel a lot of people will overlook this as just another neat line with a big drop at the end unfortunately
  • 3 0
 @deaner2: that was @likeittacky 's original comment before downvoting to oblivion and they conducting a swift edit to their original words.
  • 3 1
 @Dropthedebt: Partially correct; never seen any votes tho but knew immediately that the hypersensitivity of Woke PBers could not comprehend a statement where one predicts the obvious outcome of said comment.
With that, it by no means suggest Mr. Atherton is disliked, nor the skill to stay in the game at such an amazing level. There are a handful of racers that know this fact about each other and themselves but stay in the game regardless.
  • 2 0
 @likeittacky: hey dude... I could see straight away you knew how it would go down. Beer
  • 20 0
 Now THAT is a bike commercial.
  • 17 0
 Excuse me,is this a IMBA sanctioned trail??
  • 13 0
 Pretty special rider
  • 11 0
 “It’s a huge mental challenge not to ride defensively...” this right here
  • 14 3
 Absolutely mental that he did this on Conti tires
  • 7 0
 When this gets mainstream.. Every Hipster restaurant within a 200 mile radius, will be raiding the place, to serve their over-priced, under-portioned cuisine on.
  • 3 0
 chips in baskets, stakes on a slate
  • 3 0
 @pigman65: I've had it with these muthaf*ckin steaks on this muthaf*ckin slate.
  • 1 0
 @DirtyDee: this is how the revolution begins...Smile
  • 6 0
 That is just mental.. did his rear wheel actually do one full rotation on the way down ? and end with full send ! massive props..
  • 4 0
 I've driven through there and what you can't appreciate is how steep it is. It's almost like the slate is defying gravity to not fall down the mountain on its own. A mate had a slight stack on trails nearby with small slate shards and it opened his elbow up like a scalpel. Crashing there just doesn't bear thinking about. Absolutely mental.
  • 6 0
 Gee Atherton's lockdown: "Fine I'll start my own rampage, with Hucks and Black-Rock"
  • 5 0
 I wouldn't mind seeing a doco based on this mine. It looks huge, I'd say the stats are insane. Anyone here know anything about it?
  • 8 0
 It's one of the mines that roofed most of Britain in the 18c. The whole area is dotted with slate works from days gone by. Dinorwic became part of the pumped water storage power station. Ffestiniog is home to the Antur Stiniog DH trails.
  • 3 0
 @Dropthedebt: cheers bud, that shot when Gee is standing over the entrance is insane. Can you can image the equipment used back in the 18c. Tougher times tougher people!
  • 2 0
 @wheellove: when all the craziness has parted and travel returns, you should have a trip to North Wales.
Base yourself in one of the many extremely well set up, Machynlleth, Betws-y-coed, Ffestiniog, Bala, Barmouth or Dolgellau bunkhouses and campsites. From here you can explore some of the most beautiful scenery, trails and Bike Parks in the Britain.
Also, get yourself a Snowdon descent under your belt. Just remember the summer code for riding the mountain only during agreed hours.
  • 4 0
 Mental! Gee is such a ridiculously talented rider! Couple of us were up Dyfi last weekend and drove passed this line and it looks wayyyyyy bigger, steeper and just insane in real life! Keep the videos coming Gee bey!
  • 8 2
 Man he almost cased that gap at the end...
  • 1 1
 Down voted for sarcasm LOL
  • 5 0
 Incredibly terrifying to watch...that music tho....ughhh, I had to put it on mute...wth....
  • 6 0
 The music was so bad...
  • 4 0
 Really? I found it was alright.
  • 1 0
 @TurboTorsten: I found the theme and sound fitting as well, but just soooo boring and repetitive.
  • 6 0
 Shin guards ftw
  • 5 0
 Gee-sus, he should try riding on water next
  • 1 0
 So basically Plattekill but without all of the trees...

YES, Gee you are correct: It DOES feel like the mountain wants to carry you down to the bottom.

-haha-

(full-lock with both wheels surfing on a stationary piece of shale/slate)
  • 3 0
 Frodo Baggins sure made hard work of walking through Mordor! Should have got Gee, pick axe and 1 can of Redbull to drop the ring off!!
  • 3 1
 Totally badass. But I do take issue with the idea of "conquering a mountain".
We're lucky the mountain lets us leave in one piece.
  • 1 0
 the skill level of these riders is off the charts , but do the riders ever consider that the bikes they are riding have limitations . I think wearing a parachute may not be far off ,,,, wireless of course .
  • 2 0
 Great advertisement for Atherton bikes and Continental tires. If the equipment can handle that stuff it can handle most everything.
  • 4 0
 So good even Dan smiled Smile
  • 1 0
 Not always a fan of Gee but I'm liking the last two edits. As a British rider its good to see landscapes that are relatable and see what you can conjure up in your own surroundings
  • 2 0
 sSate plates are one of the most unpredictable riding surfaces. This is wild. Gee is still so relevant.
  • 1 0
 Thats impressive to ride shale and still bank corners on it complete control and then throw a massive drop...extremely impressive bime handling
  • 2 0
 WC races may be getting cancelled but at least we have Gee's videos to watch!
  • 2 0
 Hard line ridind in that quarry, hard life working in it. We have it pretty good theese days.
  • 2 0
  My heart rate after watching that and seeing how close to those massive mine shafts Gee was.
  • 2 0
 In-fookin-sane!!!! Several shots just dragging that rear wheel/tire down the mountain!
  • 3 2
 Any one else immediately notice in every slow mo shot when he hit the brakes the rear suspension locked up and the rear wheel bounced over everything.........
  • 5 0
 Not really.
  • 3 0
 If Gee says it's 'big/huge', and it looks as such on camera....Damn.
  • 3 0
 IMBA will find a way to build a flow trail down that hill.
  • 1 0
 Ha! They totally would.
  • 3 0
 Forget race results, this is how you sell some fucking tires!
  • 2 0
 Give him the award, it's over!!!
  • 1 0
 Sick lil' mountain line! Looks super fun minus that last hit; Gee's mental!
  • 1 0
 I can't even imagine what you would look like rag dolling down that slate. Nice to see gee sending it again
  • 2 0
 his gloves changed colour half way down..
  • 1 0
 Really wild, original and inspiring line. Great.
  • 1 0
 And here I thought Shalemaster was rowdy. This is insane - well done!
  • 1 0
 Awesome. the ride, the rider, the jump, the bike.
  • 2 1
 Gee never ceases to amaze me. I hope he’s slated to be at Rampage!
  • 2 0
 Jeeez, some talent !
  • 1 0
 That last drop was INSANE
  • 1 0
 had to go back and watch ridgeline for the 200th time after peeping this
  • 1 0
 This is what I call SICK !
  • 1 1
 Damn. I don't even want to know what falling on that stuff feels like. Probably hurts like shale.
  • 1 0
 Put the phone down and hug me, bro!
  • 1 0
 Craaaaaazeeeee.....he using Continental tires?
  • 1 0
 15 year old looking over my shoulder - 'oh, he's got a whole costume on'
  • 1 0
 So very sketchy. Impressive surfing of the slate.
  • 1 0
 We used to ride down there all the time when we was nippers.
  • 1 0
 trail maintenance nightmare
  • 1 0
 Leaders of the world make Rampage happen otherways people gonna die
  • 1 0
 I great way to market a bike! Gee can certainly take some serious G-Force!
  • 1 0
 Holy FCUK!! The GEE MAN!!
  • 1 0
 Ratio of front to rear wheel rotations?

7:1 ??

Unreal control.
  • 1 0
 Anyone know what an atherton enduro frame costs?
  • 2 0
 bikerumor.com/2020/02/14/atherton-bikes-opens-slots-for-first-fifty-full-custom-3d-printed-carbon-mountain-bikes

$6k NZ plus shipping. Other than the fact you can get a unique frame geo, me thinks it's overpriced and the suspension underwhelming. I can think of several manufacturers I'd contemplate first.
  • 1 0
 Nie one, champ ! Those sliding tiles are scary as hell.
  • 1 0
 if that's not a good tyre advert then I don't know what is..!
  • 1 0
 Gnarly with a capital Gee!
  • 1 0
 Oh my good GRAVY that was rad
  • 1 0
 Steeep with serious exposure! Well played Gee!!
  • 1 0
 What do you call a woman with a slate on her head?
Roof
  • 1 0
 I see a man getting ready for Rampage.
  • 1 0
 That landscape has business existing
  • 1 0
 so gnarly
  • 1 0
 That was great!!!
  • 1 0
 One video to watch!
  • 1 0
 looovely
  • 4 4
 Anyone else immediately go look up Atherton bikes?
  • 1 0
 Flipping beast !!!
  • 1 0
 What a frikn beast
  • 1 0
 What?
  • 2 2
 Just the latest dank hole gees ridden over the years I recon.
  • 1 1
 Was losing interest until the DROP
Life begins @ Drop
  • 1 1
 Impressive but shame the video is over edited.
  • 1 0
 Geesus!
  • 1 0
 That final jump o_O
  • 1 0
 This guy.
  • 1 0
 How big was that drop?
  • 1 0
 Much big.
  • 1 0
 2021 Hardline preview.
  • 1 0
 Sick riding bro!
  • 1 0
 Sick
  • 1 0
 Excellent
  • 1 0
 CRAZY MOFO!!!!
  • 2 3
 That was one Shale of an edit! #rampage
  • 1 1
 God he's handsome!!
  • 2 4
 Plattekill locals be like, yea ok, whatever Gee.
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