Martha mine in the center of Waihi has seen more than 3 centuries of operation with hundreds of kilograms of gold removed from the open pit; creating a massive terraced hole gouged into the Earth's crust, the perfect place to hold a mountain biking event!
The mine walls are cut into terraces of varying steepness called 'batters'. Some of these are angled at 70 degrees, most are 20m walls that end in 6m flat section steps. The rock geology is varied from flat hard quartz to razor sharp ignimbrite shards and soft petrified ancient volcanic ash sediment called tuff. The tuff is soft, so the crew been cutting some really interesting lines into the stepped batters.
You can just barely see the track being cut in! Soooo gnarly!
Is that a Red Bull arch down there?