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Digital Subscriptions > Singletrack > 116 > SPINEOLOGY

SPINEOLOGY

Pete Scullion takes on an alpine ridge ride with the most serious of consequences, and the greatest of rewards.

ADVENTURE

Above two and a half thousand metres my body starts to wonder what I am doing to it. I was used to this by now, after a long week chasing Ben Jones and his pals around the French-Italian border. We’d topped out only days previously on what Ben held firm was “the best trail in the world”, and, while it certainly had everything you could want from a trail, including a spent 8in artillery shell, there was one trail that left me utterly speechless before we’d even turned a pedal.

After a long, sweaty climb out of the valley below, switchbacks making this tough ascent only marginally less hard work on tired legs, I could see Ben, Nash, Rich and Kate beckoning me from a tall spine of bright white limestone. The stone here looked almost like icing, nothing like the limestone of the tall, jagged peaks above. “You’ve got to see this,” insisted Ben. Ben had been here before though, I thought to myself… this must be something very special. As I made the last few steps to the summit, a cool two and a half kilometres above the deck, all I could see was a narrow ridge, pockmarked with sinkholes of all sizes. What really drew my eye though, was the thread of singletrack that wound its way delicately between them.

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About Singletrack

Don’t Look Down! – Pete Scullion takes a precarious trip across the lesser-ridden ridges of the Alps. Trail Hunter: Tom Fenton tells you why Cross Fell and High Cup Nick need to be on your must-ride list. Just bring sandwiches. Lots of them. Bike Test: Full suspension XC bikes. – Three long-legged ride/race bikes from Giant, Specialized and Scott Group Test – David Hayward tests sub-£1500 carbon wheelsets. At this price, they’re still a major investment, so we’ve done our best to thrash them all. Editor’s Choice – We pick the products, places and events that have left an impression on us this year. From bike races to gears and gadgets. This is the stuff we really rate! Room 101 – Charlie takes a look at your complaints and throws them into Room 101 if there’s due cause. And if there isn’t, he throws you in instead. Column – Our award winning columnist Jason Miles brings us more pearls of wisdom and wit. Porage People – Bike race meets survival challenge meets Scrabble and It’s a Knockout! Welcome to the weird world of the invitational (Wo)Man of Porage bike race. Classic Ride: The Purbeck Hills – Tom Hutton shows us that south coast riding is far from flat. It’s not always sunny there either. Trickstuff: Singletrack travelled to Germany to see the surprisingly low-key, family-like atmosphere at Trickstuff, producers of some of the world’s most precisely engineered brakes and components. Column – Lifecycle of a Riding Spot: a tragedy told in 11 chapters. Antony de Heveningham charts the rise and fall, rise and fall of your local woods.