It’s been the wettest summer in the Snowy Mountains in living memory, or since 1998, depending on who you ask. The last of the winter snowdrifts cling stubbornly to the highest peaks of Kosciuszko National Park, like spots the spring cleaner has missed. Lake Jindabyne has flooded the town’s foreshore, inundating walking paths and drowning the trunks of poplars. Kids cross Banjo Paterson Park on boogie boards rather than bikes. If you’re here to ride – like we are – it makes sense to head for higher ground. And that can only mean Thredbo.

Many of the mountain bikers – helmeted and armour-clad like baddies making a getaway from a bank robbery – wouldn’t have been alive in 1998. Mountain biking’s reputation as a young man’s game however is changing. According to our guide Jo Larkin, the fastest growing demographic is women aged 40-plus. Larkin – who runs Thredbo’s “Gravity Girls” women’s mountain biking clinic – says the corporate community is also embracing the sport. “Business deals these days are more likely to be sealed on a MTB course than the golf course.”

Chairlifts are a great way to cheat gravity before acceding to it, and Thredbo offers the only lifted access to mountain bike trails in the country. The new Merritts Gondola hoists you and your bike to Merritts Mountain House in six minutes, where you can have lunch on the sprawling deck under a sun umbrella, watching riders weave their way down the switch-back tracks that intersect the bald winter ski runs…

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