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This is Ash. Ash is something of searcher, a caretaker and a curator. He doesn’t write songs, script plays or make films to pull at the heart strings. His approach is a bit more immersive and visceral. Ash is the mind behind the three-edition Stone King Rally, but you may be more familiar with his previous work: the Trans-Provence.

ash with tools

His particular brand of route finding and penchant for taking riders to the precipice of enjoyability with a hearty reward made his races internationally infamous. The days are gruelling, but feature some of the finest singletrack you could ever ride. He’s always on the lookout, always scouting, searching, investigating claims of defunct trails that go from here-to-there. Looking for the ultimate route through the mountains.


Access through this landscape has been formed through times of war and peace. Giving reason to fill the mountain’s passes with forgotten ways to connect people. Ash’s specialty is reconnecting those people and those trails, imbuing them with a new purpose – Mountain. Biking. This is Peter. He moved to this valley nearly 30 years ago, recognizing the opportunities to ride, to hike, to move through these mountains.

ash brian ridgetop
trail crew

Part of Ash’s genius is connecting with residents like Peter to grow the greater community of cycling through connectivity. What began as an idea to ride out of Marmora and return to the lodge has blossomed into being a greater piece of the legacy route. The Stone King trail crew puts in a few hard days, bringing to life the trails that spiral from the town. Once they puts down their shovels, the racers clock their times and the dust settles.

ash and peter going over maps

What will be left is an entirely new route for a new kind of traveller, returning purpose to forgotten places and uniting communities. And not just Marmora. It’s one of many that will link to create a greater experience for visiting riders and townspeople alike. The towns re-connected will serve as hosts and stewards of the land with a rejuvenated sense of pride in the valleys.

walking sticks

Photos by Sven Martin