So having conquered all the easy and intermediate trails at Santos, I'm feeling ready to make another attempt at the Expert level trails this weekend. The ONLY part of those trails where I constantly get stuck is on the steep uphill climbs, so I'm looking for some pointers from the experienced mtb riders here. You've probably all seen the type of hills I'm referring to: they range in height from 5-10 feet, they're very steep, and often littered with rocks and exposed roots. The biggest problem is that they're sometimes hidden from view until it's too late: you go around a corner and suddenly you're confronted by one, but you don't have the momentum to make it over the top. The obvious solution is to downshift and just winch yourself up, but what happens then is that the front wheel won't stay down due to the extreme slope. Having that front wheel barely touching the ground also means you can't effectively steer while climbing. This happens even with my weight shifted forward over the handlebars, which sometimes results in a loss of traction at the rear.
Shown below is the dreaded Ant Hill trail at Santos, which is full of those kinds of climbs: