Alladale Loop Bivvy

Home Forum Bike Forum Alladale Loop Bivvy

Viewing 38 posts - 1 through 38 (of 38 total)
  • Alladale Loop Bivvy
  • josemctavish
    Member

    It’s been a while since I stuck a ride report on here, so I thought I’d make up for it by posting a ridiculous amount of boring pictures!

    The plan for this weekend was to do a large loop around to the North of Ben Wyvis, starting in Contin and kipping the night in the forest on the Alladale estate. As usual, I didn’t set off from home until later than I needed and so I found myself in the forestry car park swapping to Ice Spiker tyres at 1 in the afternoon on Saturday, with a fair ride to get out the way. I was finally on my way at half past, after having a nice chat with a chap called Karim (Graham to his friends πŸ˜‰ ) from these forums who made me promise to do a report on here. Conditions were mixed gritty ice near my start point.

    With some nice snowy bits.

    Shortly after ignoring some advice about a closed path and regretting it!

    Old bridge at Garve.

    A stretch of road took me further from Ben Wyvis.

    The hills looked more snowy to the North.

    The tarmac also bedded in my tyre studs for me.

    After turning off at Black Bridge, I was finally on the good stuff.

    I was probably pushing my luck for time, but stopped for butties anyway.

    The coos were on guard further up Strath Vaich.

    It might not be very gnarly, but nothing beats a snowy track in the mountains for me.

    Passing by Loch Vaich, much of it frozen over.

    The sun crept below the horizon.

    At the top of the last climb I could see before riding along Gleann Mor, with only my spidey-sense to guide me.

    I finally hit some decent forest and got a brew on.

    Next I got my hammock and tarp up and prayed it would hold me. Maybe January isn’t the best time to set it up for the first time ever – if you don’t know knots, tie lots!

    After one of my most comfy night’s sleep ever whilst camping, it was time for more hot beverages and english muffins.

    Looks a bit less wonky from this angle.

    I had a quick look for some deadly wild boar before setting off, but was disappointed.

    The tracks through the estate were completely clear of ice and snow, which was disappointing compared to last time I was here when it was sheet ice across the entire track. My spiky tyres would come in handy later though. Spotted a slightly nicer treehouse than mine at Glencalvie Lodge.

    As I started to wind my way up the next pass, I took a look back at the impressive-looking Diebidale.

    Back to the task at hand and I was up top in no time thanks to the easy gradient. I met a 78 year old gent who had left his friends to carry on up the Corbett nearby rather than risk the steep icy footpath upwards himself – with age comes wisdom!

    I wrapped up warm and enjoyed the first bit of descent, with a pause to work out what the hill to the left was.

    I was quickly at Lochan a Chairn, which seemed to have had a frostier night than I had.

    This seemed as good a place as any to stop for lunch.

    Just past the lochan, a chance chance to let rip opened up.

    The Ice Spikers were loving the surface they were made for.

    I flew down through the forest, skipping from side to side as the meting ice gave way and at one point suffering an off when the wheels were channelled into an icy trench which I was never getting out of! I still had to stop occasionally and enjoy my surroundings though, which were beautiful with the sun bathing me with a weak but noticeable warmth.

    I could see my next target of the wind farm which I would climb over the shoulder of later.

    I turned off and quickly climbed up the Kildermorie Estate road, which was nice enough to welcome cyclists.

    I shot down the descent, got lost wandering between the estate buildings and eventually popped out on the banks of Loch Morie.

    The track along the loch was a bit minging, wet and muddy for my liking, but once at the far end things improved a lot.

    Next I hit the road at Boath, but turned off pretty much immediately to take the works track up to the wind farm.

    Luckily, the gradient was easy enough and I was sensible enough not to go right up top today. This meant I could get myself over the shoulder of the hill, down into Glen Glass and on to Evanton as quick as possible with the remaining light.

    The last part of the journey was an unfortunate road ride in the dark through Dingwall and Strathpeffer, before reaching the car in Contin where I had wisely left a delicious vanilla creme pastry waiting as an incentive!

    Quality – thanks for sharing!

    druidh
    Member

    Excellent!

    Do you “blog” these anywhere for posterity?

    Superb pics of a cracking trip , hats off

    fatsimon mk2
    Member

    nice πŸ˜€ 8)

    flatfish
    Member

    Cracking ride.

    Which hammock do you have?

    crispedwheel
    Member

    Great write-up, thanks for that.

    Fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

    josemctavish
    Member

    Cheers chaps, I’ve never done any blogging other than my threads on here – think most went in the hacking incident back in the day. The hammock is a DD hammock, though I opted to sleep with the midge net open, funnily enough!

    druidh
    Member

    josemctavish – Member
    Cheers chaps, I’ve never done any blogging other than my threads on here – think most went in the hacking incident back in the day.

    That’s one of the reasons I started to keep my own blog. I’d occasionally get folk asking about rides I’d done and not have anywhere to point them at.

    mollyiom
    Member

    Do you have a .gpx of your route?

    Looks amazing BTW

    Trampus
    Member

    Grand stuff, josemctavish. Reading that has brightened my evening. Thank you.

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    That’s brill.
    Great to see so many photos.

    Hopefully the English bike shops that stocked up on ice studs will have them on sale soon….

    Premier Icon bedmaker
    Subscriber

    Great. Might do a copycat this weekend pending granny taking the kiddies, try out the crimbo pressie bivvybag.

    Overshoot
    Member

    Great read and photos. Thanks for sharing.

    How far did you cover?

    You mention you had a grear night in the hammock – how are they in general? I like bivvying but always seem to slip off the mat. Do you find it odd sleeping with your feet higher than you?

    josemctavish
    Member

    Druidh, I’ll have to organise something like that – I’ve got a photo gallery thing set up on my website which has photos commented by me for a couple of coast to coast rides, but I need to organise something with a bit more prose in it, I think.

    I recorded most of the ride in endomondo, which I could probably export as gpx, or just convert my route from Memory Map if you’d like it in it’s entirety.

    druidh
    Member

    Here’s mine. I really did it for the “archive” section but liked the idea of adding the occasional update too.
    http://www.blog.scotroutes.com/

    I just used blogger as I know nowt about designing websites

    That reminds me, I need to get the “bikes” bit updated πŸ™‚

    josemctavish
    Member

    Could be a good idea using blogger if I can get my act together! I think I actually have yours bookmarked – remember reading it before me and the wife did a bike tour in the Hebrides, very useful

    Overshoot, was about 48km the first day and 72km the second. My feet were higher, but that was mainly down to me not managing to set it up level – still comfy though, no need for a pillow either.

    Premier Icon debaser
    Subscriber

    Nice, great photos and write up. Another reminder to get out and explore more.

    Premier Icon Nick
    Subscriber

    Nice recount, get ye a blog, dead easy and fun

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    I’ve done that one in the other direction and the other day was just thinking about doing it again.

    Now I’ve got to. πŸ™‚

    druidh
    Member

    I’m just bumping this coz it’s so awesome and some folk might miss it…..

    bajsyckel
    Member

    Thanks for the OP. Always looked at those tracks with the thought that I’d get round to it one day. Extra motivation to get myself sorted out now.

    theflatboy
    Member

    that looks great, very nice tale with lovely illustrations! i hate to say it, but i honestly think i’d be too scared to head out and just sleep in a bivvy/hammock like that, especially in the middle of winter! πŸ˜† 😳

    Premier Icon Teetosugars
    Subscriber

    Fantastic!!

    I need to get my ass into gear and get out there myself this year..

    josemctavish
    Member

    I always like to do at least one winter bivvy on my own each year if possible – you can do everything at your pace and it’s good to feel a bit scared on your own in the dark in the middle of nowhere!

    flatfish
    Member

    Feet up is a good position to lie. Ideally you need to have your foot end unto 6 inches higher than the head end otherwise you’ll slide down into the middle of the hammock overnight.

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
    Subscriber

    Beautiful.

    I haven’t had the guts to do a winter bivvy yet. Despite having the hammock underblanket ready to go for over a year!

    kharim
    Member

    Rugby depressing so went on the net and found this. Glad to hear that you made it and are none the worse for sleeping out in those conditions. Supercool, brrrrr. Thanks for sharing. Look forward to further postings about your adventures.

    singlecrack
    Member

    Do you use an under blanket or any other form of insulation when hammocking in winter ?

    nonk
    Member

    posts like this are the only thing that keeps me visiting this place, nice one man.

    Mikeypies
    Member

    Looks like fun

    what stove are you using?

    kharim
    Member

    Yeah that stove looks cool- I’m sure that it burns wood. That’s all I know anyone know more?

    unsponsored
    Member

    Tried to make one of these stoves this PM

    http://www.bikeandbivi.co.uk/php/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=32

    Not very successful. I must hide the hammer before starting the next one.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    Thread of the year. Inspiring – what a fabulous ride!

    kharim
    Member

    Ta for the info on the stove

    josemctavish
    Member

    Sorry, missed the questions – I’ve had a week off in Applecross getting away from it all, thanks for the nice comments! The Kettle is an mKettle, which holds about a pint or so of water and runs off whatever bits of dry wood etc you can get burning in it. Stick half a firelighter in and it boils quicker than any stove I’ve ever used! It’s a bit handier than my ghillie kettle as the size is ideal to lob in a pannier.

    For the hammock, I just put my Thermarest between the two layers of the hammock and was perfectly cosy in my 3 season sleeping bag plus silk liner. Might be a different story on a windy night, but I suppose that could be sorted by varying tarp placement.

    kharim
    Member

    Just looking at this again and have decided that once i get well i will do this.

Viewing 38 posts - 1 through 38 (of 38 total)

The topic ‘Alladale Loop Bivvy’ is closed to new replies.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks are open.

Skip to top