Ben Alder advice

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  • Ben Alder advice
  • golfcurry
    Member

    I’m looking at including this route on our forthcoming trip in september.

    I ve read a few reports about this ride, some being that there is a hard hiking section of 500m, is it not rideable and also that there’s a long boggy section along by the loch, has anyone done this recently and what did you think of the conditions of the route. Do you have any alternative suggestions of paths to take when we do it, also clockwise or anti-clockwise.
    suggestions please.

    September might not be too bad if it stays dry-ish beforehand. We did it in March & it was wet from lots of snow melt & rain. The hikey section is from Ben Alder Cottage (bothy) & up the Bealach Breabag. It’s more like 2.5 km to the col, & I know I couldn’t ride it in the dry never mind the wet. The drop down to Loch Bealach a Beithe was also a bogfest as was the lochside track.

    Having said that, I’d do it again but mebbe as an overnighter & incorporate the Ardverikie loop into it.
    Here’s the view (?) from the col after the bothy…

    EDIT, we did it anti clockwise.


    Newtonmore 2012 025 by jimmyg352, on Flickr

    & from the climb after Culra Bothy…


    Newtonmore 2012 015 by jimmyg352, on Flickr

    Premier Icon The Wrong Trousers
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    I’ve used him many times, and he’s always done a great job. Nice chap and thoroughly reliable, wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him.

    (my ex-window cleaner was called Ben Alder)

    Premier Icon boxelder
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    The hike is totally unrideable – no real trail either. No real biggest last July when we went.

    golfcurry
    Member

    this is going to be out last day ride, the day after the tour de ben. also doing a couple of days from blair atholl to tomintoul then back again, route out of phil kanes book.(200km) we did aviemore to tomintoul last year, was wondering if the rest of the phil kane route was similar?

    Premier Icon stevenmenmuir
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    Been fairly dry this summer so hopefully you’ll be alright. The first climb is a cracker and rideable until just before the top. As said before the second climb is a hike a bike whatever the ground is like but you’d want it to be dry or frozen. Follow the river up and you won’t go wrong. The descent down the other side and section round the loch were both dry when we did it. That was June time two years ago I think.

    Premier Icon stevenmenmuir
    Subscriber

    Pics

    Mid hike a bike I decided to have a play around on the rocks. I also thought it might be easier to walk up the relatively dry river.

    piemonster
    Member

    this is going to be out last day ride

    Pish. You need to do it solo and spend the night at Ben Alder cottage. And you’re only allowed 1 candle for lighting.

    golfcurry
    Member

    aye them there rocks look interesting, ahem.

    duckman
    Member

    Depends when you go,but don’t assume you will get in the cottage if you are overnighting,it gets very busy; also don’t leave bikes near/in sight of the cottage. We had various bits removed, (Hope brakes,ti post and an rp23)from our group’s bikes.

    piemonster
    Member

    Indeed, you need to go during a quiet time and spend the night almost alone.

    Duckman, seriously?? I always wondered if thefts could occur when leaving bikes out on the hills, but assumed it would take some sort of super-scumbag to leave someone stranded out on the hillside with an un-rideable bike. Did this happen at Ben Alder cottage?

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
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    No, Cathkin braes! :mrgreen:

    Premier Icon kennyp
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    Duckman, are you sure you aren’t mixing up Culra Bothy and Ben Alder Cottage when you talk about the place being busy?

    piemonster
    Member

    Culra can get busy, I went mid week autumn last year expecting a quiet night.

    Then walked into a group of 25-30 DofE occupying the main room. Small room of the side of this had a couple of bikers in it.

    I was a lot happier to see the two Aussie girls in the end room than they was to see me.

    Premier Icon tomd
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    I did it last weekend, second time. It’s a great ride. Go round Ben Alder anti clockwise (up the Bealach Dubh first). There is a short push up the Beaclach Dubh followed by an amazing section of trail to Ben Alder Cottage (bothy 2) and a 450m hike up the Bealach Beabag. It’s a steep climb on a vague path up the Bealach Dubh. Allow 1hr for a reasonably fit group. From the top of the Bealach Beabag there is a short (but not great) descent to the loch. Along the edge of the loch is pretty boggy for around 2km. It isn’t that bad. It was 75% rideable last week with some effort, less so when the loch was higher earlier in the year. The descent from the end of the loch back to Culra Bothy is excellent.

    It’s a pretty big day out. Forget worrying about the hike a bike and bog, it’s the drainage ditches. I think it’s a great loop, but there are 1000s of ditches to hop. If you or any of your group don’t like drainage ditches it will be a long old day.

    Tom

    maddyutah
    Member

    Great route,you will need your porridge before bealach bawbag-push,carry,sweat,greet.
    A few years since I last done it ,apart from BB all good riding ,great scenery .go for it you will enjoy it.
    Anti-Clockwise better

    duckman
    Member

    Sorry you are right, thinking about Culra. Second time we have had thefts from bikes,other time was at Derry Lodge. I now use a very old Lava Dome as a hill bike.

    golfcurry
    Member

    great thanks for the input, def doing it and really looking forward to it now.

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