so we went up to scotland in dismal weather this weekend - the plan was to bag ben lomond, ben vorlich & ben lawers, but we actually ended up with none. the forecast of strong winds and heavy rain slimmed down the group considerably but a small handful still managed to get up some hills.
we started on ben a'an, not a munro by a good few hundred metres but thought it was a good option with it being a lot lower. that is a tough descent! worth it though...reckon i managed to ride something like 85% of it, there's a large section in the middle that is stupidly steep & rocky - actually a proper scramble to get up & was wondering whether dragging the bike up would be worth it. is is - there's a nice section off the summit which consists of smooth singletrack broken up with chunks of bedrock sticking out.
this slab looked roll-able on the way up. missed the wheel-trap at the bottom though which sent me crashing OTB & onto my head & shoulder. should've dropped it, but not much run-out.
after that it went mega steep & steppy so was a bit of carrying down. the bottom half consists mainly of roots and rocks, which were loads of fun in the october conditions. very greasy indeed! pretty much all ridable, a couple of sections needed looking at first though to get the correct lines.
it was proper tough, especially given how wet it was, but really enjoyed it. definitely going back again at some point - especially with the 'previous' i now have with that slab!!
saturday we ventured up ben lomond. MWIS said 70+mph winds on the tops and i reckon they were spot on!! we climbed to about 870m, so about 100m shy of the summit, before the winds became too much. visibility was low as well, perhaps 3 or 4 metres at times...so common sense told us to call it a day and not push on to the top (even though that thing inside me was urging me to go on).
what a descent! so long and flowy...even with wind & rain in the face. it's pretty much all ridable too. some of it is fast and smooth with a few drainage bars to hop over, other parts are more full of big boulders to pick your way through. then there's the 'paved' switchback sections which call for loads of slow speed control and balance to try and get around. the bottom section below the lowest deer fence & dropping through the woods is just fantastic as well. i'd highly recommend this descent to anyone who like big mountain action, and i'm already planning the return to actually summit!
pics aren't all that good - camera was covered in rain & grit all day!
bit gutted we didn't get to have a crack at ben lawers & vorlich, but they'll be there come spring...and i can't wait!!