A Cairngorm Loop

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  • A Cairngorm Loop
  • skink2020



    Nice one mate looks awesome

    Premier Icon sporteus



    I don’t suppose you have a gpx file of this route bychance?

    Premier Icon bruneep

    Excellent – as usual.

    TJ and I tried to “tidy up” a couple of the worst of the landslip areas in Feshie. I must go back to see if they’ve held up any.

    Premier Icon swavis

    Cracking pics! 🙂
    I did it last year but over 3 days starting from Blair Atholl then up Glen Tilt and stopped at the bunkhouses in Aviemore then Braemar.
    I think it’s on the cards again for next year.

    I think your good work has paid off druidh, as the two bad ones seemed very straightforward compared to previous years!

    Skink, I recorded the two days on endomondo, so could export to gpx from that if it’s any use?

    Day 1 – Glen Geldie/Glen Feshie

    Day 2 – Rothiemurchus/Lairig an Laoigh

    Thought it might be time for one of my sporadic poorly framed picture-fests, so here you go!

    Seeing as the weekend looked like being the last one that would feel remotely summery this year, I made a last minute decision to pack up the bike and go for a ride after dropping the wife at the airport on Saturday. This meant a late start, but these things normally are when I’m concerned!

    I’d been dying to try out my bikepacking gear from that nice chap Pavel, so I packed light.

    I set out from the Linn of Dee at 2pm, hoping to get all the tricky bits out the way in daylight.

    I was quickly over White bridge and passed Geldie bothy at the start of Glen Geldie.

    The estate track ran out opposite the ruin of Geldie Lodge and it was on to singletrack, gradually petering out into random stretches of bog. It all seemed wetter than the last two times I’d passed this way.

    Eventually, I slipped and slid my way up to the bridge over the Eidart.

    With the watershed crossed, I could make my way onto the fun narrow track into Glen Feshie. Don’t bother with the land rover track here, it’s a boggy mess.

    I made my way further down the glen, coated in autumn colours.

    The bikepack setup made negotiating the landslides a simpler job than the panniers usually do.

    Once the Ruigh-aiteachain bothy was reached, it was simply a question of making as much distance as possible through Inshriach Forest towards Rothiemurchus with the remaining light, before making camp.

    In the end, I got a bit carried away and ended up slinging up the hammock in the dark by a ford just off the track near Loch an Eilein. I cooked up some dinner, made myself a hot chocolate and jumped into bed to watch the amazing starlight – no need for a tarp tonight.

    Next morning, I knocked the frost off the hammock and packed up after more hot chocolate. The sun was still warm, despite the cold air.

    I crossed the Cairngorm Club footbridge on my way to Loch Morlich.

    After a quick stop for some snacks, I quickly passed through Ryvoan and took a right – my target being the Lairig an Laoigh.

    First up was a climb up the flank of Bynack More, which looked imposing but was surprisingly rideable – feeling easier than the last time I ran this way!

    Looking back to Meall a Bhuachaille:

    With the final steep section requiring some pushing I got up onto the plateau feeling hot and sweaty, but was rewarded with a rough and rocky downhill into Coire Odhar.

    Unfortunately, this was rewarded with a similar push up the other side.

    The next drop would take me to the final stretch before the Fords of Avon.

    Up close, the going was not as smooth as I’d like.

    Much tripping and swearing brought me to the Fords of Avon refuge, which the MBA have done a great job of renovating – last time I was here it was pretty grim. It was a good spot to have lunch – this is about as remote as it gets.

    Next up were a couple of river crossings and a whole heap more pushing up and over the Lairig an Laoigh. At the top, the riding improved and the views into Glen Derry and Coire Etchachan were even better.

    Soon enough, I was looking back towards Beinh Mheadhoin from the floor of the glen.

    From here, the going was much easier and I could enjoy the late afternoon sun as I made my way down very familiar tracks.

    The final stretch was the usual quick dash along the main track to the Linn of Dee to complete my loop.

    A bit long winded, but in summary the weather was great, the scenery breathtaking, the bikepacking gear flawless and the tracks rough to smooth!

    Premier Icon trailhound

    Amazing! Reminds me of 6 happy months spent working/riding in and around the Cairngorms 🙂


    Superb, reckon this is on the cards for me at some point!


    Nope, endomondo will do splendidly.
    Thank you so much.


    Excellent thread there Jose.

    Premier Icon P20

    Fabulous. We rode the fords of Avon years ago, started at Tomintoul finishing in Glenfeshie. Longest hardest day on the bike ever. Stunning place though. Love your write up

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager

    Inspirational Jose, great stuff.

    Premier Icon bigjim

    Very nice! I haven’t ridden in the Cairngorms since about 1993, which makes me feel very old…

    That looks amazing.

    love that area.you done yourself proud son 😀

    Premier Icon djflexure

    Love these threads the most – nice trip
    Back to my work now.

    Nice work J-Mac!

    I’ve only been to the Cairngorms once in winter, it looks beautiful in Autumn. The bouldery bit in Lairig Ghru must have been a pain with the bike!

    Premier Icon ir_bandito

    Brilliant. I tried to do a big loop up there a couple of years ago, but we got stuck in the snow. Must go back in good conditions…

    Looks great, really great. Pity you cant book weather like that!.


    Brilliant. Inspiring.


    I love my country. Great pics, thanks!


    what a great ride and thread – well done!

    Nice! Looks like the trails were pretty dry as well.

    Premier Icon Teetosugars


    I feel a trip North is needed…

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout

    Brilliant – what great weather as well… *adds another to the ‘to do’ list*

    Premier Icon kcal
    Premier Icon chickenman

    I wish I could have read this before I did it back in May: I went anti clockwise starting from Feshie; had miles and miles of pushing up what could have been ridden down, had 2 pinch flats on the over-built Bynack descent, pushed another 3 miles untill someone came past and gave me a tube. A very long day (11 hours on the hoof). Temperature was also in the 30’s so I was doubley f*****d by the end of it.
    Great photies BTW.


    Awesome, im gonna head up there in just over a weeks time and have a go, is this the big loop and is the small loop worth a ride too ive got twelve days off to play around, can anyone recommend any other great rides whilst im up there?? cheers mike
    Oh im mainly bike packing also :0) so is there loads of bothies incase its wet?

    Premier Icon Mal-ec

    Ace. Pawel’s seat pack hold up alright? Just got one, but waiting my frame back from Yeti before I can use it.


    I’ll keep an eye out for you there mike, I’ll be there in two weeks doing a bit of bike packing too.

    Premier Icon metalheart

    Hmm, how did you get from Feshie to Loch Morlich? I’ve done a similar route but ended up on the road from Feshie to the glen ore lodge….

    I keep saying I really must go do this again. Every year. One day I will…


    From the Glen Feshie Road you can cut through Inshriach Forest to Loch an Eilean then head east towards Loch Morlich. Round the south of that takes you to the Glenmore Lodge road end or you can do a wee bit more forest work to come out at the first wee bridge after Glenmore Lodge

    Inspirational stuff.


    flatfish-same as on BB?

    What dates are u up there and how long for?

    Yup, what Druidh said for getting round to Loch Morlich from Feshie. Mal-ec, you won’t be disappointed with the seat pack – it held a surprising amount and was very stable the whole time.

    Fantastic! I’ve been on a boat bobbing around the Northern North Sea for almost 5 weeks and it’s stuff like this that keeps me going. How did Parvels bags hold up – I have some on order and can’t wait to get home to test them. Is the seatpack you have a large size?

    The bags were all spot on with no issues to report at all. Bar bag and seat pack are both the large size and I’ll definitely be going with this set up for these weekend trips in future!

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