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  • A Week in Scotland – where ‘must’ I ride? – pics please
  • Premier Icon james
    Free Member

    Thinking of driving round scotland for a week in the summer (and doing some MTBing). I don’t really know scotland all that well, so It’d be nice to get to know it a bit better.

    One thing though, NO, or very few trailcentres please. I went to Golspie and Laggan over New Year and rode most of them despite the ice, have ridden Glentress/Innerliethen, Ae, Dalbaettie before and its likely I’ll end up doing all of them (And kirroughtree) at some point in future with others who prefer them more than natural stuff than I do. I know thats not the half of the scottish trail centres, but unless any of the ones I’ve missed are really good, I was thinking I should stick to the unsignposted stuff?

    As good as scouthern (everything south of glasgow and edinburgh?) is, I’m thinking maybe I should stick north of glasgow / stirling / perth (except maybe arran and that area?) to ‘make the most’ of the oppurtunity?

    I’d like some reccomendations (and pictures!) please on some all-day rides / areas that I ‘must’ ride.
    Maybe even a 2 day ride if theres something good that requires it
    Scenery, riding quality (And techiness) and not overly busy = all good

    I can borrow this book (I’ve not had a proper look through it):

    Is it worth using?

    Premier Icon ton
    Free Member

    here

    here

    and sleep here

    Premier Icon james
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    Where are they exactly? The middle one is not near Torridon is it?

    Premier Icon druidh
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    First of all – get that book. You’d better be able to read/intrepret maps though.
    Secondly – don’t fret about all of the good stuff you’ll be missing out on. A week is nowhere near long enough.

    Torridon would be a good place to start.
    All the stuff around Ben Alder and through to Fort William, including Kinlochleven and the Devils Staircase.
    Aviemore / the Gorms, down to Blair Atholl via Glen Tilt.
    Carn Ban Mor above Glen Feshie.
    Loch Muick (pic below) through to Glen Doll and back

    Premier Icon stuartie_c
    Free Member

    Good book with lots of classic rides, but you’ll need OS maps as well.

    Suggestions… where to start?

    Do the Ben Alder circuit from Dalwhinnie. Lots of great singletrack and a mean mofo of a carry at the furthest away point.

    Ciaran Path circuit from Kinlochleven. A big day out which leaves the toughest riding til last:

    A variation which starts in Glencoe and is a bit less committing but packs in a LOT of great riding. There are three superb descents which will take you to KLL – this shows the Ciaran Path, but following the pipeline will get you to two others which are equally good:

    Not in the book, but another cracking day. Very hard.

    An obscure one which will test your patience (lots of puushing) but rewards you with possibly the best descent in the country…

    Lots of photos:

    Ben Alder
    Ciaran Path
    Torridon
    Devil’s Staircase
    Loch Lochy
    Glen Feshie

    These are some of the “must dos” – there are lots more. Email if you want .mmo files or more info.

    SC

    Premier Icon radoggair
    Free Member

    Ton- where’s middle picture about matey??

    Premier Icon Kit
    Full Member

    druidh – have you done the Carn Ban Mor ride yet?

    Anyway, shit ride (IMO) but awesome scenery and great wilderness feel: Skye

    Carn Ban Mor (and indeed any riding round Glen Feshie, Coylumbridge and Glenmore)


    Any Ochils route (i.e. Dumyat, Stirling)

    Devil’s Staircase, Glencoe

    I wouldn’t worry about anywhere being busy in the north of Scotland – its not condensed like the Lakes and Peaks are.

    Another book I think is worth getting is this:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bike-Scotland-Trails-Guide-Mountains/dp/0955082226

    Premier Icon HeatherBash
    Free Member

    First two of Tons pics = non ‘techiness’and the middle one is not near Torridon – it’s a few miles from Dalwhinnie on the A9.

    Beautiful country but most of the Ben Alder trails are in fact almost too good from a mtb perspective – they’ve all been re built in the last ten years

    Third pic looks like Fords of Avon – different ball game…

    Kennys book is pretty sound and Aviemore is a good base for a weeks riding

    Premier Icon Nick
    Full Member

    top thread, hmmm

    Premier Icon fauxbyfour
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    What I would do, and probably will, is to go to Skye (again) and explore the area some more. There is so much there and little marked on the maps. Sticking to a defined area concentrates the mind and stops you wasting time worrying about misssing ‘that great bit of trail’ just over the hill.

    Premier Icon freeridenick
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    Great Thread,I am doing the same thing at the end of May,

    Premier Icon Swello
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    If you are in the Glencoe area to do the Devil’s Staircase, etc- you could add Glen Kinglass to the itinerary – a classic route – nothing very technical or difficult to navigate – just great scenery….


    Lochside


    Slabs


    A Look back along the route from a handily placed Munro

    Premier Icon mark_b
    Free Member

    We have a climb/hike up the Ben and a ride down planned – can anyone comment on whether it’s worth it or is it a ‘because it’s there’ kind of ride ?

    Premier Icon Sanny
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    Stuartie c

    You really do manage to do some fine rides and capture them on camera. I have to say thay your Carn Ban Mhor and Ciaran path pics are superb.

    Rides – Aviemore – You really must go there. Loads to ride and awesome scenery that more than lives up to expectations. See Dave in Bothy Bikes for route advice.

    Beinn a Bhuird – a marvellous munro that can be ridden all the way up without having to push. Take in Ben Avon too and marvel at the tors.

    Kinlochleven – some wonderful descents for the technically minded rider.

    Ben Lomond – it’s a long push / carry but the reward in terms of views and descent is worth the price of admission.

    Glen Clova – a short ride on the map but can be a tough old ride as it was when I did it in the headwind from hell!

    Fungle and Mounth road taking in Mount Keen.

    Anything round Pitlochry and Dunkeld. Lots of lovely singletrack close to civilisation.

    Cheers

    Sanny

    Mail me if you want to know more or for route advice.

    Premier Icon richc
    Free Member

    nice pictures

    Premier Icon ton
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    mine were
    1st pic, loch ericht
    2nd pic, bealach dubh
    3rd pic, pools of avon. which is a awesome location for nights bothying.

    Premier Icon grumm
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    Agreed on the stuartie c pics – very inspirational.

    Premier Icon 13thfloormonk
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    Sanny, what direction would you approach Beinn a Bhuird from? If i remember the area correctly, could you approach from Glen Slugain, go through Glen Quoich, up and over Beinn a Bhuird, and back down Glen Slugain?

    That would be a cracking route!

    Premier Icon Sanny
    Full Member

    I started outside Braemar and headed along the valley floor passing Beinn a Bhuird to head up the western flank of the mountain. You can then drop down off the summit heading east and hikey bike for 15 minutes onto the summit of Ben Avon before retracing your steps and dropping down the geln between the two. Absolutely wonderful ride.

    Mark B – I assume you mean Ben Nevis? A better ride would be to do a loop from Fort Willam to Mamor Lodge, up past the loch towards Meanach bothy then return via the forest trails beneath the Ben. Fanylionracing have a good ride report on this route.

    I’d also second Glen Kinglas – a bit of a classic.

    Cheers

    Sanny
    If you like big views and don’t mind hikey bike, I walked Carn Gorm by Glen Lyon last February. A brute of a push to get up but once on the plateau, it would make for a terrific ride taking in four munros. Planning to return with the bike this Spring.

    Premier Icon ton
    Free Member

    we did a cracking route a couple of summers age.
    from avimore, up into the rothiemurchus forest, round the lake to glenmore lodge, up to the turning before the ryvoan bothy.
    up over bynach more
    then pools of avon, to linn of dee, then down to breamar.

    bit of a long day, well worth the effort tho.

    Premier Icon Sanny
    Full Member

    Ton

    What was the riding like between Ryvoan and Pools of Avon? Any pictures? How long did it take you? It is one that I have contemplated many times but was hoping for a first hand account.

    Planning on Braeriach from Loch Einich this Spring. I hear tell that the descent down onto the Lairig Ghru is worth the carry up.

    Cheers

    Sanny

    Premier Icon stuartie_c
    Free Member

    Sanny, Grumm – cheers guys! Nice to get feedback.

    I just love getting out on big hill days and sharing it with others.

    We should all get together for an STW ride in the spring – maybe one of the Glen Clova circuits? (Clova – Prosen – Kilbo is a beauty)

    I’m happy to organise/”guide” if anyone is interested…

    Premier Icon SteveTheBarbarian
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    Some great pics in this thread. I Recently finished booking up a 5 day coast to coast for 14 riders in May this year. Looked at a lot of pics of the areas we’ll be riding, and I just cant wait.

    Premier Icon Kit
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    I’m happy to organise/”guide” if anyone is interested…

    Yup!

    Premier Icon DrT
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    Sanny, heres a pic of a bit of the path from Ryvoan to the Fords of Avon, its a great track, hard work though 🙂

    Premier Icon SteveTheBarbarian
    Free Member

    We’ll go over the Fords of Avon on Day 2(day of death):

    Braemar – Kingussie, Glen Lui,Glen Derry, Fords of Avon, over saddle of Loch Avon, Strath Nethy, round the corner to Loch Morlich for lunch, then on to past Loch Eilean, Loch Inch, Ruthven etc.

    🙂

    Premier Icon ton
    Free Member

    sanny
    if i remember well, there is only a short section that is not rideable.
    http://www.streetmap.co.uk/oldmap.srf?x=303805&y=802165&z=120&sv=303805,802165&st=4&ar=Y&mapp=oldmap.srf&searchp=oldsearch.srf&lm=0

    the section from the stepping stones for about 2k more is unridable.

    Premier Icon stuartie_c
    Free Member

    Steve – AVOID Strath Nethy!

    From what I remember of it, it’s unrideable (I ran down it once, knee deep for much of the way). The line that is shown as a path is basically through a bog and you will lose the will to live.

    Much better is to go directly N from Fords of A’an (which looks like DrT’s pic above) and follow the trail to the E of Bynack Mor. This is partly rideable before a short, sharp carry, a nice descent into Coire Odhar, another short carry onto the ridge leading to An Lurg (rideable if you’re very fit…) and then a superb descent down the obvious ridge to Bynack Stables (no stables now…).

    Premier Icon steelytail
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    I agree Aviemore would be a good base. You could also consider Braemar as a base. It would give you access to Glen Tilt, Beinn a’ Bhuird, Loch Muick/Glen Doll, Glen Feshie/ Geldie, The Sluggan and more.

    Premier Icon druidh
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    I’ll echo the “No Strath Nethy” sentiment.

    Premier Icon SteveTheBarbarian
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    Thanks for the info both, I can see the route you mean Stuartie.

    I’d seen this pic:

    and really liked the idea of seeing Loch Avon, and going over that saddle.

    I’d seen this pic of Strath Nethy:

    but guess you can’t tell if it’s boggy by looking at that. Guess we may have to divert, unless we have a dry spell, and somoene reports it’s do-able.

    Premier Icon kennyp
    Full Member

    James, re the Kenny Wilson book. Yes, it does have some excellent rides in it, but check out the associated website as there are a few misprints. The wee brown book is good too, but as folk say, you’ll need OS maps too.

    There’s a good website http://www.offroadadventures-online.com/ which has some good epic routes, and a book called Exploring Scottish Hill Tracks by Ralph Storer, which is really a walking book, but is very handy.

    There are some great Cairngorms loops which would do as multi-day routes.

    Or post on here nearer the time and someone will probably show you round.

    Premier Icon jad
    Free Member

    A couple from the Ciaran Path:



    Glen Kinglass:

    Glen Elchaig:

    And a bit of bothying/drinking with my Dad at Carron (part of the Inveraray – Loch Awe – Inveraray route in Kenny Wilson’s book):


    Premier Icon ton
    Free Member

    i think kennyp, stuartiec and druidh should get their heads together and organise a stw scotish week or long weekend in september.
    come on boys.
    like they said in the film…BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME. 😀

    Premier Icon shortbread_fanylion
    Full Member

    Great thread! You could base yourself at Aviemore or Braemar and not have to travel far to do many superb routes. You won’t run out of ideas!

    There’s good riding from the Tomintoul area as well – I’ve done quite a few good routes from here. One that stands out for me is to head south and then up Glen Avon to the Fords of Avon and then head north and up Bynack Mor. Descend to the Ryvoan Pass and then follow the tracks back towards Tomintoul via Glen Brown. It’s an excellent route, 50 miles or so, a good all dayer. You can also head south from the Fords of Avon, as mentioned above, and return via Braemar over Culardoch and Loch Builg. This is another big day out! I have also done a good ride from Glen Feshie down to Blair Atholl via Glen Geldie and Glen Tilt and then back via the Gaick Pass. I benefitted from bone dry conditions and there’s actually not a great deal of climbing on the route meaning that thr 75 miles wasn’t as tough a proposition as it seemed.

    If the weather is rubbish I think Aviemore would be a good base since there’s lots of nice forest stuff such as Badaguish and the Badan rather than the bigger exposed routes.

    Premier Icon devs
    Free Member

    Which way round do you do the Ciaran path? NW from Blackwater or SW to it?

    Premier Icon 13thfloormonk
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    Carron bothy’s great, but there’s some bloody fikey people using it!

    I swept, cleaned and chopped new firewood, but next time i passed through found comments directed at me complaining about how i “hadn’t troubled” myself to look after this wonderful resource blah blah blah.

    bloody holiday homes 🙄

    Premier Icon shortbread_fanylion
    Full Member

    There’s only really one way to do it devs – it would be a long walk up it! Descend from Blackwater Dam to Kinlochleven.

    You can get to the start point a few different ways. You could climb from KLL up the WHW then follow the pipeline to the dam and then down. You could then climb up past Mamore lodge and do some of the other descents to KLL. I have also done it beginning at KLL and following WHW to top of the Devil’s staricase and then descending down to the pipeline which begins where the descent becomes fireroad. This is an excellent techy climb and descent but walker busy. I think in Kenny Wilson’s book the ride begins at the Kingshouse in Glencoe but this has a fair bit of tarmac I think.

    Premier Icon shortbread_fanylion
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    Sorry devs – I read the Ciaran path to mean just the descent from the dam when you asked? Dunno if it includes a section elsewhere in case my answer makes little sense!

    Premier Icon andy@innerhaven
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    Jad – I’ve never explored Glen Elchaig. I know the whole area’s riddled with trails on the map, so what’s the riding like?

    😀

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