• This topic has 22 replies, 17 voices, and was last updated 9 years ago by marty.
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  • Ben Alder Circuit
  • Premier Icon balfa
    Free Member

    Can anyone offer any route advice on this one? Doesn’t seem to come up too much.

    Is the best route done via the Bealach Cumhann then Bealach Breabag with what looks like a horrendous hikeabike? Has anyone ridden along the shores of Loch Erich to/from Ben Alder cottage as an avoidance of the hikeabike? It looks suspiciously like a bogfest!

    Premier Icon Waderider
    Free Member

    Bealach Breabag is better than the loch shore. You’ll pick up a well engineered hill track to Culra, even if it is broken by water bars.

    As you come over the saddle below Lancet edge before Bealach Cumhann look out for the remains of a Wellington Bomber.

    It is getting to the time of year where the weather forecast and conditions on the ground are very important before getting the bike out for this sort of trip.

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Full Member

    The hike up from the cottage is a serious ballache, or it was for me. Close to 500m vert ascent IIRC, and it’s too steep to really push the bike for a large part. And the descent off the other side isn’t even that special.

    But you still have to do it. Part and parcel of what is an epic ride, ye cannae be mincing round the Lochside and say you’ve done the Ben Alder circuit.

    Once up the Breabag, you’re handy for a wee walk up to the summit of Beinn Bheoil if you fancy it. The views must be superb – we didn’t bother with it because the mist was down.

    Premier Icon coogan
    Free Member

    The hike up from the cottage is a serious ballache, or it was for me. Close to 500m vert ascent IIRC, and it’s too steep to really push the bike for a large part. And the descent off the other side isn’t even that special.

    The worse section of ‘biking’ I have ever done. Hated every moment of that section.

    Premier Icon balfa
    Free Member

    It is getting to the time of year where the weather forecast and conditions on the ground are very important before getting the bike out for this sort of trip.

    I was thinking that. From photos it looks like fairly well armoured stalkers paths for the most part. Are there other sections more prone to damage?

    Premier Icon hairyscary
    Full Member

    coogan – Member

    The hike up from the cottage is a serious ballache, or it was for me. Close to 500m vert ascent IIRC, and it’s too steep to really push the bike for a large part. And the descent off the other side isn’t even that special.

    The worse section of ‘biking’ I have ever done. Hated every moment of that section.

    Here’s a wee reminder for you Vosh 👿

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jocarda1/sets/72157600940047315/

    Premier Icon coogan
    Free Member

    *runs screaming from the room*

    Premier Icon bullroar
    Full Member

    As a slight aside, if one carried on west from the Beaclach Dubh along the side of Uisage Labhair it would give access to Loch Ossian and beyond. Is the section by the Labhair rideable or an unremitting few klicks worth of bog?

    Premier Icon Waderider
    Free Member

    Is the section by the Labhair rideable

    Not nice to walk even. There is one redeeming feature – about 300 yards of singletrack near the bottom of the glen. That in a length of about 7 or 8 km (I think).

    Balfa, here’s a clue, the problem in winter isn’t the quality of the paths.

    Premier Icon 13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    I’ve got to Loch Ossian from Ben Alder cottage, but the long way round. You can follow the shore of Loch Ericht to the bottom of the loch (mostly boggy trudging) before picking up a fireroad to the Loch Rannoch road (the fireroad is quite broken by large, locked gates unfortunately).

    From there you can pick up the ‘road to the isles’ to Loch Ossian. The road to the isles is also quite boggy, but mostly rideable.

    Premier Icon lobby_dosser
    Free Member

    Long day & not much good riding, Kenny ‘effin WIlson gained his middlename that day.

    I’m sure there’s some on here would think it was a marvellous day it.

    Premier Icon Sanny
    Full Member

    Waderider

    Is that you, one hill Hancox? 😆

    Was that your second hill of the day……<snigger>

    I’ll get my coat!

    (runs off quickly into the distance)

    Cheers

    Sanny

    Premier Icon Andy
    Free Member

    Has anyone ridden along the shores of Loch Erich to/from Ben Alder cottage as an avoidance of the hikeabike? It looks suspiciously like a bogfest!

    Yes 6-7 kms of carrybike. Impossible to ride. nice swimming in Loch Erich though

    Premier Icon billyboy
    Free Member

    I know a few other instances where there is a very evident clash between REALITY and WHAT KENNY WILSON SAYS in his book.

    Premier Icon chickenman
    Full Member

    The bit between Loch Pattick and Alder Cottage is really good though; great trail and superb scenery.

    Premier Icon Jase_MK
    Full Member

    Photo from Bealach Dubh looking down to Ossian

    and then looking back, once down towards Ossian

    Total and utter ballache, and that was on foot. Comlete bogfest

    Premier Icon TandemJeremy
    Free Member

    Interstingly I have walked that bit a couple of times and found it no bother at all. NO bog and a path in places.

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Full Member

    Kenny Wilson makes it plain that this is a pyar epic route, there’s no ambiguity there at all in his write up.

    I loved this route, and that’s with ordinary weather with no great views, so I guess that makes me a fan. I do agree though that the riding, taken in isolation, is generally good rather than exceptional.

    Premier Icon stevenmenmuir
    Free Member

    Bit confused now as it gets good reviews in Kenny F Wilsons book and The Wild Trails. But the above perspectives don’t look good. What’s the wider opinion?

    Premier Icon stuartm555
    Free Member

    agree with all above.

    Bealach Bawbag would be a better name.

    some photos here but they probably don’t show the misery very well:
    IMG_2399

    Premier Icon chickenman
    Full Member

    Compared to the Beinn A’Ghlo curcuit, the riding and scenery is of a higher quality. There is at least 10km of really nice singletrack.
    There is nothing I can say on a posative note about the ball-ache of a push up.
    Definately worth doing on a nice day!

    Premier Icon stevenmenmuir
    Free Member

    Done a few KW routes so used to a carry. Thinking it might be better to do it June time. Anybody done the Glengarry Forest loop?

    Premier Icon marty
    Free Member

    Another one that wasn’t too keen on the Bealach Bawbag. Cracking day out though:
    IMG_1665

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