Wouldn't be the first hill I'd do on a mountain bike. Crawling with folk from the Ptarmigan side, plus there are rangers that probably give you gip in spite of the access laws. Approaching along the ridge from the east might be difficult as one of the outlying hills is gert steep (the last drag to Lawers is pretty steep too-steep enough for fun?!)
Then again, I've only walked it, so don't take my comments as gospel.Posted 7 years agojamesbMember
A couple of issues spring to mind…..1. Ben Lawers is a nationally important National Nature Reserve famed for its Arctic Flora, and base rich rocks; the rangers have put in a boardwalk to reduce erosion pressures / soil damage from the visitor centre for the above reasons. 2. It is a great WALK and as above post says you will spend more time pushing than riding. Why oh why do you want to MTB it???Posted 7 years ago
There is a great road ride over from Loch Tay to Glen Lyon via baelach between Lawers and Ptarmigan, and then back from Kenmore alongside Loch Taymatt_outandaboutSubscriber
It is rather fun 🙂
Why ride it? Why not, it is an AMAZING descent. It is also quite a challenge on the way up (Coirre Odhar route) then back over Beinn Ghlas from Lawers.
Would the rangers be upset? If hordes were there and doing damage, but having bumped into one of them(a friend from the village) on the day I did it she seemed more impressed I had ridden down it. The nature reserve is fenced and pathed, so stay on it and you are fine. There is more 'delicate' areas on Tarmachan.Posted 7 years ago
The nature reserve is fenced and pathed, so stay on it and you are fine.
I find any MTB going onto the top of a mountain a bit questionable – partly because its hours climbing for minutes descendant and partly from the erosion risks.
However I see no reason why Lawers is really any different to any other mountain. Its not like the Ben McDui plateau which really is somewhere special, unique and fragilePosted 7 years ago0pt1calMember
I ride it quite alot….as with any Munro descent easily doable on a hardtail although can be ridden faster on a full sus. Usually do it on the DH bike to maintain more speed across the rocks and nail the drops…as with Ben Lomond the route is pretty sustainable as its mostly all on rock….I love the section through the nature reserve (all on the rocky path)..never had any bother from walkers. Definately ride up the left from the nature reserve and back down over Ben Ghlas.
Good descent and worth doing.Posted 7 years agoGiantJauntMember
rangers that probably give you gip in spite of the access laws
I wouldn't cycle it. I know we're perfectly within our rights to but the site is very important for mega rare flowers and there's lots of people there trying to chill out like. I want to do Ben Lomond which is mostly covered in Neds anyway. They just get out of the way and say 'Alright big man'.Posted 7 years agoSannySubscriber
Hours of riding up for a few minutes of down? Hell yeah!
As for MacDhui, there are several very clear and distinct tracks up and down. I just can't get myself to be in any way concerned about the mountain when it's covered in walkers on muckle big tracks that they made by tramping up it. There's no reason to go off the tracks when on a mountain bike as much of it is either very loose or grassy, neither of which would appeal. Part of the fun is the "rideable or not" technical nature of the paths. It's a shame that the desire to keep the high places special doesn't extend to getting rid of the funicular or the spectacularly guff mountain top cafe on Cairngorm.
I suspect you either get it or don't when it comes to taking a bike into proper mountains. For me, the best days involve going high and if there is hike a bike, it's all part of the experience. The ride down is a bonus – it's the journey that counts.
I rode a big loop of Cairngorm, Ben MacDhui and Bynack Mor yesterday. One of the best days I've had on the bike in a long time. 24 miles – 9 hours – mostly riding with plenty of stops to soak up the scenery. Marvellous!
SannyPosted 7 years agoGiantJauntMember
It's a shame that the desire to keep the high places special doesn't extend to getting rid of the funicular or the spectacularly guff mountain top cafe on Cairngorm.
Yeah definitely. It's worth remembering though that some of these remote places have an Arctic habitat and the associated flora and fauna that goes
The high tops of the cairngorms are home to rare bird species like the Dotterel which are a ground nesting bird obviously so it's very important to stick to the paths as much as possible to avoid disturbance. I read a write up in a MTB magazine about a route over Beinn a Bhuird which didn't mention any of this so I don't know if the authors even considered it.
Like you say, mountain bikers tend to stick to the paths but I think the magazines have a responsibility to inform the reader of the possible impacts of not doing so.Posted 7 years ago
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