- Cairnsmore of fleet by kirroughtree – anyone?
I have, used to do it at least once a month but not been up it for a couple of years, a bit of a climb n’ push wi bike humphing session on some sections on the way up but once up to the marker cairns on the plateau it’s easy going – all perfectly rideable on the way down but beware of the descent, there are substantial drainage ditches just off the path to catch you out and as you’ll be travelling downhill pretty rapidly what seemed like a gentle compression in the trail on the way up can quite possibly G-out your suspension and throw you off the side of the path, the chance of a high speed (30mph+) off is pretty likely if you get caught out, one of the locals at Newton Stewart stacked it in grand style last month on a Santa Cruz demo from sam @ Breakpad and i believe he did his collar bone, arm in two places and hip amongst other injuries, the bike was fine apparently 😯
I’ve done it literally hundreds of times over the past 20odd years but (touch wood) i’ve never had an off, prob due to luck and a bit of sense when riding on my own and i used to always ride my rigid ss which made the upper path more of a trial’sy type finger cramping descent rather than a “mad hoon” down the hill.
There are a few methods of tackling the hill but for a first time a bog standard up the path and back down will do you fine, try and pick a clear/non windy day as you’ll appreciate the views, been up there in May in total whiteout conditions and i made the very sensible decision to descend before i made it as far as the marker cairns. You can head down the Knee of Cairnsmore and onto Craddoch burn way/back to Cairnsmore house, but there is no recognisable path as such and the scrub is very tussocky and pointless on a bike, another descent can lead off the Knee and drop you down to the Clints o’ Dromore/Gatehouse viaduct, yet another possible way is over Meikle Multaggart/Craignelder and onto the Black at Kirroughtree nr to McMoab but unless you are with someone who can lead you i’d stick to the path up and back down, the main path is probably the most enjoyable descent anyway, tiz good fun.Posted 4 years ago
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