Challenge – Multi-Day Scottish Fun – Name your route!

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  • Challenge – Multi-Day Scottish Fun – Name your route!
  • Premier Icon Garry_Lager

    Fort William – KLL – Loch Treig – Corrour – back of Ben Alder – Dalwhinnie has been posted up here before as a class route – one I’d like to do mesel (done either end but not the middle). At Dalwhinnie you’re on the mainline and are then through to the Cairngorm stuff.

    There’s an old school route in Harry Henniker’s book across Rannoch Moor from the Kingshouse hotel to Rannoch station (he describes it in the other direction). Notoriously unrideable but old Harry reckons it’s OK – that would be south of the former route, but you’d then be nicely placed to hit Blair Atholl and up to southern Caringorms, either via Gaick pass and Feshie, or through to Braemar past Fealar lodge.

    Premier Icon tommygee

    Hoping to do a Scottish multi-day route later on this summer, looking ideally for a point to point route taking in some of the best scenery/trails on offer (possibly with canoe/walking options…)
    Was thinking of Fort William across to Aviemore, advantages being train stations in both locations, or a Cairngorms epic.

    Premier Icon tommygee

    Sounds excellent Garry, ta for the advice. The current weather we’re having is giving me unrealistic daydreams of what a long ride in the highlands could be like.
    I’ve always wondered if the larig gru (sic) pass is rideable. Another option could be a route up around torridon.

    How about…

    Train to Achnashellach, ride to Coulags and then follow singletrack up Fionn Abhainn. You’ll find a nice wee spot to dump your overnight kit (or camp) just after a well built wooden bridge. You could then go and ride the Annat-Torridon-Coulin Pass-Drochaid Coire Lair-Achnashellach Station loop and back to your tents.

    Next day, meander down the road, breakfast at StrathCarron Hotel, more tarmac, then up into Attadale Forest and all the way to Loch an Isaich, there’s then a great wee track which leads down the other side to Glen Ling and follows the River Ling to Glen Elchaig. I’d maybe suggest making your camp just when you make it to the River Ling, there was a really nice spot there I seem to remember. Probably hellish midgies though.

    Ride up Glen Elchaig and there’s a few options. The most spectacular would probably be to push up a steep but well made track to the Falls of Glomach. You could then ride down the other side over the Bealach Na Sroine. This leads to Glen Duich.

    If you’re feeling truly heroic, I really want to know if the route would go from Iron Loddge at the head of Glen Elchaig to Loch Mullardoch, and then up Gleann a’Coilich. It looks like it might be reasonable in the dry, and brings you to a bit of playground (the descent down Glen Leachavie which crosses the Mam Sodhail ridge looks awesome). This leaves you in Glen Affric, with a really cool hostel just west of the loch. From the hostel you could then descend the famous trail down Bealach an’Sgairne to Glen Duich.

    Um… I’ve gotten a little sidetracked now. By this point you could head over the Ratagan pass (tarmac, awesome) and descend the other side to Glen More, following the track to Torr Beag (another nice overnight spot on the way although the track starts difficult) and eventually take a left up into Gleann Aoidhdailean. The going gets tough following the pylons and you will end up pushing, in fact I seem to remember the track disappears near the top. Just follow the pylons and you should find yourself at the top of a fairly epic descent all the way down to Glen Dubh Lochan.

    From Glen Dubh Lochan the track continues good although not 100% rideable and eventually deposits you in Kinlochhourne. If it wasn’t for the pylons then this section would be amazing, as it is its still pretty good…

    How many days did you say you had? This is turning into a bit of an all-weeker… From Kinlochhourne you could turn it into a once-in-a-lifetime trip and head west along the shores of the loch to get to Barrisdale and eventually Inverie. From there you could get a ferry to Mallaig and hey presto! Back to the train. 😀

    Not all of that is rideable, I did almost this exact route in reverse a few years ago during a fairly average (i.e. still quite wet) summer. I pushed a lot. Doing it from North to South in the dry should reduce a lot of the pushing, and presents some much better descents. You’ll be wanting to pack light though, and plan foodstops in advance to avoid having to carry too much.

    I’ve ridden a few trips in Scotland, and planned about a dozen more, wish I’d tried this one!

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