- Ciaran path – The Low down
Good evening folks, Voted the best trail in the UK a few years ago by one of the rags, what do you think of this trail, awesome or damp squib. The Ranger path on Snowdon seems to be the one to tick south of the border with a reputation for technical excellence, is the Ciaran the Scottish equivalant, tech wise how do you think they compare? I have done both but need my memory refreshing to form an opinion as to the better trail and yeah you are right frankly who cares, just the saturday night ramblings of the bored baby sitter! so go easy.Posted 7 years ago
I would say it is certainly the more physical of the two, the section with the netting above the drop was ace, for a trail voted the best in the UK, i thought the erosion caused by trials bikes to the upper more boggy sections a real disapointment. I don’t know whether folks know that this trail is used by the Scottish six day trial every year, hence the damage.Posted 7 years ago
esselgruntfuttock i’m not knocking the trials bikes, i know they are part of the culture up in those parts and were there long before pedal power. I remember spectating as a youth, but it’s a real mess up below the dam, the lower sections are fine as it is now eroded right down to bed rock, hence the melon sized rocks.Posted 7 years agorickmeisterSubscriber
I think its the tourist path off left from the descent to Kinlochleven, Mamor Lodge from Loch Eilde Mor…. crazy rock fest skalextric slot racer thing.. great fun. Tried to do Ciaran path twice and put off by snow both times.. The track I mention seemed to be a worthy alternative.
Someone will be along with a better description in a minute…Posted 7 years agoesselgruntfuttockMember
Ha Ha, I rode it on the way UP to the Blackwater sections, as I said on a Bulto, then back down again. Can only just remember it though, but as far as I recall it was simple pimple both ways.
I know I know, I had 238cc’s to go at!
1979 I remember back marking the SSDT & riding relatively easily up the Devils Staircase from Atnafeadh & down to Pipeline, & over the Mamore road back to Ft Willy. Oh the joys of petrol power!Posted 7 years ago
NOt done snowdon, but love the ciaran path preceded by the devil’s staircase. So many different tyres of riding on one ride. Loose rock, bedrock, slimy rock, Singletrack through trees, stunning high mountain environment. THe dam illustrating man’s efforts to intervene in nature. CLimbs, descents and undulations. Everythingyou want. THough lacking a glacier at the start, it’s the closest we’ve got to the megavalanche course in the UK… and It’s only 2 hours down the road from where I am now. 🙂 actually, I made all that up, it’s crap, stay where you are, nothing to see here!…Posted 7 years agoclareymorrisSubscriber
It was brutal but I loved it if not for the scenery itself! We did it on the Saturday of the DH world cup last year and it was HOT HOT HOT making a river swim stop necessary!!!!
Sorry no photos of the gnarly downhill (or the swim stop) but here are a few of the general gorgeousness!!
Posted 7 years ago
Cripes lady hooligans! jojo not bad for a Fort William stunner 😉
Great description of the ciaran, it’s flooding back to me now, stunning scenery, a trail that is wild and unforgiving, Deliverance on bicycles, this summer i think i will do it again.
Any more photo’s opinions.Posted 7 years agoCaptainMainwaringMember
The good bits are good, but not enough of them to make it worthwhile IMO. When I did it, it all the potentially interesting sections seemed to be loose eroded rubble so not very pleasant. The Devil’s Staircase descents were the dogs though.
I would rate the following well above the Ciaran PathPosted 7 years ago
Drochaid Coire Lair to Achneshellach
Bealach na Lice to Annat
Carn Ban Mor
Cairngorm to Loch Morlich
Lochnagar to Glas Alt Shiel (top section)
Beinn a BhuideCaptainMainwaringMember
fergal, it’s the Beinn a Bhuide just north of Braemar. Park at Keiloch, go past Invercauld Castle and round to Linn of Quoich. Straight up Glen Quoich to pick up the path that goes all the way up the ridge to the south top. Across the plateau to the north top, then round and down to The Sneck, the bealach between Ben a Bhuide and Ben Avon. Then path and track all the way down Gleann an t-Slugain back to Invercauld. Where the ruin is, take the right fork to go past the ruin rather than the new track to the left.Posted 7 years agoSannySubscriber
Ciaran path – a grand day out in the hills. You don’t have to be a trials legend or willy waver to enjoy it. The unpredicatability and lack of uniform path makes for a more challenging and in my opinion more enjoyable ride. If I want smooth flowy and always rideable, I can go to any trail centre for that. I recall Andy McKenna recounting the time he did it with his missus – cue another rider walking his bike down bemoaning it’s lack of rideability quickly followed by his missus coming off the trail with a big grin on her face……..one trail doesn’t suit all, I guess.
The Captain is right. There are some terrific other descents to be had too. I’m not sure what the best descent is – so many to choose from and so many I’ve still to ride. 😀
Glas Alt Shiel and a variant on Carn Ban Mor and Cairngorm are on the cards for the Spring.
Still not done Mount Keen – and to think I call myself a mountain biker….the shame! 😀Posted 7 years ago
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