Ciaran Path, whats your thoughts… ?

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  • Ciaran Path, whats your thoughts… ?
  • DickBarton
    Member

    My stag ride was meant to include this…but due to various fitness levels we never quite made it (we only made it back as the last light was going!)…so I went back the week after and rode it.

    I’ve no idea what people expect from reading stuff in the mags…I don’t read them so my only expectation is that I’m going to ride a trail I haven’t done so previously. I liked it…I’m needing to get better to ride even more of it but the bits I didn’t ride I kind of had marked as a bit out of my depth so had no issues with getting off.

    I descended from the damhead to the bottom and thought it was great…would ride it again and hopefully get more of it ridden.

    In fact, I’m kind of planning a go at it in around 6 weeks time, so I’ll know if my ability has improved since the last time.

    Premier Icon boxelder
    Subscriber

    Will reply tues, as heading there tomorrow night, then to Skye.
    Kid at christmas!

    Much preferred the Devils Staircase from Glencoe into KLL we did today, or the tourist path down from Loch Eilde Mor which flows nicely all the way down and just gets better all the way…

    I agree. The first part from the Dam head, ie the only bit that goes downhill, was really good. Once you get down into the valley floor, was not so good.

    Ridden it twice, only to show a mate, otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered the 2nd time.

    Premier Icon rickmeister
    Subscriber

    Boxelder, have a great trip, the mountains this weekend were stunning and had dusty trails I kid you not !

    stuartm555
    Member

    Wasn’t keen the first time but I rode it again last week and loved it as I had way more energy (and possibly more skill these days).

    And apparently it’s easier if you can’t see what you’re doing!


    Ciaran Path by Stuart Marshall, on Flickr


    Ciaran Path by Stuart Marshall, on Flickr

    I usually ride it as a point-to-point from Lagangarbh to KLL via the Devil’s Staircase, the water conduit, across the dam, then the Ciaran Path. If you ‘clean’ it, you’re doing well. It certainly isn’t all “descent” though, and can be mentally quite wearing as concentration levels need to be high.

    fergal
    Member

    Those photo’s do it justice, ” come on it’s just a canal path with features” proper biking, although yes the ups are a bitch, but you still try to clean them.

    I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve only ever ridden up the Ciaran Path & as far as I remember, rode the lot with mebbe a few ‘dabs’.

    DickBarton
    Member

    Seeing those pics, I’m not sure I have ridden the same path as I don’t recall anything as ‘extreme’ as that…would still give it a bash but I don’t recall that much stuff…where were they taken?

    Premier Icon rickmeister
    Subscriber

    We did this Saturday as up in KLL for a last Munro/last Corbett/50th Birthday.

    It is a mythical best descent in mags and books but I am curious as to what others thoughts are.. If you have done it you obviously know but I was hoping for something else than we experienced. Not sure I would go back for another shot tbh.

    Nice tech sections are good but the ups sort of kill it for me. I admit we were a bit knackered after taking in Mamore Lodge, Loch Eilde Mor, Glas Bheinn and down to the Blackwater Dam, so the uphills were a bit of a surprise….

    Much preferred the Devils Staircase from Glencoe into KLL we did today, or the tourist path down from Loch Eilde Mor which flows nicely all the way down and just gets better all the way…

    Whats your thoughts?

    druidh
    Member

    I wonder if there is some ambiguity here. The actual Ciaran Path runs from the Blackwater Reservoir up to Loch Treig (along the Allt Féith Chiarain). However, the MTB community seems to have decided that the name applies to the section from the Blackwater Dam to Kinlochleven along the River Leven. It’s possible that this discussion is about two separate paths.

    DickBarton – those photos are on the River Leven path.

    That’s the section about half way down with the mesh ski fence on the left hand side, due to the drop away to the gorge.

    Your probably right, Druidh.

    stuartm555
    Member

    56°42’12” N 4°54’39” W according to the camera if that helps.

    Interesting that it’s not actually the Ciaran Path. I had always assumed it was – from Kenny W’s book. So we need a new name for it 🙂

    GiantJaunt
    Member

    Some really nice techy bits but I’ve ridden nicer descents. Would like to try it one more time now I have more experience and preferably when it’s dry and not a river bed.

    DickBarton
    Member

    I think I walked that bit…We went past Mamore lodge and way North to a wee bothy and then turned ESW and came out to another lochan. Apparently the 6 day motorbike trials use the path we then took to get us to Blackwater Dam – if that is the Ciaran Path then I did ride that bit on my stag ride.

    The bit after the damhead down was very enjoyable but I need to up my ability to allow me to ride more of it!

    Druidh, is the ‘actual’ Ciaran Path rideable do you know? I’d love to get up to Loch Treig at some point.

    druidh
    Member

    egf – I’ve not ridden it personally, but Kenny ‘B’ Wilson includes it in his book as part of a loop from KLL, to Luibeilt, along to L Treig and then to Blackwater.

    Apparently the 6 day motorbike trials use the path we then took to get us to Blackwater Dam – if that is the Ciaran Path then I did ride that bit on my stag ride.

    Thats the one I rode up (cheating though. On a 250cc Bultaco in 1970summink!)

    Must give it a go then Druidh! Thanks.

    cynic-al
    Member

    I think it’s a great trail. Hard for sure. Part of mtb’s rich tapestry.

    I don’t really like comparing them-they’re not trail centres.

    Loch Treig to Blackwater would be a lovely section, the only dodge bits I remember being some boggy stuff on the initial climb from Loch Treig. the descent down to Blackwater side is fairly gradual but on great path.

    Click on my blog link under my profile, on of the (few…) entries has some pictures, I think ‘loch lomond to spean bridge pt2’

    marty
    Member

    I wonder if there is some ambiguity here. The actual Ciaran Path runs from the Blackwater Reservoir up to Loch Treig (along the Allt Féith Chiarain). However, the MTB community seems to have decided that the name applies to the section from the Blackwater Dam to Kinlochleven along the River Leven. It’s possible that this discussion is about two separate paths.

    I thought it was as a result of the KW book until last summer, but there’s a sign marking the Ciaran Path in Kinlochmore. SRoWS have it running from Kinlochmore to a point not very far up the path up the N side of the River Leven towards the Blackwater Dam.
    http://www.heritagepaths.co.uk/pathdetails.php?path=161

    Premier Icon boxelder
    Subscriber

    Snow in glencoe this morning – no devils staircase/ciaran for me today. Off to Skye’s Quirang, for an evening spin.

    balfa
    Member

    I wonder if there is some ambiguity here. The actual Ciaran Path runs from the Blackwater Reservoir up to Loch Treig (along the Allt Féith Chiarain). However, the MTB community seems to have decided that the name applies to the section from the Blackwater Dam to Kinlochleven along the River Leven. It’s possible that this discussion is about two separate paths.

    DickBarton – those photos are on the River Leven path.

    Where did you get that idea from. The OS map? Os are not exactly renowned with their accuracy of names up north. Its always been the Ciaran path as far as I’m aware and the core paths plans agrees. Link

    I’d have thought that the OS maps would at least have some historical weight behind their naming though, although I don’t see the path named on the 1:50s anyway.

    Makes sense to me that the Ciarain Path is the path that runs alongside the Allt Feith Chiarain, runs past the Chiarain Bothy and skirts Loch Chiarain 8)

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