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  • Corrieyairick Pass – When did it go wrong?
  • Premier Icon tomd
    Full Member

    Rode this at the weekend as it’s supposed to be an inconic Scottish mtb route. The climb from Fort Agustus up to the pass is great, very tough just due to the length rather than steepness. However, the electricty grid seem to be doing a lot of work on the pylons up there so there is a lot of heavy plant about. The supposedly rocky fun descent down on General Wade’s old military road had been completely resurfaced with horrible 12″-18″ high rockbars every 100m. I guess it’s been done for accessing the pylons. It’s a bit surprising given the road is sceduled ancient monument. A whole random mix of imported road materials have been dumped on it if it is.

    Just a heads up for anyone thinking about doing this. I guess after a few bad winters the pass will roughen up but for the moment it’s a bit of a letdown in terms of technical challenge. Still great scenery and it’s a historic route but that’s about it.

    Premier Icon druidh
    Free Member

    Balfour Beattie (who are doing the work on the Beauly-Denny pylon line) are putting in their own track, so shouldn’t be anywhere near the old Military Road.

    Scottish Natural Heritage have been maintaining the Military Road. What you refer to as a “rocky fun descent” was the foundations of the road getting exposed and damaged. By covering them up where necessary and introducing water bars to prevent water from stripping off the top cover again, they are actually preserving the old road.

    FWIW, I managed the whole descent last autumn on my racked-and-panniered hardtail.

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Full Member

    Blame the 4×4 crowd!

    I think it was almost washed away a few years ago and as such a lopng term surface was put in, to withstand the above…

    Premier Icon iain1775
    Full Member

    Nothing to do with Balfours, they are not allowed to touch it, and strict controls in place if they have to cross over it with thier own access track
    It’s understandable as its an ancient monument but if you saw the controls and restrictions in place you would chuckle when you think what others can do to it in offroad vehicles

    Premier Icon CaptainMainwaring
    Free Member

    Went to a talk a on the more southerly sections of Wade’s military roads a couple of months ago. The subject of preserving the roads came up, and IIRC:
    1) There is no legislation in place defining the roads as any kind of monument and therefore there is no statutory protection
    2) SNH provides no funding for maintenance or repair of the remaining sections

    Premier Icon tomd
    Full Member

    Yes there was a new access road that had been built that ran along a similar route for the construction traffic.

    There were definitely cat tracks on the “Wade” road, so I assumed it had been used for construction traffic. It looked very new in places, so might have been work on the road itself.

    I’m not necessarily complaining, merely stating that the nature of the route has changed compared to any recent guides or descriptions. Clearly the route has been reinstated where before it would have been largely impassable which should be welcomed. However, it looks like a forestry fire road and I would be very surprised if the reconstruction was in anyway faithful to the original construction.

    Premier Icon tomd
    Full Member

    1) There is no legislation in place defining the roads as any kind of monument and therefore there is no statutory protection

    I can believe this, I was just going by a very old sign post at the start saying that it was a scheduled ancient monument. It was an old sign, a good 30 years I’d say.

    Premier Icon irc
    Free Member

    1) There is no legislation in place defining the roads as any kind of monument and therefore there is no statutory protection

    Part of it was granted Historic Monument status in 2011.

    http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/listofscheduledmonumentconsentapplications-financialyear.pdf

    http://data.historic-scotland.gov.uk/pls/htmldb/f?p=2300:35:0::NO::P35_SELECTED_MONUMENT:6140

    Premier Icon druidh
    Free Member

    They’ve not tried to re-build it. The current surface is there to protect what’s left.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Ancient monument you say?

    C2C2006039 by matt_outandabout, on Flickr
    .
    .
    Give it a few years, after Balfour have left, and it will be back to an eroded state…As druidh says, it seems weird, but it is ‘protection’ for the base below…

    Premier Icon Orange Crush
    Free Member

    You’ll be Ok as you don’t see the Secretary of State there often – he rides a highly geared fixed.

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