Fort William chairlift red route

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  • Fort William chairlift red route
  • Premier Icon Northwind

    It is harder than your average red. TBH I’d call it a black… Are you comfortable on the harder bits at the end of GT black? It’s not quite as hard as that, but, the challenge level is fairly consistent, you don’t get the breathing space that a trailcentre trail usually gives you of feature-rest-feature… That makes the tricky bits seem harder, over the course of a run.

    But it can all be done wheels-on-ground and cautiously if you choose, and the nice thing about uplift is you don’t need to rush into it, it’s not like a trailcentre lap where you get one go at it… You can (probably should) take a gentle sighting lap, then repeat and improve…

    ST4 should be bang on, I did it on my old Soul when it first opened, slowed things down but it all went just fine. Works better on a little bike than on a dh bike! I really like it… It’s lost a nice section to a diversion currently, due to bad hanging trees, and it does peter out a bit before it gets to the bottom, so it’s not perfect but it’s a grand day out. I think if you had to ride to the top you might be quite critical in places, but you don’t so **** it 😉

    Oh aye… The world cup route isn’t massively harder (though it is more… intense, maybe? Even less respite). SO if you’re enjoying the red and comfortable on it, you can mix in the downhill too. If you skip to 12:20 or so of this vid:
    You can see a path that goes off to the right… Nip down there, over the stream and up the other side and you arrive at the wallride, it’s relatively mellow from there down and a lot more fun on the wc than on the red, which has pretty much run its course by then. There’s still a couple of big features but the woods are lovely.


    What he said.


    Hi guys ,

    I’ve been asked on a trip to fort William to experience the red Xc route , I’m just wondering what everybody’s take on the difficulty of this route is , I’m a confident ( slowish ) rider , glentress , Newcastleton and kielder regular and ride an orange st4 , am I focusing too much on the fact the Xc red is chairlift assisted ? It’s made me wonder how steep and what difficulty this will be before I even get there ?
    I know that once I’m riding I’ll be fine but it’s a long trip to find I’m under biked as some have mentioned?

    Thoughts please

    Richard .


    It is steep and gnarly,a lot of people under estimate it because its a red but I found it full on. The trails you mentioned you ride will not prepare you for the red downhill but everything is rollable.

    I thought it was a red downhill route as opposed to the red witches trail xc route.


    I’d call it a red DH track – it’s not really xc is it as it’s quite steep?
    Give it a whirl – take your time you can always walk bits if it’s not for you but I’m guessing you’ll like it. Your bike will be fine.

    It’s a very very good trail. Lots of challenges. Scope and roll stuff first time down. You’ll get you eye in on the second run. By the fourth run you’ll be cocky and crash.

    Any decent trail bike will do but it is bouldery and steepish in places with mot much pedalling which suits certain bikes.

    Hoping to visit it again in September

    Premier Icon Northwind

    falkirk-mark – Member

    I thought it was a red downhill route as opposed to the red witches trail xc route.

    Nah, it’s graded and signposted as an XC trail- officially the exact same grade as the witches. Which is total rubbish, but there you go. What I’d call a marketing grading rather than a difficulty grading 😉 Sort of like all those really easy blacks- not graded because they’re hard but because trail centres should have a black…

    I had the great fortune to ride it the weekend before the official opening, which meant there was no real word of mouth, or “warning” as it might also be called… Which meant, it was covered from top to bottom with mincer blood, and about 3 out of 4 of the people on the trail were walking down pushing an Offbeat hire Hardrock. I could barely ride the thing, mind, but I felt like a riding god :mrgreen:

    Premier Icon BoardinBob

    Brilliant trail and its way tougher than any other red graded trail centre trail I’ve ridden. Everything’s rollable though. Just follow the little painted marks on the rocks and you’ll be fine


    It is quite testing and not much/any easier than the WC course – however, we all did it with varying levels of ability and varying levels of bike. Nothing to really be scared of, just keep your wits about you.

    The (actually quite wide) boardwalk was my biggest nemesis – just couldn’t get my head round it. Daft really when I manage to stay on tracks a third as wide in the woods.

    The opening gravel and long wood sections are actually ok once you get into it. Until you fall off! I got a soft landing 🙂 its the central granite slab work down the ridge that takes some practice if you are not used to this sort of thing. Needs fine brake work to check your speed and line into sections while maintaining flow. it’s very entertaining working different lines with not much respite from the boulders and general gradient until you get into the woods where it gets more trail-centre-y.

    I’m encouraged by the comparison with the offbeat DH track so I might give that a go as well.

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