Help needed to put the mountains into mountain biking – riding the Munros
I’m off to a cottage in Duror near Ballachulish in June for 10 days and I’m hoping to get some rides in locally.
Is there anything I really shouldn’t be missing in the vicinity?
I have ridden Snowdon and Cadair Idris and wouldn’t want anything more techy as I’ll be on my own.
CheersPosted 2 years ago
A few tips from this year so far-
Ben Lomond – they’re doing some “maintenance” to the lower section once you get into the trees. It looks like they’re spoiling the majority of it so get this in while you can.
Binnean Mor – This is by Kinlochleven and it’s a bloody cracking ride. The ride up is 70% rideable, along the estate road then up the singletrack. The switchbacks are good but the ride from the summit back to the switchbacks is mediocre, if you’re not worried about summiting I’d turn back there. Then go down one of the Kinlochleven local trails back to town.
Ben More – I went up the north side, because I’d seen that someone on Strava had done it. Absolutely gash, mostly unrideable grassy boggy steep slope. Don’t bother.
Top temperature inversion, though. And brocken spectres.
Posted 2 years ago
Munrobiker, some good bite-size hits of fun available in that area, assuming you can travel a little? Not munros though…Posted 2 years ago
Morven (morrone) looming over Braemar a good option, just over an hour peddle. I did the ridge outta Glenshee last weekend, small ride but a decent fix – just North of A92 then East along ridge down to bottom of A92 climb.
There are a couple of nice rides local to Ballater, Cycle Highlands may point you in the right direction, again smaller rides, max bang for buck type stuff.
If you can swing a slightly longer outing, Beinn a Bhuird and onto Ben Avon (spelling?) is a little more accessible than MacDui…another option is Mount Keen which is a Munro if you have that wee bit more time.
May also be worth tacking on Jock’s Road to your Capel Mounth ride if you can add a couple of hours to the ride – well worth it IMHO.
Wiz74 – I’m very familiar Jock’s road, it’s a belter of a ride (anyone reading this – ride Jock’s Road, absolute maximum bang for your buck of any trail I’ve ridden).
Morven looks good, short enough to maybe do in an evening. Tempted to pop up to Ben Rinnes too.
Will look at Ben Avon, may be a bit of a big ride but very keen to do it one day. Thanks for your help!Posted 2 years ago
Done Ben Rinnes too, good ride, could maybe drop family at Glenlivet enroute 😉 – if you are fit which you must be given the amount of big hill action you get through (i’m not), it is all rideable as a loop from the West to the summit then down the East side, if you are going to be pushing anyway, a straight up and down from the car park to the East is probably optimum. Hope you get some good rides in and the weather / midge are kind.Posted 2 years agohighlandmanMember
Munrobiker, with regards to Lochnagar, have you tried the route west to t’Saggairt Mor and down to Callater? Might be a bit tricky to fit into a shorter day though. however, if you can get picked up in Braemar, you can do it as a one-way route from the Loch Muick car park. That way, if time allows, you can add in the wee trail west through to the A93 in Glen Cluny for an extra bit of fun. It’s short, but quite sweet. With more time still, add in Morrone.Posted 2 years ago
Take it when you say Capel you’re thinking of starting clockwise from Loch Muick car park, over to clova then up bachnagairn and finishing with Coire Chash to the lochside..? That circuit is doable under 4 hours.
highlandman- unfortunately I can’t be picked up as I’ll be the only one with the car!
That’s the Capel route I was thinking of.
There’s loads to do round there so I’ll be back again, no doubt. It’s a trek from Derbyshire but worth it.
Edit: I’d forgotten the midges. That’s it, job’s off, thanks for your help….
😉Posted 2 years agohighlandmanMember
Another local short (and one that rides well on a wet day) is to head to Linn of Dee car park, ride out to Derry Lodge, north up the east side of the glen, cross at the wee iron bridge then back down the lovely singletrack on the west side. Then retrace steps to the junction for the Clash Fearnaig pass over to Glen Quoich, then head south to the foot of the glen, marvelling at the extensive damage that the river has recently done to the landscape. Return west by tarmac to Linn of Dee; should take about 3 hours.Posted 2 years agotrail_ratMember
do loch callater off lochnagar luke – youll love it. – even if you start early and ride/push out and back from the carpark on the glenshee road
was up there last sunday in the wet again – even the wet slick rock has so much grip.
Let me know when your about – i might be able to bring a second car to the party and go for a straight through and out + drop you back at the car.
also – hardly any midges about so far this year – ive spent the last 4 weekends up there.
“Another local short (and one that rides well on a wet day) is to head to Linn of Dee car park, ride out to Derry Lodge, north up the east side of the glen, cross at the wee iron bridge then back down the lovely singletrack on the west side. Then retrace steps to the junction for the Clash Fearnaig pass over to Glen Quoich, then head south to the foot of the glen, marvelling at the extensive damage that the river has recently done to the landscape. Return west by tarmac to Linn of Dee; “
is also a worthy route – that western bank rides so well – best saved for week days or wet days – usually mobbed with day trippers.Posted 2 years ago
Hmmmmmmm. Sounds good, looks big though! I’ve only got maybe 3 hours which would be pushing it. I’m up from the 4th to 9th July in Ballater but plans are likely to be very flexible as I have to keep the inlaws happy. Send me your number Terry and I’ll text you my plans nearer the time and if you’re off shift we could meet up.
If it’s hosing it down I’ll do the Linn of Dee – looking at it I’ve done that singletrack before on the way back from Ben Macdui and know it’s good.Posted 2 years agospecialspecimenMember
Awesome thread, good work everybody!
I’m heading from braemar to Glasgow via fort william, all on my bike. Rough route just cause I felt like it, looks to pass some good things but wondering if anyone has any suggestions for good stuff on the way?
I’ve done Mt keen, lochnagar, carn o mhaim and Ben macdui.
Thinking Linn of dee along feshie to carn Ben mor and down to the potting shed tea shop (tea shops as important as the hills obv). Then possibly to laggan (bit of wolftracks) and over the corryieck pass to fort augustus, not sure from there, straight down to fort william prob.
Alternative is down to Ben more range from laggan, then across to blackwater for the ciaran path, or maybe glen Nevis to get to fort william, then ciaran path on way back via whw.
After that looking at Ben lawers area and Ben lomond as I haven’t done that yet.
Thoughts!!?Posted 1 year ago
Did you do that route?
Right. Thread resurrection time!
Lots of questions.
Beinn Chabair. Who has ridden it?
Ben Avon. There is a lovely tor to for ride heading north from the summit. Save it for a dry day. You eventually connect up with a lovely singletrack path that drops you down at the bottom of Glen Avon.
Sgorr Gaoith. Descent from the weather station is terrific. Switchbacks, tree lined trail, heather moorland. Marvellous!
Not a Munro but Sliev Binnean in NI is fantastic.
Has anyone done Beinn Fhadda in Glen Affric?
SannyPosted 1 year ago
Has anyone done Beinn Fhadda in Glen Affric?
Sanny – did the whole thing last year. Was a great ride and as you are probably aware, is renowned as the longest single track descent in uk – no idea if that’s true but clocked at just under 1000m descent 🙂
Was a bit of a ride in, then the obligatory push and carry up to the summit. The descent is amazing, proper out there riding so caution on some of the tech and loose switches. Starts amazing with techy bits and just gets better and better. I loved it. Was about 2.5 hrs up and maybe 45 down? That’s for fairly average fitness and rider.
Any other q’s feel free buddy.Posted 1 year agobedmakerSubscriber
If you ride Beinn Fhada, don’t be tempted to descend the long Eastern ridge! I did a C2C a few years back, over BF and down towars the YH onwards to Affric.
Not much info but the gradient looks good and I found a few pics on Walkhighlands which showed bits of path. Was almost entirely unrideable tussocks and peat hags…. I ended up hauling the bike down the steep face behind Camban bothy.
It was all the more annoying having just pushed up the path knowing how good it looked as a descent. All part of the game though.Posted 1 year ago
What was the route you took?
Couple of (not great) snaps
Route was directly East from Morvich and following the path to the summit. There is (as I am am sure you’re aware) a well known route that does an anti-clockwise loop going out south of Fhada and returning north of the summit via the bealach. I haven’t done this but have heard (mainly) good things. The route I did basically heads out on the final leg of the loop described above but heads straight into the coire and then on to the summit and back down the same way.
Path is decent all the way apart from the last half kilometre which is typical Scottish plateau type fare. Probably doesn’t tick the boxes for a mag article, think the loop would be better for that however, you could tack the alleged longest singletrack descent in UK – an MTB Vertical Kilometer on as an appetiser (or dessert) 😉
In terms of what to see and where to stop, best photos will be heading into / out of the coire, but what do I know, you’ve seen the average photos! The loop would have many more interesting elements to it with the Alltbeithe Hostel half-way.
Other rides that have been done have been the usual suspects, largely gleaned from this an other similar threads – not least of all from your good self – so nowt specific to offer up. There could be potential for further riding just north of this route – there is the making of a wee loop out and back towards inverinate forest but have no idea what like, just seen on OS map.
CheersPosted 1 year agomactheknifeSubscriber
Hey Wiz, yep i did that exact loop late last year. Its a peach, the first half is along the Glen Affric way has a great feel to it. It has been well maintained although like everywhere there a re lots of waterbars. But these have been built exceptionally well and are mostly rollable / rideable nunlike like the majority of the cairngorms. Once you start the second leg as it were just before Alltbeithe the trail is a lot less distinct and becomes a bit of a hike a bike towards the climb up to Bealach an Sgairne. What a descent though, i found it pretty challenging at the top as it was pretty loose but found my riding legs not long after. It just never seems to end.
A fantastic route that ticks all my mountain route boxes. A long trek to get to but thats never a bad thing with the scenery that the west coast of Scotland dishes up.Posted 1 year ago
Question for People of Knowledge if I can?
We will be stationed in Boreland for Ben Lawers day attack. That was unfortunately only option available. Not ideal as it is a bit off from suggested route.
However I started looking at maps and thought might there be solution for that inconvenience?
How about trying to go through Batnearn woodland, then up the Meall Greigh, to the Meal Garbh, An Stuc, Creag an Fhithich, Lawers and then downhill? I can see some sort of trail between Meal Garbh and Lawers but of course no idea how cycle-able or un-cycle-able it is. Also not sure if there is any viable way from Batnearn onto Garbh…
If I’m making it all up and it is utter rubbish pull me down to reality please…
Cheers!Posted 1 year ago
Most of that is fine, with a couple of carry sections.
How are you with scrambling? An Stuc is known by local rescue team as I’m Stuck… It’s a short but steep grade 2 scramble.
Edit: i forgot – colleagues at the outdoor centre said there was a grassy take, to north, that avoided worst of scramble.
Posted 1 year agochickenmanSubscriber
I did the reverse of that last summer. Descents off Lawers and Garbh largely ridable. An Stac scramble slightly hairy with a bike; Greigh descent a bit meh down a grassy slope but you do get to ride the Lawers Burn path which is great. In the other direction you would hardly ride your bike at all till you got to Lawers; then you meet the crowds! (search google for “singletrack Lawers” and Cpt Mainwarings post about this route too!).Posted 1 year ago
I did your route but added on the two Munros at the and as well. The first three are hillwalking with your bike. I loved it and took the bypass below An Stuc but it can fill in with snow.
It is a great day out if you don’t mind a lot of carrying. I would just do Ben Lawers and Meall Garbh.
I fancy doing the Tarmachan Ridge soon.
SannyPosted 1 year ago
Just tried to find out if there is any reasonable way to avoid road slog from Boreland to Lawers foot.
Might be that we will just drive to spare us precious time.
Easier that way, with start from Ben Lawers car park…
Afterall we need to be at Novar Estates same day afternoon/evening.
And that is 2.5-3 hours drive on it’s own…
Cheers!Posted 1 year ago
Bit of thread resurrection as i’ve got so much info from here so it’s about time I posted something. This year’s weather has been unbelievably good of late so i’ve managed to get up a few hills. Mount Keen and Ben a’ Bhuird a few weeks ago delivered some great riding and some changeable conditions! Stunning sunshine up Keen on the saturday and horizontal blizzards up Bhuird the next day.
This weekend saw an attempt to knock off the four munros on the Braeriach ridge. Drove up to Linn of Dee late after work on Thursday night to get an early-ish start on Friday. Porridge and Coffee consumed we span up the glen in some unbelievable clear skies and sunshine. Properly perfect conditions with a good amount of snow still clinging to the corries but warm and sunny with a mild breeze. The track to Corrour is decent and all rideable with a good amount of technical moves to keep you interested. A quick bite beside the reeking toilet (didn’t dare open the door) and it was off up the path to the Devil’s Point. Original plan was to come back along the ridge and descend this but it didn’t work out in the end, more on that later. Hike a bike up to the saddle and then a spin/carry up to the first summit of the day, the Devils Point. This was all rideable back down to the saddle and a good amount of entertainment – if a little short.
Bike’s back on shoulders for a good long haul up to Cairn Toul, bar a small spin along the ridge in the middle this was all a carry – and a pretty brutal one. Thankfully the views were unbelievable so this more than made up for it! Made good time up to the summit and stopped for a celebratory pie.
Looking over to Angels from Cairn Toul.
The descent from here to the saddle between Cairn Toul and Angel’s peak was a let down – a lot of carrying across boulder fields broken up with a bit of nice technical riding. The carry up to Angels was short enough though and afforded amazing views back the way we had come. From here it was a fast ride down the other side and a push up the ridge across to Braeriach. There was still a lot of snow up here and it made for fairly slow going on terrain we could probably have ridden had it been bare.
Looking back to Angel’s Peak and Cairn Toul in the background.
A final carry up to the summit of Braeriach and a pause to look back at what we had done so far. It was at this point that we considered our options. The original plan had been to retrace our steps along the ridge, skipping around Cairn Toul and then descending back down the single track to Corrour. This would’ve been the best idea but for some reason we decided to descend Braeriach towards Aviemore and then cut back along the Lairig Ghru. Everyone had warned us not to try to ride the LG. Literally everyone. But we were drunk on sunshine and the descent down seemed more inviting than going back along the ridge.
The descent down is quite good fun in a ‘bouldery scree slope’ then ‘just on the edge of rideable’ tech sort of way. I enjoyed it bar ripping a sidewall ploughing through a boulder field.
Some views to descend to.
Ridge riding down towards Aviemore.
Then we hit the LG and thought it would be a short climb back up, a good bit of riding back to Corrour and then home – we were wrong. The climb up is horrible and goes on for ages, particularly after a long day. The descent has sections that are quite fun to ride but these are broken up with awful boulder fields that require bike on shoulder, it’s not a pleasant experience overall and not one I will repeat if possible. The sun setting behind the ridge we had traversed did make for some amazing views and light so it wasn’t all bad – though it did almost break me when a rock hit my rear mech and it made a bid for my spokes. Managed to stop it before it destroyed itself completely but it remained bent and made some interesting noises for the rest of the ride. Once at Corrour It gets much more pleasant and the final bit of singletrack down to the river crossing is really good fun. Then we were back – a big day but an amazing one that will stay with me for a while. Now I just need to write an angry letter to the chippy in Braemar which for some reason closes at 8 on a Friday – madness!
I then drove to Blair Atholl and kipped in the van there for the night. The intention was a solo mission to get up the Beinn a’ Ghlo triple but when I woke up I was a bit knackered and the temptation to get back for the rugby and a curry was too strong so I struck off for Carn a’ Chlamain instead. I’d done this once before but hadn’t made it to the top because it was cold and snowing so seemed a good time to make another attempt. Another amazing day and the descent is an absolute peach – flying down switchbacks reminding myself that I should take it easy as spannering myself on my own in the middle of nowhere isn’t the best idea!
Looking up Glen Tilt.
Looking over to Beinn a’ Ghlo from Carn a’ Chlamain summit.
Still buzzing off of it all and planning a load more for the next few weeks, hope the weather holds! I’ve got loads of pictures from the days and not sure what i’m going to do with them all yet. I might write them up into some kind of photo story on pinkbike or something if I get time/it rains.Posted 1 year ago
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