Viewing 34 posts - 41 through 74 (of 74 total)
  • Must Do [ and snow free?] MTB Routes in Scotland
  • scotroutes
    Full Member

    (a) the descent down the Allt Fearnach to Daldhu

    (b) the descent to the crossing of the Allt Coire Lagan

    (c) having to face the Glen Tilt road at the end of the day.

    aberdeenlune
    Free Member

    I was over in Aviemore today. Trails are running well. The plateau and tops are obviously covered in snow but lower down it’s all good. [url=https://flic.kr/p/2nbyzLn]3021FA63-2724-4A35-819D-579B88395413[/url] by Aberdeen_lune, on Flickr" alt="Sluggan trail" />

    bri-72
    Full Member

    Weird microclimate stuff going on, looks like the sneck had more snow than Aviemore. All pretty much melted up here now anyway.

    Spin
    Free Member

    Weird microclimate stuff going on, looks like the sneck had more snow than Aviemore. All pretty much melted up here now anyway.

    Aye, it was just localised showers, Wyvis had less than Inverness!

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    We had more on the way to Crieff than we left in Aviemore.

    thegeneralist
    Full Member

    (a) the descent down the Allt Fearnach to Daldhu

    (b) the descent to the crossing of the Allt Coire Lagan

    Gotcha. Many thanks.

    thegeneralist
    Full Member

    Oh my god, what have I become…..
    PXL_20220401_162507314_exported_566_1648837905728

    Best day evah, and not a mountain in sight*

    PXL_20220401_175912593_exported_1865_1648838027818

    (* bar the first 9km)

    thegeneralist
    Full Member

    PS those photos are selfies!
    Quite pleased with that.

    Tomorrow looks like being innerGolfieLiethen or something….

    PS, it’s just started raining. Can you believe it.

    thegeneralist
    Full Member

    @militantmandy @hainman

    Having had a road to Damascus moment on the road to DD’s, I’ve decided to try a bit of this famous Inners/Golfie business on Saturday. I might book the inners uplift….

    Are either of you about Saturday?

    singlespeedstu
    Full Member

    I’m over the Golfie with some mates in the morning.
    I’ll keep an eye out for you.

    thegeneralist
    Full Member

    Hi Stu
    In the end I’d booked Inners uplift. If i survive that I’ll take a look at Golfie later but I guess you’ll be finished by then.

    Cheers

    singlespeedstu
    Full Member

    Yep.
    Back home now.
    Was busy over there today.
    Snowy at the top but good fun.

    singlespeedstu
    Full Member

    Might be about tomorrow for some Feed the Pony/Glenduro action.

    thegeneralist
    Full Member

    Ah, I’m currently in Corbridge.
    I realised that I needed to break up the journey home otherwise I’d be ( even more of) a mess Monday.

    Going to try and do something in the Lakes tomorrow I think.

    Might take a gander at Seldom Seen… or is that a midweek only venue?

    Hmm

    colournoise
    Full Member

    Only ridden Seldom Seen twice but never seen another soul on it – once was a midweek evening admittedly but the other was a summer early afternoon. Even if you don’t summit Helvellyn fully first, it’s at least worth going up to Raise and doing the top bit of Sticks Pass before traversing to Seldom Seen.

    thegeneralist
    Full Member

    Back in sunny Manchester, and pretty cooked TBH. Had a great few days away and barely thought about work at all. Didn’t get quite as many big mountain days as I was after, but given that it was only March, it actually all worked out splendidly.

    It looks like the plan to sit in the Cairngorm snowshadow worked fantasically. Many thanks for the weather reports from further north Scotroutes, Bri et al, looks like I did the right thing staying south. Apart from a few snow flurries and some spots of rain at Inners it was completely dry. But OMFG that wind, ouch. My eyes feel like they’ve been sandblasted.

    After a session with LD at Dunkeld, I did the Glen Tilt Loop. I’ve got to be honest, I really didn’t rate it. As expected, the north wind was howling down the Glen with a vengeance, which meant it took over two hours to Falls of Tarf. There looked to be some lovely singletrack just after that point, which I pushed up to get to Felear, or whatever its called. There were some rideable bits, and it was objectively pretty dry, but didn’t really do it for me.
    PXL_20220331_124418536
    Followed the Land Rover along the Land Rover Track. Bits of snow, but not much.
    PXL_20220331_135024074
    There was a semblance of singletrack at one point, bit it was stretching the definition really. I was counting myself lucky TBH, it must be hell on earth when it’s actually rained recently.
    PXL_20220331_160625582
    Then the 3km tarmac downhill back to the car. If I did it again I’d be inclined to try it the other way (anti-clockwise) but TBH I think I’ll best avoid it.

    Next day was much betterer. Did Ben Vrackie, which was excellent. Lovely rideable uphill to the lochan
    PXL_20220401_115035357
    followed by a short steep carry to the summit. Biting wind as ever. Did most of the descent, but bottled two sections and a few waterbars. I might have managed a bit more if the temperature and wind hadn’t been so consequential. (who am I kidding!)
    PXL_20220401_131814844
    In the afternoon I went to the Pitlochry woods and had a brilliant time. BenC’s DH is an absolute work of art (pics ~7 posts above). Did a few other trails and was about to do BCDH again when a timely text from LD sent me off to DD. It was bloody marvellous. The bits where it drops into the gully…. lovely. Also managed to clear 3 small trees from trail.

    By this time even the nearby Munros has a fair dusting of snow, and the wind was still huge, so any thoughts of big mountain days were out the window. I was also feeling knackered having hit my 10km MTB monthly target. Was also keen not to lose the recouperative effect of the holiday with a 7 hour drive home, so decided to do it in stages. I headed south….

    Innerliethen uplift. TBH I **** this up big style. The van driver reckoned my back tyre was a bit low, so I tried to pump it up, but was mid faff by the time the trailer was fully loaded. Jumped in the van and found the rear wheel totally empty and resting on the rim when I got to the top. Fannied around trying to seat the tyre with my shitty little pump whilst the van left, so waited for the next trailer to take me down. Airshotted the tyre back up and got another shuttle. Went to unload my bike, only to find it flat again. The guy who lent me the Airshot reckoned my valve core was bent so I rode the shuttle back down again and swapped the valve core (FOOL). Then back up to the top and guess what…. so I rode the bus back down to the valley for the third **** time. This time I did what I should have done the first time and swapped the wheel out, refilled it with tubeless gunk and left it for half an hour so see if it stayed up. Anyway, did 2 more runs, to make a pissmeasly total of five. Angry sheep was great, the one next to it was good. Cresta was fun and either Old Gold or Black Gold was phenomenal. Lovely steep (well, it felt steep to me :-)) bits where you had to carry speed and then brake on the flat bits. Loved it, and my carbon XC rim didn’t break either.
    Once the shuttle stopped I headed over to Golfie and span up to the top and did Repeat Offender, Flat White and some other thing right at the bottom. They were really good. Much less blown out than Inner Uplift (obviously).

    Would have loved to do more, but had to head off to see my mum in Corbridge…. then over to the Lakes this morning. Another piss poor decision on my part saw me doing the Dodds ridge into the teeth of the SW wind from hell. The ground was soggy as well and so I ended up doing a lot of pushing. Anyway, Sticks Pass was very good.
    PXL_20220403_140459862.MP_exported_1632
    and Seldom Seen was amazing. Never been that way before and it seemed far longer and sustained that the Sticks/Mines descent. Really good way to end the week.

    Then a leisurely 2 hour drive home 🙂

    Looks like I did about 6km over the 5 days, which was ok given how rubbish I felt last week after my jab. Also probably accounts for some of the dodgy decisions! Was also interesting how the constant cold drains the energy.
    Very different outcome from what I expected, the two main learnings were:
    * Riding steep stuff through woods is amazing. Utterly brilliant.
    * If you ignore the RoW designations, some of the riding in the Lakes is really damn good compared to anything in the UK.

    Key thing was that I managed to find some new stuff to ride and explore. I know the bits to take the kids on next time we’re up (Ben’sDH) and the bits to definitely not ever take them on pain of long slow death (Glen Tilt).
    As Continuity has correctly spotted, all my posts these days are asking about different areas to ride. I’ve had enough of doing the same trails again and again and it’s brilliant to be able to get out and explore.

    (Still want to do Lochnagar though !)

    Many thanks for all the suggestions, weather reports and tips.

    As ever, if any of you are in the Peak, or Lakes then shout…

    spacey
    Full Member

    Great write up, inspiring trip. I definitely echo that thought of having had enough of repeating the same trails. Would be interested to hear what you rode at Dunkeld, heading up there in May and not quite sure where to start. Thanks

    chickenman
    Full Member

    Yeah, most of the classic low level routes in the Cairngorms are a bit crap really, the inner Cairngorm loop (really good bits spoilt by long turgid sections), the low level one around Ben Avon and Beinn a Bhuird but the tour around Beinn a Ghlo in particularly meh.
    I agree completely with McTrail Rider’s assessment of the Glas allt Shiel descent of Lochnagar so watch that before deciding. I like to Start in Braemar, ride through the royal forest, anticlockwise round Ripe Hill then up to join the walker’s route up the summit that stats at Loch Muick. Callater descent back to start point.

    highlandman
    Free Member

    I think for the first time ever I’m going to disagree with Scotroutes on the best way to ride a route..!
    I much prefer to do the Glen tilt circuit anti-clockwise. Climb from the village centre, on tarmac up and around to the south of the Beinn via Shinagag. The Allt a Coire Lagain singletrack rides fine eastbound, the lumpy track descent towards Daldhu is fine and then the climb up and over to Fealar is a manageable pain on a very good track. The key to this direction of travel is then the descent to the Tilt gorge; this is a wee gem when dry, getting gradually more tech as you approach the final switchbacks. Cross the river and then more rideable singletrack to and past the Fall of Tarff bridge. Off down the track in the glen is unarguably a pain but at least this way, you then get to ride the fun, mellow wee 1km of riverside singletrack back to the car park beside the chip shop, instead of finishing on steep downhill tarmac.
    Sorry Colin, and my respects to you sir.
    Meanwhile: on another day, carry your bike straight up Carn Liath, over Beinn Mhaol and down via Allt Coire an Saobhiadh. Short but really lovely ride, once the snow has gone.

    LD
    Free Member

    @spacey Dunkeld is an amazing location with 4 entirely different hills.
    Birnam Hill has a great wee warm up area around Electric Beaver and Dougs and Dan’s. Fun mellow built trails. 15minute laps. Then head up to top for Rake and Ruin or Pink Floyd. R and R probably best red in the country IMHO and pretty weatherproof. Pink Floyd also good but trickier in the wet.
    Craigvinnean is great but steep technical and hard in the wet, takes a long time to dry! Classic runs are Cairn to Cottage which is hard (and a mission to get to) but OK in wet. Or Commit cry into bambis facts and 9.8, defo more fun in the dry. DH area and life insurance etc are proper serious but great if you like steep rock features. Further up towards Dalguise there are some newer runs which are good fun and some proper long trail sequences.
    Atholl Hill goes from the sublime (Yer maw area, twas dugs, cave pass) to the ridiculous (precious, rock hudson). Lots of loam, roots and just the right amount of rock. Probably my favourite Hill. Also worth heading up to Loch Ordie for a bimble/picnic and the wee trails up that way are remarkably good and less travelled.
    The Mast is steep, pretty techy with rock and root drops a plenty. OK in the wet. The climb straight from the bottom is brutal, better to go up from Town.
    Parking/starting lots of folk use the Station and there is a great food van there now. Can also park in town or at Hermitage. Lots of good cafe/deli type places in Dunkeld and Birnam including a bake off winner! There’s a lovely wee garden to sit and eat in by the bike shop off the main St.
    Several days or weeks of fun to be had. Great to either stuck to one hill for the day or try a four corners challenge. When moving between areas use Riverside where possible, its lovely. Also a wee xc gem between bottom of R and R and back to the station.
    Enjoy when you get there.

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    I think for the first time ever I’m going to disagree with Scotroutes on the best way to ride a route..!

    Disagreement is fine. There are definitely pros and cons to both 🙂

    Since we’re here… Burma Road? Ryvoan Loop? Harris Postmans Path? I’ve seen decent arguments for both directions though I have my own opinion.

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Schweet week.

    (I agree over Tilt, better anti-clockwise, but even then not as good as just going up the Beinn A’Ghlo hills and back down)

    highlandman
    Free Member

    Burma road is a tricky one; I think most folk will ride it clockwise to get the feel of the long, gentle trundle down the strath, a remote feeling glen with eagles and a sense of peace every time I’ve been there..

    Although my ex had a really weird ‘ghost rider’ experience down the glen by the monument one time; she was convinced there was a horse and rider following her at speed, turned around and there was no-one there. I heard nothing; but then, apparently I’m a bit insensitive….

    Going the other way around gives the opportunity to finish the ride with the singletrack descent to Ballinluig, beside Loch Alvie. It’s a few years since I’ve done it, it was dry that day and I loved it. What’s that like these days?

    spacey
    Full Member

    Thanks very much @LD exactly what I was after. Watching videos has left me a bit dizzy with choice, that summary is spot on!

    thegeneralist
    Full Member

    Sorry for the delay Spacey. I typed it in yesterday and then lost it before I submitted. LD was leading so his info above will be spot on.
    We did a slightly more XC orientated loop than proper endurobros would chose I think.
    Electric Beaver then across and up a tricky but rideable climb onto Birnham Hill.
    Down Rake and Ruin, which very much had a lake district slate mine feel at the top.
    Then through the village and up to Yer Maw’s Erse, then up again and along a brilliant traverse line half way up a cliff/ embankment – very scenic. I think this is marked as Athol Hill Path.
    Up to top of that hill, then down Cave Pass into the Real Cave Pass. The former had some excellent little rocky sections. The latter had a few trees down but was still great

    spacey
    Full Member

    Thanks again, off to trailforks to get plotting, roll on next month

    Sanny
    Free Member

    Glen Tilt clockwise? Heresy I say. I was up there a couple of weekends ago to ride Carn a Chlamain. Now that is a mountain that you can bike both up and down with virtually no pushing or carrying if you have the legs for it. The descent is epic. I reckon most folk would enjoy it more and find it easier than Beinn a Ghlo. The stalkers path is just terrific.

    Cheers

    Sanny

    mtnboarder
    Full Member

    There appears to be a LRT up the sw ridge from Clachghlas and then is it down the trail to the east then zig zags south to forest Lodge?

    Can confirm that this is indeed very good fun, but the track up is a bit hard going at times
    Some video here

    dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    Heartbreak Ridge is great, although I don’t know about how they are after the storms. If you’re in that neck of the woods and it’s only got snow at the very top then Lochnagar is the real hot ticket in that area. You could also do the Corrie Cash descent and the Glen Callater loops which are both excellent

    So I’ve ended up here from the week away in May thread… if I’m reading it right, the suggestion is lochnagar in preference to heartbreak Ridge?
    A dig on trailforks only turns up the one route headed clockwise, but oddly no indication of the descent at all (other than as part of the route), heat map suggests people predominantly up and back from Balmoral – section off the lrt and up to the summit is shown as a climb on tf which seems odd. Had anyone got any pointers (or gpx as I’m lazy) on a decent route?

    I’m planning on being up that way end of May and would be good to get a proper day’s ride in. Was thinking to do heartbreak Ridge and then some stuff on the other side of the road – I found a gpx, yay – but maybe (weather etc) lochnagar should be the preferred one?

    Ta!

    thegeneralist
    Full Member

    Hi brain
    I may be wrong on this, but I don’t think people were really directly comparing HR and LochnagR

    I think someone was commenting on HR and then going on to say that Lochnagar was the mountain pick in the area.

    One is an awesome low level, easy to find trailcentrey trail and the other is a huge fuckoff dangerous mountain.

    I’d be wary about using the same nav/planning approach on Lochnagar as you might on HR.

    I’ve realised that I’m coming across like those tedious old men you occasionally find in the mountains, so I’ll shut up.

    But be careful 🙂

    dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    I’d be wary about using the same nav/planning approach on Lochnagar as you might on HR.

    Agreed, the main thrust really is having much of a clue where to start/go then plan from there. Much as Scottish access laws are great, the lack of dotty lines on maps is actually a bit of a pita if you don’t know the area! (as you’ve no doubt discovered if you’ve travelled to Yorkshire [the riding here is all poo 😉] even the most promising collection of contours can easily, regularly in fact, transpire to be insipid shooting track or impassable bog, potentially both)

    Also my mince, carry, mince approach is entirely adaptable to all trails 🙂

    thegeneralist
    Full Member

    Cool.
    Alas I don’t gave Gpx for them but apparently the two key descents from lochnagar are.

    Head westish past Suggairt Mor and down the Lochcallater descent. I think this is the route in the VB book. I’ve done the LC descent from Saggairt, and it was great but not from Lochnagar.
    Screenshot_20220406-162231_OS Maps

    The other option, which I hoped to do last week, but binned due to snow, is Glass Allt. Which goes largely southeast. The vid and link above describe this route.

    Screenshot_20220406-162306_OS Maps

    dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    Ah grand ta, was thinking that parking at the Loch then heading up that way might be the choice to come down the track via miekle pap. Stupidly that being glas allt had completely passed me by as I was looking for a hill by the same name rather than a water course. Wally.

    Will take a look at the videos this evening, I tend to dislike watching people ride but it does really help with the route planning when you feel your testicle retract from the comfort of your desk

    dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    Well now I’m not in the office head chance to watch the video. It solved that, even on the push up i thought “ugggh, water bars, I flippin hate water bars”

    Looks stunning, and water bars aside, exactly my sort of thing, however lacking the ability to magic the drainage ditches away that’s a no from me.

    Heartbreak Ridge it is.

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