Recommend some long offroad MTB endurance rides. Coast to coast etc…
Epic – Yeh It’ll be good to have the safety net around me. I’ll likely still do the winter cairngorms route but keep it to a sensible level, mileage etc. I’ll make sure Scotroutes is on standby as well!
The Puffer will be mint for pushing it though and seeing how i react and the warning signs for when I really should stop!
You might become a fan of big ugly mudguards too.
My brain’s been trying to convince me for years. The tart in me remains defiant though!Posted 4 years agoFunkyDuncMember
Cairngorms Winter Loop (160k)
How well do you know the Cairngorms? I would stay well away from the Caringorms in the winter months unless you are an experienced mountaineer, even walking, let alone pushing a bike.
I would imagine the conditions in the Cairngorms would be more extreme than where your race would be ie they dont get winters that create nice rideable snow. You could be in deep powder one minute to unwalkable ice sheets the next, to slush the other. All this in 100mph winds and driving rain.
Cairngorms in winter = crampons and ice axe…. or no snow at all and cold and wet. Not really an ideal training ground if trying to get similar conditions as the race venue.Posted 4 years agohighlandmanMember
For Cairngorms in December, the limiting factor may be water levels in the rivers, rather than ice and snow. December is traditionally a ‘changeable’ month in weather terms, so you could get cold and dry, cold and wet, or just very wet indeed with rain and snowmelt combining to make river crossings like the Tilt, Geldie or Feshie potentially lethal.
However, knowing where the bothies and mountain shelters are and with a flexible attitude to route plans A, B & C throughout, you can do this reasonably safely. Comms will obviously be an issue in the extended remote sections and daylight too, with no better than 7 hours of daylight on a bright day and less if it’s minging. Local knowledge will get you details of bothie locations, where to expect phone signals to return and the locations of remote but occupied cottages.
If the weather turns really sour on you at the start of this sort of winter trip, it is possible to pull together some properly large loops around say the Aviemore or Braemar trails, without crossing major rivers and staying within reasonable striking distance of both civilisation and phone signals. There are bothies with camping space alongside in both Feshie and in Rothiemurchus, so I’d suggest if you are going to plan a winter Cairngorm loop, start and finish at Aviemore or Newtonmore. This gives you the bad weather option of staying local but still getting a good thrash around and kit test.Posted 4 years agogravitysucksMember
Good shout guys. The Cairngorms winter loop is obviously in the planning stages. I’m a fairly competent climber so have total respect for the elements. I’ll be doing the full loop in the summer to get an idea of the area and then look towards devising a plan for a suitable route.Posted 4 years ago
At that stage I’ll be shouting up here again to get some advice on potential routes.AlasdairMcMember
August for the full Cairngorms Loop is a good shout. I did it in July last year and had as good weather as I could possibly expect in the Cairngorms. Dry underfoot, low rivers and no rain to speak of.
I wouldn’t consider venturing into the Cairngorms alone in winter, especially not on a bike as you tend to be riding the valleys and not the ridges – perfect avalanche run-off in places.Posted 4 years agocompositeSubscriber
Same weekend as 24/12. 8 mile laps vs 100 miles unsupported point to point. It was an easy decision for me to make. 😉Posted 4 years ago
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