Beinn a’ Creachain and Beinn Achaladair

After a very cold night and hard frost we woke up early for a reasonable day out climbing Beinn a’ Creachain and Beinn Achaladair. These hills are connected by a ridge and are the expanse of hills that you see when driving across Rannoch Moor towards the Bridge of Orchy. In the morning everything was white, there was ice on the inside of the windows and the doors were frozen shut! We headed off up the valley and made excellent time initially as we wanted to move quickly to warm up. Unfortunately this good progress came to a rapid halt when the footbridge we were relying on was not really there anymore, and the remains were certainly not something that I was willing to cross! At this point we elected to carry on for another 4km up the estate track to the next bridge, which also meant climbing a path less ascent up to the ridge. Despite the extra time walking along the valley, it remained stubbornly in the shadow of the mountains which meant that we stayed fairly cold. While this did add a significant amount of time onto. Read the full article…

Beinn Tulaichean and Cruach Ardrain

Our initial plan had been to do the Ben Lui circuit consisting of four Munros which required the use of bikes to significantly shorten the day. Unfortunately the hard frost overnight disagreed with bikes and left us with dropper posts which were initially frozen down, and then dropper posts which wouldn’t stay up! By this point we had left it to late to do the circuit on foot, so we decided to drive around to Inverlochlairg to climb Beinn Tulaichean and Cruach Ardrain. The start of the walk was in a very deep valley which hardly got any sun, so everything as frozen solid and was even colder than the car park we left an hour before. However the ascent up to Beinn Tulaichean was brutal, as it had no path and climbed steeply straight out of the valley. The ascent soon warmed us up, and thankfully the views were stunning and more than made up for the very tiring ascent. While it was a sunny day, when we finished the initial ascent we got hit by yet more brutal winds which made for another cold day on the hills.. Read the full article…

Stob a’ Choire Odhair and Stob Ghabhar

Becky and I both managed to get some last minute holiday approved which meant we were able to enjoy a 4 day weekend in Scotland with a fantastic, but cold forecast. After the long drive up on Wednesday night we got the the car park at the start of the walk at 2:30am. Unfortunately due to the short daylight hours we couldn’t have a lie in and had to get up after less than 5 hours of sleep. We made use of the bikes to reduce the initial walk along the valley, but they really were not necessary. The ascent up to Stob a’ Choire Odhair would have been fairly enjoyable if I had not not been suffering with a cold and lack of sleep, as there was a reasonable path all the way to the top. As we emerged from the ascent onto the summit plateau we got hit by the fierce and brutally cold wind. After a quick layer up and some food we made a hasty retreat down to the col between us and the next summit. It was very strange as it felt like being out. Read the full article…

Bog Roulette in the Doethie Valley

After the endless rain this autumn, we finally seemed to have a day at the weekend with good weather. To make the most of this James and I headed over the mid wales to ride the hyped Doethie Valley. The route was very straightforward for the first half, with easy climbing up firetrack around the reservoir, and then a gate (which were all locked) ridden descent down to the start of the ride proper. Despite the gates making the descent frustrating, the autumnal colours and remote scenery were fantastic. At the end of the descent we arrived at a remote cottage where we turned off the main track and the ride abruptly got harder with a fairly steep ascent which marked the end of the significant climbing on the route. This was James’s first ride with his new groupset, and he certainly seemed to appreciate his new low gears! The start of the descent was down the track, which was fairly loose with some abrupt drainage ditches. However we soon got to the start of the showpiece of the route, the long Doethie valley. The descent was all fairly gradual,. Read the full article…