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…

North Wales MTB

We headed up for a weekend in North Wales with the Avon Mountaineering Club, however given the poor forecast we elected to take our bikes as a better poor weather option than walking in the cloud and the rain. Coed-y-Brenin On the way up we stopped off at Coed-y-Brenin for some quick trail centre action. We started off on the Minotaur which is a fantastic blue. Nothing too hard, but plenty of fun for all biking abilities with lots of little jumps, berms, interesting climbs and brilliant scenery. With the short daylight hours Katherine and I then decided to do a short route in order to make the most of the remaining weather. So we headed off to do Temtiwr which was a serious step up from the Minotaur, but was brilliant fun right from the start with plenty of technical rock sections. The climb in the middle was a chore, but the final descent was well worth the effort! We made it back in good time and go to our accommodation before the deluge started. The same cannot be said for everyone on our trip. The Snowdon Ranger My. Read the full article…