Cairngorms route advice

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Cairngorms route advice

Postby Trigs » Mon May 15, 2017 8:14 pm

Long story short, ive not cycled for the past 2 years untill last weekend due to back and leg issues. Got fed up of not being able to do what i enjoy,so im determined to get back cycling/walking.
I went 4 miles last weekend, and then yesterday i went 17 miles on the Meal Circuit at brig of Turk, so im about ready for the Ht550 now :wink:

I do have a holiday coming up in 2 weeks time, and im looking for a route to do over 3 or 4 nights.
Requirements are offroad, but nothing too steep/sore on the legs.

I quite fancy the cairngorms, and from looking at the Cairngorm Loop route i have a rough idea of a route. Cant quite work my mapping program properly, but it seems about 80 miles or so.


From Blair Atholl, up the cycle route and turn right at Dalnacardoch lodge, heading towards Gaick Lodge.
Into Glen Tromie, right at the tromie bridge over to Glen Fesh, heading to Bynack Lodge.

Then from Bynack, either down Glen tilt to blair atholl, which looks the easiest, or over to Glen Fearnach and then back towards Blair Atholl.


Anybody that knows the area can tell me how easy/hard a route this would be? Relative to each persons fitness i suppose, but try judge the hardness based on someone that still gets a sore arse from sitting on a bike seat and has dodgy legs at times :lol:

Also open to other routes, in diffrent areas, if anyone has any better suggestions. Just looking to go about 80-100 miles on relativly good tracks/gradients.
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Re: Cairngorms route advice

Postby ScotRoutes » Mon May 15, 2017 8:23 pm

My immediate advice would be to look at a different route.

The track from Tromie to Feshie at the top of the glen goes high and is a push up. The Feshie-Geldie watershed area is a boggy push. The climb out of Tilt to Fealar is a push.

None of these are insurmountable but hardly advisable for someone with your state of fitness.

I'd look towards Perthshire or maybe the Laggan-Ardverickie-Corrour area.

Or a mix of road/Speyside Way from Grantown to Spey Bay, Moray Coastal Trail to Forres and back the Dava Way.
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Re: Cairngorms route advice

Postby Trigs » Mon May 15, 2017 8:37 pm

Alright thanks. It all looks so nice and easy on the maps, but thats why i thought id ask.

I'll have a look at the areas you suggested and see
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Re: Cairngorms route advice

Postby ScotRoutes » Mon May 15, 2017 9:43 pm

I don't want to put you off what would be a fine adventure, it just appears you could do with something a little less challenging at this time


I live in Aviemore so feel free to ask about anything up this way.
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Re: Cairngorms route advice

Postby Trigs » Tue May 16, 2017 7:28 pm

Oh i dont mind being put off, im after a nice easy enjoyable ride, not an endurance ride. Would be nothing worse than getting halfway round a hard route and doing my leg in again, Its always been part of whats stopped me going out since the injury.


Been having a look at the speyside way, Moray and Dava route you suggested. Looks interesting enough and easy enough for my first multiday in quite a while. Also never far from public transport if required, though im hoping not :smile:
A few questions if you dont mind.


Is there a reason for starting at Grantown instead of Aviemore other than it being the start/end point of a circuit? Edit-- On further reading, starting from aviemore adds a bit more than i thought it would onto the route, but may consider it anyway as its fairly flat.


Is there suitable parking at either Grantown or Aviemore for a couple of nights?

Are any of them overly busy routes with walkers?


Still having a look through the maps , but i think it might be where i go unless i spot something else.
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Re: Cairngorms route advice

Postby ScotRoutes » Tue May 16, 2017 11:29 pm

Trigs wrote:Oh i dont mind being put off, im after a nice easy enjoyable ride, not an endurance ride. Would be nothing worse than getting halfway round a hard route and doing my leg in again, Its always been part of whats stopped me going out since the injury.


Been having a look at the speyside way, Moray and Dava route you suggested. Looks interesting enough and easy enough for my first multiday in quite a while. Also never far from public transport if required, though im hoping not :smile:
A few questions if you dont mind.


Is there a reason for starting at Grantown instead of Aviemore other than it being the start/end point of a circuit? Edit-- On further reading, starting from aviemore adds a bit more than i thought it would onto the route, but may consider it anyway as its fairly flat.


Is there suitable parking at either Grantown or Aviemore for a couple of nights?

Are any of them overly busy routes with walkers?


Still having a look through the maps , but i think it might be where i go unless i spot something else.


Aviemore start/end is fine. The SSW from Aviemore to Nethy Bridge is lovely. The bit from Nethy to Grantown is OK - runs along the line of an old railway track. It really depends on how many miles you want to cover. As you've spotted, it's fairly flat in any case so it would be nice to include it.

There's a car park at the north end of Grantown where I've parked overnight and it's been fine. Aviemore, you'd be better looking at on-street parking to avoid any charges. I can certainly point you in the right direction. Car theft/break-ins aren't a regular occurrence in either town.

Neither are likely to be over-run with walkers. Nowhere on the route attracts anything like the numbers seen on the likes of the West Highland Way.

A wee bit of advice - try to time your Moray Coastal Trail section to co-incide with low tides. Being able to ride along the beach from Lossiemouth will save you a fair bit of time and effort.

I've done the whole loop in sections and again as an overnighter recently so can give you advice on bivvy spots etc. FWIW, you definitely want to avoid the SSW between Cromdale and Cragganmore. Stick to the B9102 instead.
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Re: Cairngorms route advice

Postby Trigs » Wed May 17, 2017 8:09 pm

Appreciate the help.

Not decided between Aviemore or Grantown start yet, think ill decide closer to the time.

Is hammocking a safe bet over the route? I usually carry a lightweight bivi just incase, but looks like there are plenty of foresty areas going by the os maps.
Also, being low down, is filtering water from the streams advised in the area?

Will bear the other points in mind too, but other than that i think im all set.
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Re: Cairngorms route advice

Postby ScotRoutes » Wed May 17, 2017 8:13 pm

There are a few hammockable areas, but it's not something I've ever used. The bit of forest above the beach between Burghhead and Findhorn would be superb I would think.

There are plenty of places to get water en route. Im normally happy to fill up from streams, though you're certainly getting into cultivated/livestock areas so I'd probably default to topping up in cafes/pubs etc as I go.
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Re: Cairngorms route advice

Postby Trigs » Wed May 17, 2017 8:35 pm

Alright, will carry my bivy and hammock so im sorted either way. Bivi takes up hardly any room anyway.

Looking forward to it.
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Re: Cairngorms route advice

Postby Trigs » Mon May 29, 2017 3:40 pm

Ending up not doing the moray way, i needed a shorter route for 1 night only, so headed up to Bridge of Orchy instead.

Started at Victoria bridge, followed WHW till Kingshouse, then down glen etive untill turn into glen kinglass and back to Victoria bridge.
Good times untill hitting the east side of Loch Etive. Horrible. What little path there is is either underwater/bog or overgrown with bracken and bushes, or a combination of all. Enjoyed it though and my legs didnt give me any bother despite the amount of pushing and carrying required.

Will get round to the Moray at some point.
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Re: Cairngorms route advice

Postby ScotRoutes » Mon May 29, 2017 4:57 pm

The path on the other side of Loch Etive is much more rideable but getting to/from it at the Southern end means chartering a boat from Taynuilt
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Re: Cairngorms route advice

Postby Trigs » Mon May 29, 2017 5:43 pm

Yeah i had seen that when reading up on the route, but it was a last minute route change in the morning before setting off. I read some people saying its all rideable and a few saying its not, so i figured it'd be a bit of both. Definetly more on the pushing side, although probably better when the bracken dies back. As it was, i probably pulled the bike through rather than pushed it :lol:
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Re: Cairngorms route advice

Postby aid_rob » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:34 pm

The Cairngorms is bloody tough mate, I'd ease into it with something else.
There's lots of climbing and lots of hike-a-bike too, although if you were happy to do it over 3/4 days it is easily manageable. Watch out for them midges, they'll ruin your trip for sure :roll: .I'm told the capital trail is abit easier although I haven't actually done it.

Cheers
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Re: Cairngorms route advice

Postby AlasdairMc » Sat Jun 24, 2017 1:07 am

aid_rob wrote:I'm told the capital trail is abit easier although I haven't actually done it.


It's relatively easy compared to the Cairngorms Loop - 95+% rideable I reckon, only one big push I can remember - you'd smash it in a day. The main issue with the Capital Trail from a fitness perspective is that it's difficult to do half of, unless you start or finish at Tweedbank train station and make Edinburgh the other end of your ride.
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