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Bike into the Heart of the Cairngorms

Date: Sunday 24 June, 2018

Event leader: David Binney

Price: £12Meet time: 09:00

Estimated finish time: 17:00

Difficulty: Moderate PlusGroup size: 5

Distance: 31 miles (50km)

Ascent: 940mHigh point: 650m

Please note: Fat mountain bike tyres and front suspension almost essential.

Booking deadline: 17:00 Saturday 23 June, 2018


Booking Deadline has passed

Bike into the Heart of the Cairngorms

The current forecast for Sunday is for a sunny warm day. The mountain forecast is for no rain, little cloud, good visibility and wind speeds of around 10mph on the top. The valley forecast is for a 5mph south westerly breeze.

This mountain bike ride takes us into the heart of the Cairngorm mountains. We will travel along Glen Loin and Glen Avon, two remote mountain glens with a true wilderness feel to them. There is no vehicular access into the Glenavon Estate so these Glens are rarely visited but the hill tracks must be amongst the best and the majority of the route is on good quality Land Rover tracks. This is a relatively remote bike ride and it is wise to undertake it in the company of others in case of any mishap. There are the inevitable rougher sections, drainage hollows and stones but the track surface makes for relatively easy level riding over much of the distance. Most of the route is described as ‘blue’, but the steeper sections are usually loose and are better described as ‘red’ both in ascent and descent. The ride is technically that bit harder in the extreme dry conditions experienced in 2018 as the fine material on the track surface becomes much looser.

The route out takes us up Cnap Chaochan Aitinn. This is a steady uphill climb to 650m (or 715m for those who opt to visit the summit). We shall probably take a break half way up at a burn crossing and at the top, before heading down to Glen Loin. This is a steep descent followed by a lovely undulating downhill cruise until we cross the Burn of Loin to join Glen Avon. This involves a ford crossing (and possible damp feet depending upon water levels and rider judgement). A steep 60m climb follows; a fairly loose surface, narrow tyres and/or tired legs will likely see most folks walking up. The ride up Glen Avon undulates as it rises on mostly smooth tracks to our lunchtime destination of Findouran Bothy and Stable at 590m and about 16 miles (26km) from the start. This should take between 3 to 4 hours depending on the group. Here the plan is to have a barbeque style lunch (inside the bothy in the event of rain). This is partly for a bit of fun but also to encourage an extended stop to rest the legs and admire the situation. The usual portable bbq trays will be provided, bring your own delicacies to grill.

The return route does involve another significant but shorter (40m) steep climb which once again will likely involve a walk. Apart from that expect significant free wheeling sections on the route back to the car park, meaning that the return trip should take about 2 hours.

If you fancy a genuine mountain experience with your mountain bike then this one is for you!

My first trip up Glen Avon was on an old Dawes road bike. I would strongly recommend a mountain bike with fat tyres and front suspension!

Where to Meet - Description

Meet at the Queen's View car park on the minor road leading south from Tomintoul into Strathavon. Proceed south along Tomintoul Main Street, pass the A939 Lecht turn off on the left, and look out for a minor road on the right (sign on left side of road) to Delnabo and also to Tomintoul Country Walks). Follow this for about 1km, the car park is signposted on the left. If you find yourself crossing the river Avon, you've missed it!
Grid. Ref. NJ165176 Post Code AB37 9HT (Will take you to the wrong place, but should put you on correct road out of Tomintoul)

Where to Meet - Map

Use the zoom controls to view the meeting place in more detail,

About the Provider

David is a member of the organising group, the Moray Way Association. The Moray Way Association is a Scottish Charity.

Having enjoyed the outdoors since his early childhood, he has in recent years stopped chasing peaks and has spent more time working to improve access in the local area. This varies from physically clearing obstructions to designing websites that encourage participation.
All monies raised from this walk will go to supporting future festivals.

If you need to contact the provider of this event please use this email:

Event Grading System

This is intended as a rough indication only. Every effort has been made to make the level of activity and physical effort involved as clear as possible within the event description. If in doubt contact the event provider.

  • Easy:    A gentle activity over level easy terrain (or equivalent) lasting up to 2 hours. All ages and abilities welcome; time to stop, chat and stare.
  • Easy+:    An activity over generally easy terrain (or equivalent). Likely to include some slight inclines or similar extra effort. Usually lasting up to 3 hours with rests, etc.
  • Moderate:    A more varied activity and/or varied terrain (or equivalent), involving some extra effort for part of it. Typically a short day activity.
  • Moderate+:    Typically a full day activity over varied terrain (or equivalent) requiring stamina and/or more sustained effort. Short breaks for refreshments, lunch, etc
  • Challenging:    A range of activities with something ‘special’ that will appeal to the more experienced outdoor person. See event entry for details.

Booking Terms and Conditions

Online Booking and Payment

The Moray Walking & Outdoor Festival is run by the Moray Way Association and sells tickets on behalf of event providers unless otherwise specified. This means that the final contract for your purchase will be between you and the event provider.

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Refunds – Customer cancellation

Refunds can be claimed for bookings cancelled before May 31. After May 31 refunds will only be made if the places are resold as by then arrangements for events are in place. In all instances we reserve the right to levy an administrative charge of £1.

Refunds – Provider cancellation

Refunds will be provided in full for any events cancelled by providers. We are unable to provide any reimbursement or refund for any accommodation or transport booked if circumstances require an event to be cancelled.

Changes to the programme

In the event of circumstances beyond our control, we reserve the right to alter the programme and events.

Basis of participation

The organisers of the Moray Walking and Outdoor Festival recognise that outdoor activities carry a risk of personal injury dependent in part upon the skills of participants and prevailing weather conditions, both outwith the control of the organisers. Those taking part do so at their own risk and are responsible for their own actions and safety. In broad terms, the basis of participation is similar to that of individuals joining in club activities.

A key difference is that many events are led and take participants on unfamiliar routes. On led events, the event leader is responsible for route finding. A minority of events, usually offered by commercial providers, use fully trained instructors who have an additional responsibility for the overall safety of participants. If in doubt contact the provider.

Descriptions of events

Every effort is made to ensure that all events are described accurately and fairly to allow participants to make informed decisions. Ultimately event descriptions on this site are the responsibility of each event provider and the officers of The Moray Way Association cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies. If there is uncertainty over what participation in any event entails then enquiries should be made to seek clarification.

Suitability of events

The safety and enjoyment of individuals on any event is largely dependent upon the fitness, skills and health of each individual. It is expected that participants use the information provided to choose suitable events, and do not undertake any event, or challenge within an event, that is beyond their capability.
In the unlikely circumstance that on the day of the event the leader has good grounds to doubt the suitability of their event for any individual, then they have the right to refuse admission without refund.

Young People and Vulnerable Adults

Young people (under 16yrs) and vulnerable adults are welcome on appropriate events but must be accompanied by an appropriate carer or responsible adult. The accompanying adult is best placed to judge the capability of their charge and has the full responsibility both for judging the suitability of the event for that young person or vulnerable adult and for their actions during the event.


In general dogs are welcome on walks, providing dog owners act responsibly in accordance with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and ensure that dogs are kept under close control in the vicinity of livestock and in rural areas. The decision on whether dogs are welcome on individual events is the prerogative of the event provider, especially where transport is part of the event. If there is any doubt please contact the event provider before booking the event.

Updated February 2018