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 Wednesday 31 December, 1969
£12Booking Deadline has passed
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
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)
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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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.
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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.
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Updated February 2018