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Dalwhinnie to Ft William bike possible?

Dalwhinnie to Ft William bike possible?


Postby will0001 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:05 pm

Hi

Does anyone know if you can cycle the walking route from Dalwhinnie to Ft William, in the sense its cycle friendly enough to make an attempt?

Cheers
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Re: Dalwhinnie to Ft William bike possible?

Postby gaffr » Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:24 pm

Hello,
In the '90's we cycled in one evening and stayed overnight at Culra. Path up towards the bealach dubh with a bit of shank's near the final push. Mostly cycleable down to loch ossian. We took the South side of the loch track to the area of the hostel....since found out in further visits on the bike that the North side is a better surface. Mostly rideable to the bothy at Staoineaig (sp?) where we spent a second night. Past another bothy at Meanach and continued to reach the boggy unpleasant path down to the falls and Glen Nevis....we were into heavy rainfall by now. We should, perhaps, have crossed the river beyond Meanach and connected with the WHW trail to reach Fort William. Stayed with a friend in FW and came back up through Ardverikie to connect with our motor in Dalwhinnie.
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Re: Dalwhinnie to Ft William bike possible?

Postby IanEzzi » Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:15 pm

An alternative would be one of two routes via Spean Bridge.

Dalwhinnie to Loch Pattack on the usual gravel road.

From Loch Pattack there is a stalker's path that leads to Loch a Bhealaich Leamhain. This might be fully rideable if you're a good climber and its dry, as it is I attempted it in the wet, carrying a lot of camping gear, and rode maybe 50% max.

The descent then takes you to the south western tip of Lochan na h-Earba and from there you can follow forest roads to Fersit.

We then followed the main road to Achlauchrach and crossed the Monessa Gorge and followed farm tracks all the way to the Lairig Leacach road. This could be made more interesting by attempting to follow the line of the old puggy line further up the hill, but I hear some of the gully crossings are a bit tricky now.

From the Lairig Leacach road you can follow the puggy line through Leanachan forest although beware because part of it now seems to divert down the world cup downhill mountainbike course! We survived on cyclocross bikes though so its not too bad. The puggy line then takes you all the way to Fort William via the aluminium smelting plant.

If you wanted to simplify things slightly, but add to the distance, you can avoid the first wet climb from Loch Pattack and just follow landrover tracks beside the River Pattack until you reach the North-Eastern tip of Lochan na h-Earba.
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Re: Dalwhinnie to Ft William bike possible?

Postby will0001 » Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:01 pm

Hi Guys,

Thanks for the detailed info - much appreciated that you took the time.

Cheers
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