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Gleann an t-Slugain by MTB (mostly)

Gleann an t-Slugain by MTB (mostly)


Postby Alastair S » Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:38 pm

Date walked: 26/12/2012

Time taken: 4.25 hours

Distance: 27 km

Ascent: 544m

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Cycling 24 km, 2 hr 35 min
Walking 3 km, 1 hr 40 min


20121226.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Gleann an t-Slugain profile.jpg


A quick report on my Boxing Day MTB jaunt up Gleann an t-Slugain - this is the glen usually used to approach the Munros of Ben Avon & Beinn a' Bhuird. Anyway I had a weather eye out all though the holiday period and the only times the weather was half-way decent (& I was free) was on Boxing Day & New Year's Day. Typical 2012 weather then. So despite the fair forecast this was never going to be an early start. In the end I was on my way from the Keiloch car park just after 11am.

From a couple of previous walks up this glen I knew there were a couple of (usually) pretty easy fords on the way out. With the recent rain I was prepared to turn back if they were still in spate but as it turned out a couple of rain lite days was enough make these fords cross-able with care. The going was reasonable till you get with about a km of the Fairy Glen/ruin when the slope begins to ramp up and its into the lowest gear. I didn't intend to go down to the ruin but being on my bike I didn't bother getting the map out as I thought I knew the way. No great harm as I knew I'd be walking this section. What I was really interested in was how cycle-able the path above the Fairy Glen was - as I wanted to bag the Ben Avon Murdo of Creag an Dail Mhòr soonish. I seem to recall it is a pretty good path but can't remember if it was littered with deep drainage channels. As it turned out the snow line was a bit lower than I'd hoped for - which was a mixed blessing. While I didn't find out about the path I did have fun (for a short while) riding my bike on the snow. Yes, you heard, on the snow, not though it. Amazing snow conditions. Occasionally you would crunch though but it was never too suddenly - as you can see in a couple of the photos. Just a shame I didn't have time for a proper high level walk.



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Fairy Glen Ruin
There are lots of so-called Fairy Glens, well this is the Gleann an t-Slugain one. The southern end of Beinn Bhuird visible in the distance.



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Not A Bad Place To Come To A Grinding Halt
The bulk of Beinn a' Bhuird spread out before me.



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Parked Up
Another view of my bike with Ben Avon also visible from this angle.



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Beinn a' Bhuird And Ben Avon



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Beinn a'Bhuird Panorama
This pano was taken about a km from the above shot, taken back in Feb 2010 when I was first getting into digital photography and a large print of this sits above my desk at home.


After that it was all downhill - but not in the good sense. The plan was to follow the Quoich Water down to pick up the track that takes you back to the Linn of Quoich. But the plan rather hopefully included finding a [admittedly un-marked] path to the marked tracked. There was a faint one at times but most of the time it was just thick sodden heather - which isn't too bad if you don't have a MTB to drag along. About half a km from the track there was a decent path - on the other side of the river! So that 2 km took about an unpleasant hour. I thought my worries were over when I reached the track but sadly I was mistaken. This track is pretty rough and very rutted. Furthermore there were frequent gutter to gutter puddles across it making it difficult to find a decent line. The track also crossed a couple of fords one of which meant soggy feet become icy soaked feet. Anyway I just about kept things upright but the going was slow & heavy. From the Linn of Quoich the track improved slightly but as soon as the track headed into the forest (past Balnagower Cottage) it got a lot better and then it was a nice blast past Invercauld House in the gathering gloom (the morning's fine weather had long disappeared) and back to the car. It was about another half an hour before I could feel my feet.
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Alastair S
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Re: Gleann an t-Slugain by MTB (mostly)

Postby Owen b » Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:41 am

I bagged Ben Avon and Ben a' Bhuird last summer and got the mountain bike right up to the confluence of the Allt Dearg and the Glas Allt Mor without difficulty. Yes there were quite a lot of drainage channels which required dismounting, but nevertheless it saved a lot of time and was great fun, especially downhill on the bike.
Owen b
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Re: Gleann an t-Slugain by MTB (mostly)

Postby Alastair S » Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:45 am

Owen b wrote:I bagged Ben Avon and Ben a' Bhuird last summer and got the mountain bike right up to the confluence of the Allt Dearg and the Glas Allt Mor without difficulty. Yes there were quite a lot of drainage channels which required dismounting, but nevertheless it saved a lot of time and was great fun, especially downhill on the bike.

Thanks for that Owen. I probably won't need to go that far as I'd like to have a bit of a wander about the headwaters of the River Gairn.
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Alastair S
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1283
Munros:78   Corbetts:12
Grahams:6   
Sub 2000:13   
Islands:22
Joined: Dec 14, 2008
Location: Banchory, Aberdeenshire

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