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Beinn Dearg cycling Glen Banvie

Beinn Dearg cycling Glen Banvie

Postby howzat » Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:01 am

Route description: Beinn Dearg from near Blair Atholl

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Dearg (Blair Atholl)

Date walked: 03/08/2013

Time taken: 6 hours

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Getting frazzled a couple of weeks previously when tackling Beinn A'Ghlo had put paid to my plans for a double header weekend with the 'nearby' Beinn Dearg. With my burnt legs recovered after a couple of weeks rest and the plentiful application of after sun cream I managed to persuade the sister-in-laws husband Andrew to join me in cycling up Glen Banvie (he doesn't do the hill bit) for a bit of company and most importantly the lend of his spare bike! With the weather forecast offering a mixed bag of gale force winds, rain showers but with the possibility of some sun we set off from the car park at Old Bair at 9.30am.

Me ready to get cycling

I was a bit apprehensive after reading reports that it was a bit of a tough cycle ride to the bothy by the Allt Scheicheachan some 6 miles from the car park and I was right to be. Now we're both not exactly the fittest of people and this was only my second bike ride as an adult (!) after the previous years somewhat sore ride to Carn a'Chlamain. Result: it took us 2 hours to get to the bothy as we spent much of the journey walking with the bike due to the steepness of the track making me wonder why I hadn’t just walked it.

Andrew on track through the Banvie woodlands

Gate exiting the Banvie woodlands onto moorland


Prominent cairn as track climbs away from Glen Banvie

Andrew wondering if there was any point of bringing a bike

Empty moorland

After 2 hours of struggling with the bikes at last the bothy

Me at the bothy

After a very brief stop to look around the bothy I set out for Beinn Dearg just as the weather appeared to be brightening up a bit. Andrew wasn't sure if he'd hang around for me to return so I locked up the bike and crossed the burn behind the bothy and followed a fainter track up its west side. Just before the track crossed back over the Allt Scheicheachan I picked up the small stalkers path that zigzaged up Meall Dubh nan Dearcag before following the easy going path that gently rises towards Beinn Dearg. With almost perfect timing about 20 mins from the summit I was battered by an incoming rain shower accompanied by very strong winds. Although visibility was limited and I was being severely buffeted by the wind the path was easy to follow as I passed over the cairned minor top then a short time later, and to some relief, to the large windshelter cairn on the summit of Beinn Dearg (with a trig point inside), 1hr 25mins after leaving the bothy. I wasn't going to hang around so after a quick drink I set off back down.

Track leaving the bothy

Start of path that zigzags up Meall Dubh nan Dearcag

View of alternate track back via Allt Slanaidh from zigzag path

Path gently rises upwards towards Beinn Dearg as clag arrives

Summit of Beinn Dearg

The first glimpses of blue sky appeared as I made my descent. Great timing! Looking back I could actually now see the summit of Beinn Dearg. As I reached the bottom of the zigzag path I bumped into another walker who mentioned he'd left his son back at the the bothy with Andrew who was still there. So I jogged back to the bothy, noticing smoke emanating from the chimney, arriving 2.5hrs after leaving. After a bite of lunch Andrew and I set off back for the car park just as a rain shower hit. We walked the bikes up the steep incline that had lead down to the bothy then mounted the bikes wondering if it really had been worth taking them. After an exhilarating and for me a somewhat hair raising descent (no peddling required just feathering the brakes as I was bricking it!) all the way back to Old Blair in what seemed like no time at all the answer from us both was a resounding yes! :D All in all it had taken us 6 hours (2 hours to the bothy walking the bikes, 2.5 hrs round trip to Beinn Dearg, about 30mins for lunch, and less than an hour back although I'm sure experienced cyclists could do it in a lost less time).

First hint of some blue sky on the way down

Looking back I could now see the top of Beinn Dearg

Back on the track to the bothy

Back in 2.5hrs

Andrew and another walker working on the fire

Despite the efforts of getting the bikes up to the bothy and the clag on the summit it was an enjoyable day with the long fast descent back being the highlight. :clap:
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Re: Beinn Dearg cycling Glen Banvie

Postby rockhopper » Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:05 pm

nice one - certainly a long way but perfect for the bike :thumbup:

howzat wrote:The first glimpses of blue sky appeared as I made my descent. Great timing! Looking back I could actually now see the summit of Beinn Dearg.
:lol: :lol: happens (far too often :roll: ) to us all so we just get used to it :roll: :wink: - cheers :)
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Re: Beinn Dearg cycling Glen Banvie

Postby Ejg35 » Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:13 pm

Thanks for this report. I hope to do this route tomorrow on my bike so it is great to see the tracks I will be on. Going by the photos it looks like I could still cycle a bit beyond the bothy.
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Re: Beinn Dearg cycling Glen Banvie

Postby Jan Vi0la » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:31 pm

Thanks for this report, am hoping to do Beinn Dearg in 2 days time and all your detail are a big help. I cycled Carn a'Chlamain 3 weeks ago and thought the track was heaven after the Glen Taitneach track to Carn an Righ. Needed compeed for my btm!
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Re: Beinn Dearg cycling Glen Banvie

Postby Navigaiter » Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:11 pm

Great report, told it as it was. I've been thinking about doing this walk with a bike and have yet to make up my mind.
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Location: Hamilton, Scotland

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