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My 1st Bike n Hike - Ben Avon & Co

My 1st Bike n Hike - Ben Avon & Co


Postby Backpacker » Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:52 am

Munros included on this walk: Beinn a'Bhuird, Ben Avon

Date walked: 01/06/2014

Time taken: 10.5 hours

Distance: 37.6 km

Ascent: 1607m

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After looking at all the various routes from Braemar and having walked to entirety to do Carn a'Chlamain when a bike would have helped, I decided to go out and buy one, I mean how hard could cycling in be? Well as I found out, having not ridden a bike in over 15 years, it was bloody hard, anything over a 0.25 degree incline and I was pushing the damn thing :lol:

I set off from the car park at Keiloch on the bike and quite happily rode my way out the estate and onto the main track up to Ben Avon, this became a mixture of riding and pushing as I discovered I had muscles I didn't even know existed.

I found a small clearing just east of the now ruined Slugain Lodge. dumped the bike and took the path towards the lodge, where I met another walker who was happy to have a bit of a blether. I then made my way on to the main path which would eventually take me up to The Sneck, I met a couple en route who had come up from the river alongside and the told me they were doing Beinn a'Bhuird but couldn't find a way across so were going to head up to The Sneck and do it from there.

ImageSulgain Lodge by GaryE1872, on Flickr

I was a bit down heartened at this as I was coming back that way, nevertheless, I walked along the decent path, jumped the stream before the serious climbing began, up the zig zag that takes you into the gully, the good path suddenly and it became a bit indistinct through the boggy section.

ImageCan You Spot The Face by GaryE1872, on Flickr

Eventually I arrived on The Sneck and sat and had a bit of a breather contemplating my next move, after the conversation I'd had with the couple I was wondering if I should just do both from here and head back the way I came. I spoke to another walker who told me that he'd come up that way and there's a few places to cross, mind made up I made my way up the initial brutal steep section to get on to plateau, from here I could see the summit tor and strode over towards it, I was having a bit of a debate with myself, which outcrop was higher, the one on the furthest right or the one next to it. I climbed up the easy one 1st but not being sure I made my way down to climb the more difficult one, once on it I looked back and the easier one looked slightly higher, quite pleased with myself I stopped for lunch.

ImageDSCF0462 by GaryE1872, on Flickr

ImageBen Avon Tor by GaryE1872, on Flickr

I made my way back over the plateau down to The Sneck to climb up towards Beinn a'Bhuird, again, a bit of a brutal initial ascent before levelling out, though I couldn't help myself wandering to the edge to have a look down. I met the other couple I had met earlier who were making there way down and stopped for another blether. I made my way up to the Tor ahead to survey what was in front of me, no clear path so I just aimed in a straight line for the summit, with a slight detour to avoid the snow bank that was covering yet another stream.

ImageBeinn a'Bhuird Summit Cairn by GaryE1872, on Flickr

ImageDSCF0473 by GaryE1872, on Flickr

Finally I was on the summit where I stopped for a good 10 mins to let my legs, lungs, heart etc have a breather, I was really starting to feel the heat now, nothing for it, follow the path over towards the south top, which I managed to lose and end up in a boulder field I tentatively made my way down and aimed a bit more right as it looked less rocky, I eventually picked up a faint path and followed it down, looking back up, there was another path further over to the left which seemed to miss the boulders completely. I followed what was now a pretty good path down and around Carn Fiaclach to the Glen floor, all that was really left now was the river crossing, I had a quick look then just waded through it, I knew my bike was only a mile away.

ImageDSCF0474 by GaryE1872, on Flickr

I squelched my way back to where I had dumped the bike, though I noticed that the 2 bikes that were there when I arrived were still there and I was probably one of the last off the hill, though there were a few folk camping on the summits, so assumed it must be their's.

Thankfully now once I had pushed the bike to the main track I was able to pretty much freewheel it all the way back to the car with little effort involved.
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Last edited by Backpacker on Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My 1st Bike n Hike - Ben Avon & Co

Postby Fife Flyer » Sun Jun 01, 2014 10:45 am

Well done enjoyed that :clap: :clap:

So was the bike a good investment? I think most 'walkers' dismount at the hint of an incline, especially on the route in. First time I attempted Beinn Dearg (Atholl) I probably cycled up too many inclines & by the time I dumped the bike I was goosed :lol: and didn't manage to walk very far :(
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Re: My 1st Bike n Hike - Ben Avon & Co

Postby Backpacker » Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:25 am

I'll let you know if it was but so far so good, just need to make a few adjustments to it.
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Re: My 1st Bike n Hike - Ben Avon & Co

Postby AnnieMacD » Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:29 pm

Great - looks like it worked out well with the bike. Did you get a mountain bike? I'm thinking I need to cycle in to some of the more remote hills but not sure if a MB is required or hybrid or town bike???
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Re: My 1st Bike n Hike - Ben Avon & Co

Postby oldrayne75 » Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:28 pm

That looks like an epic day Backpacker. Well done on the first bike and hike. :thumbup:

AnnieMacD - A mountain bike is going to be your best bet for the odd cycle in to a Munro. I've used the bike for Mount Keen, Carn a'Chlamain, Beinn Dearg (Blair Atholl) and Ben Lui - all great fun. They also come in handy for ridge walks when two cars aren't available.

It's worth getting a few miles in on the bike first to avoid Fife Flyer's experience :D . It definitely works a different muscle group!

Oh, and don't forget those padded cycle shorts :shock:
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Re: My 1st Bike n Hike - Ben Avon & Co

Postby Backpacker » Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:30 am

oldrayne75 wrote:That looks like an epic day Backpacker. Well done on the first bike and hike. :thumbup:

AnnieMacD - A mountain bike is going to be your best bet for the odd cycle in to a Munro. I've used the bike for Mount Keen, Carn a'Chlamain, Beinn Dearg (Blair Atholl) and Ben Lui - all great fun. They also come in handy for ridge walks when two cars aren't available.

It's worth getting a few miles in on the bike first to avoid Fife Flyer's experience :D . It definitely works a different muscle group!

Oh, and don't forget those padded cycle shorts :shock:


Aye, padded shorts are a must, my backside is killing me, I don't remember saddles being that solid though
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