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Ben Avon Double flatty

Ben Avon Double flatty

Postby snowdonia7 » Sat Oct 10, 2015 9:23 pm

Route description: Ben Avon via Gleann an-Slugain

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

Date walked: 04/10/2015

Time taken: 6.3 hours

Distance: 36 km

Ascent: 1558m

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Having missed our annual summer munro bagging trip Neil and I arranged a week in Braemar to bike and hike to some of the peaks in the Cairngorms, and our first trip was Beinn a' Bhuird and Ben Avon from Keiloch.

The high pressure that had contributed to such fine weather the previous week or so had moved on, although we hoped for cloud free munros.

As a novice mountain biker I had borrowed a bike from Neil and set off in high spirits along the well made track towards Invercauld House. Although things got a touch more technical as we headed for Slugain lodge, I watched what Neil was doing and for the most part managed to keep the bike moving forward (and stay on).

Once we started heading north towards the sneck I picked up a puncture, which Neil laughingly suggested was due to my increase body mass (he having slimmed down for a recent Iron Man competition). As we had a spare inner tube we were not delayed too long and set off again, soon catching a group of three on bikes ahead of us. We all stopped to discuss our plans and at this stage we decided to tackle the two munros in a clockwise manner, so set off east directly for Beinn a' Bhuird south summit. This was a fairly steep climb, but we were still fresh and soon made the high ground and began to follow the corrie towards the north summit. As we did so the wind picked up and it was freezing - when we stopped at the summit I put on some extra layers and two pairs of gloves as my hands were numb.

Beinn a'Bhuird copy.jpg

After a quick bite to eat we set off for the sneck where we left our packs - I was pleasantly surprised that the climb only took 15 minutes before we were heading across the high ground for the summit of Ben Avon. A quick scramble up onto the summit tor, although it was difficult to really take in the views as the wind was really blowing and making my eyes water.

Ben Avon copy.jpg

So after a couple of minutes we headed back to the sneck and descended to pick up our bikes. The ride back began well and we were making good pace (we wanted to get back to Braemar to book into our accommodation). Then I picked up a second puncture. Neil began to search for his spare inner tube, only to find he had forgot to pack it, so we were going to have to make a repair where we were. Once I was back on the bike I gingerly rode for home trying to avoid every lump and bump.

The two punctures meant we were out for longer than we anticipated, with a total trip time of six and a half hours, and whilst the time in the saddle may not have been much for hardened mountain-bikers it was enough to make me wish I had brought a pair of padded cycling shorts and rue the fact that we would have longer bike trips on each of the following five days :(
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