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Cycling from Dalwhinnie to Culra

Cycling from Dalwhinnie to Culra


Postby Christie22 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:18 pm

Route description: Dalwhinnie to Culra

Date walked: 04/08/2018

Time taken: 2 hours

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I hope this will be helpful for other 'non-regular' cyclists, like me, who wondered about the prospect of cycling from Dalwhinnie to Culra (and back). Here are a few notes:

I took about 2 hours to go out and 90 minutes to come back. That was to go all the way to Culra bothy, which is easy to reach without having to resort to serious mountain biking. I'm not really sure why there was so much difference in the times, even allowing for going up on the way out and down on the return!

The track is a firm smoothish unbound stone surface all the way to Loch Pattack and possibly beyond, although I didn't go that far.

P1050699.JPG
Typical section of Lochside road

From Dalwhinnie to Ben Alder Lodge, the track follows the loch. It is generally fairly flat or on gentle gradients, although there are one or two quite pronounced hills on the way. There were a few cars and trade vans on the road, associated with Ben Alder Estate. From BA Lodge to the turn-off point, it is mainly a long, slow uphill incline. The turn-off point was marked by a feeding point:


P1050707.JPG
This is where the path heads off to Culra


The uphill section seemed to go on forever on the way out, but what a boost it gave to freewheel down on the trip home!

Across the moorland to Culra, the surface was mainly a very narrow track of stone (careful!), although there were one or two places where I suspect it could be stickier after wet weather.

P1050710.JPG
Typical view of narrow track across moorland
P1050711.JPG
It's actually hard to miss the track to the bridge near Culra!
P1050712.JPG
The new bridge


Bear in mind that, if you are planning to ascend some of the mountains around Culra, you'll need to keep some energy in the tank for the return trip
P1050746.JPG
From Sron Coire na h'Iolaire - it's an awful long way back to Dalwhinnie!
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Re: Cycling from Dalwhinnie to Culra

Postby Morris1636 » Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:01 pm

I was planning on doing Ben Alder and Beinn Bheoil, mid November staying in Culra Bothy over night. Then the next morning do Carn Dearg, Geal-Charm, Aonach Beag and Beinn Eibhinn before returning home after some rest and something to eat at Culra Bothy. However with the Bothy not in use I will most likely leave it for another year after it has reopened. (Hopefully it will reopen).
Thanks for the report.
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Re: Cycling from Dalwhinnie to Culra

Postby prog99 » Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:42 pm

Morris1636 wrote:I was planning on doing Ben Alder and Beinn Bheoil, mid November staying in Culra Bothy over night. Then the next morning do Carn Dearg, Geal-Charm, Aonach Beag and Beinn Eibhinn before returning home after some rest and something to eat at Culra Bothy. However with the Bothy not in use I will most likely leave it for another year after it has reopened. (Hopefully it will reopen).
Thanks for the report.

I wouldn't get your hopes up I'm afraid.
Also when I've cycled in I've always used the vehicle track and wobbly bridge(great fun)
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Re: Cycling from Dalwhinnie to Culra

Postby Alteknacker » Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:42 pm

Morris1636 wrote:I was planning on doing Ben Alder and Beinn Bheoil, mid November staying in Culra Bothy over night. Then the next morning do Carn Dearg, Geal-Charm, Aonach Beag and Beinn Eibhinn before returning home after some rest and something to eat at Culra Bothy. However with the Bothy not in use I will most likely leave it for another year after it has reopened. (Hopefully it will reopen).
Thanks for the report.


As Prog99 says, this bothy has been closed for a good while. However, there are some great camping spots, especially, I thought, on the shores of Loch Pattack - which is only a couple of km from the bothy. You can get an idea of what the area's like from my WR if you're interested in camping.
https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=74925
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Re: Cycling from Dalwhinnie to Culra

Postby jupe1407 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:24 am

There are some excellent camp spots beside the bothy also. I found a nice wee "island" in the river last July. There have long bene rumours about a new bothy but I doubt it'll happen any time soon. It is (or was) actually open, and very much sleep in it at your own risk. I kipped in the westernmost room with the fire as there was no evidence of asbestos disturbance in there (it''s the eastern side that's been torn out). It's a real shame as it must have been a superb place in it's heyday.

As for the cycle, I've done it three times now. First time in mid December 2016 where I walked the Culra 4 in total clag, second time last July where I ended up repeating them (in clag :lol: ) and came down with a horrendous cold so had to bail on Alder & Bheoil and finally in October last year where I had a glorious day on these two hills. First time I went over the rickety bridge by Loch Pattack. The single track branch off at the feeder is infinitely easier.
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