Cairngorms Bike & Hike
A 3 day Cairngorm Bike & Hike event based in Braemar in the Cairngorms National Park. The plan is to do some long classic Cairngorm walks after cycling in along the tracks lower down. First we will climb Beinn Avon (A’an) and Beinn a’Bhuird as well as a few extra tops. Then a trip up Ben Macdui and Derry Cairngorm with the final day a traverse of Beinn Mheadhoin.
This is a Bike & Hike event so you will need to bring a mountain bike and a helmet with you.
Beinn Avon & Beinn a’Bhuird
We will cycle in from the carpark at Keilloch on a road and good track into Gleann an t-Slugain. Leaving the bikes here the route follows a path up the glen to reach the ruins of Slugain Lodge. Here we have the option of doing our circuit in either direction. For the purposes of writing it up we shall go clockwise.
A short descent takes us across the Quoich water before picking up a hill path towards Carn Fiaclach. This fades out as we climb up twards the South top of Beinn a’Bhuirdh. There is an optional detour to the viewpoint at A’Chioch if the weather is good. A nice spot for a rest. It’s easy walking along the plateau over some minor tops to reach the north top and Munro summit. All the way views into Coire an Dubh Lochain and Coire nan Clach are fantastic!
Our route turns east from the summit crossing some a lovely section of plateau to reach Cnap a’Chleirich. from here we descend into the Sneck the low point between the two Munros. A good path can be followed from here to head down to Slugain if required. We shall continue up on the path to reach the summit tor of Beinn Avon or Leabaidh an Daimh Bhuidhe. It is a lovely short scramble to the summit and the views are excellent. Now we can return to the snack to descend or travers south over Carn Eas and some minor tops. Both routes join up on the path back to Gleann an t-Slugain and the bikes. It’s a nice ride back out.
Distance: 38km Ascent: 1350m Time: 9-12hrs
The cycle in from the Linn of Dee to reach Derry Lodge is pretty easy and makes the day easier. From the ruined lodge we continue towards Glen Luibeg before climbing up Sron Riach. This is a lovely ascent and leads onto the Cairngorm Plateau and Ben Macdui. The views from the Sputan Coire Dearg down to Lochan Uaine are fantastic. On the way to the summit of Ben Macdui we pass ruins of the Sappers’ Bothy. This was part of the Colby Camp used by the Ordnance Survey while mapping the Cairngorms in 1847. They also settled the debate as to whether Ben Macdui or Ben Nevis was the highest mountain in the UK.
After lunch at the top we retrace our steps a short distance before heading east. There’s a good path that leads down to Loch Etchachan, but we will break off and head to Creagan a’Choire Etchachan. This leads us out towards Derry Cairngorm and its boulder fields. At this point we could head out to another top and terrific viewpoint – Sgurr an Lochan Uaine. It’s a lovely spot, but adds about an hour to the day. Once on top of Derry Cairngorm the views of Coire Sputan Dearg are the perfect reward. There are some boulder fields as we descend before picking up a good path back to Derry Lodge. A pleasant cycle see us out to the Linn of Dee and the car park.
Distance: 30km Ascent: 1200m Time: 8-10hrs
Being situated right in the heart of the Cairngorms Beinn Mheadhoin has phenomenal views. We will approach from Glen Derry having cycled in to Derry Lodge. Instead of usual route up we will head up onto Stob Coire Etchachan. This Munro top is a superb viewpoint looking back down Glen Derry. It’s an easy walk from here up to the summit tor of Beinn Mheadhoin. The scramble on to the top is great fun and a great place to have lunch. We will descend to Stacan Dubha another Munro top and look down on Loch Avon. Another descent brings us onto the main path and the shores of Loch Etchachan. Once back on the path we follow it all the way back passing the Hutchison Memorial Hut on the way.
Distance: 36km Ascent: 900m Time: 8-10hrs