Saturday, 4 January 2014
Another supposed must-go biking venue in Scotland is Torridon. Actually it all seems to boil down to one route, and that rotue is bascially a 35km ride to get to the top of an awesome descent. Start at the free campsite in Torridon village (905557 - a recommendation in itself, it even has free hot showers, though beware the village shop is never open at helpful tiems so bring supplies). Follow the a road east to the top of Loch Clair (002581). This is north Scotland so it's an A road with passing places and not too unpleasant (in fact the worst bit is drivers waiting patiently for you in passing places so you feel you need to hurry to let them go by....). Follow the doubletrack along the east side of Loch Clair. There's a bit of singletrack along the NE side of Loch Coulin to break it up. Then climb steadily on doubletrack up the Coulin Pass (024500). In theory the descent is on doubletrack too, but when we were there the Forestry Commission had diverted onto some newly built, slide-your-back-wheel-round-in-the-mud style singletrack which was entertaining. Descend to join the road at Achnashellach Station (002482). Curse the fact that one one has thought to build a cafe anywehre in this valley to feed hungry mountain bikers. Follow the road SE to Coulags (957451) and set off into the hills again. This climb is much worse and involves quite a lot of pushing. Don't get too enthusiastic on the bits you can ride that you smash your back wheel on a drainage bar and disscovere that your pump is a bit shoddy..... There is a bothy (940480) part way along. The summit is Bealach la Nice (934508). Then enjoy the descent all the way back to the campsite. It's all single track. Not desperatley technical but occasionally goes onto slickrock so you cna make it as hard as you like. Is sustianed all the way down - lovely!