Sunday, 13 September 2009

Another Skye Trip!

Please click on any of the pics to see them at a decent size!


Just realised how long it's been since I updated this! Lots of beautiful weddings which I absolutely will get around to posting here......

In the meantime, I've just returned from visiting my parents in Struan, Skye, . Managed to squeeze the bike in this time - always wanted to take it, but somehow there's never been enough room, what with dogs, luggage and the wife :-)

I really fancied doing Glen Sligichan, but was told that a lot of the river crossings would be impassable, due to the huge amount of recent rain. Didn't really fancy cycling hub-deep through a bog, so turned my attention to Glen Brittle, and the Forest of Brittle instead.
I parked up at Carbost and cycled up the road a few miles (and I do mean UP!) to the start of the forest track.  Then realised I'd left the map in the car and had to go back for it.  Grand.
The pic at the top is right at the start of a nine mile circular route through the Forest of Brittle.  Not exactly hard core, but enough to whet the appetite.  Good variation in terrain and lots of routes to choose from.  Pretty hilly too, so warmed the muscles up nicely.

_
_
Unfortunately, the route I chose led to the situation above - after a good three minute steep descent, the track was completely blocked by felled trees.  Great big fir trees at that.  No getting through them, but determination will out, and I managed to scramble above them and make my way along the treeline - even managed a few pedals!!  On the other side, three forestry workers stood with their mouths open as I attempted to climb down a muddy cliff with my bike on my back, using felled trees to hold on to.
One joker quipped, "Did ye no' see the signs?  Ye'll hae to go back"..  Ho ho, how I laughed.
_
After flailing about in the forest for a while, I popped out right at the start of the trail which leads up to the fantastically named, 'Fairy Pools' - a series of pools and waterfalls overlooked by the massive bulk of the Cuillins.  The sun came out and I knew I'd have to take the trail or forever feel like a total woose.  The pic above ^ ^ shows the start of the ascent.  It was a ratio of about 20% riding to 80% pushing / carrying all the way to the top of the pass - around 360 feet (height, not distance!!).
_
Looking back down into Glen Brittle from Bealach a Mhaim ^ ^  The going was pretty rough - lots of unrideable rocky sections and some hoppable drainage channels.
_

The start of the descent ^ ^  I had to force myself to get off the bike to take a pic - this was the most fun I've had on a bike in years!!  Who needs trail centres?!  The same features which were unrideable on the way up the other side suddenly flowed under the tyres - the faster I went, the easier it got!
Stopped to take a quick 5 shots for stitching into a panorama later....  Shortly after this, had my one and miraculously only fall.  A crazy dog was bounding up the hill towards me with its anxious owners bellowing at it to stop.  Because I was watching the dog, I lost my line, and took a header off a three foot drop.  No lasting damage and the dog was fine too.

_
Final shot of the day - I was glad to see the hotel nestled in the glen below.  Would have stopped for a pint, but had a 14 Km uphill road bash back to the car at Carbost - some of the hardest riding ever - I was pretty shattered.....
_

No comments: