Guided Biking – Cairngorm

skills test in car park
I am lucky enough to live in the Scottish Highlands and work for Rohan, but recently I was approached by my former employers at Cairngorm Mountain to see if i would like to spend some time getting familiar with their new guided bike trail on the mountain. Did I need asking twice ? No! The Cairngorms have been my playground now for some 30 years, walking, Alpine skiing, Ski Mountaineering, Snowboarding, biking, wildlife watching and climbing, there’s so much to do I ended up moving here in the mid 90’s and no amount of cajoling from the central belt has brought me home. This is now my home, and what a home.

CairnGorm Mountain walking-hiking are now offering a mountain bike ride from the Ptarmigan top station all the way down to Rothiemurchus involving a guided descent of nearly 3000 ft.

The exciting new activity starts from the car park in Coire Cas where participants are issued with their bikes to take on the funicular mountain railway before undertaking a spectacular mountain ridge to river ride down paths through the ski area to the car park then on down the old ski road before following their guide on a route via Loch Morlich and the Old Logging Way finishing at Rothiemurchus.

Myself and Matt, (Rohan Aviemore) arrived at the Cairngorm Car park, after dropping one car off at Rothiemurchus, the finish point nine miles away, at just before 1.30pm to meet up with our Guides for the afternoon, Euan and Justine. We joined a group which included a good friend of mine Ross Dunn, a gentleman from Sweden and a young lad of 15. We all got kitted up and then went to the lower Cas car park to do some skills, to check everybody’s riding levels. From there we made our way to the funicular train and loaded up and we were dropped off at middle station adjacent to the Coire Cas T-bar. The first run took us back down the access road to the Base Station, on a run known as the Home Road in winter, a green ski run, but a gravelly, slippy bike run today.

We all met up again at the car park ready to get on the next train this time to the Ptarmigan building at 3000ft, at this point the younger lad decided not to go from the top so he and Justine got off the train at the middle as we went to the top.

Iain, Matt and Euan at the top

Standing at the top of the M1 poma we gathered to head down the run, via the access road, or for those that know it on a Piste map via the Traverse, 105, Upper Cas, Zig Zags and then the Home road. It was fast, gravelly and skiddy but great fun, Ross came a cropper on the Zig Zags, you can see him in the vid next to the fence, we met up with the other two and headed of down the Ski road, till we came to the old Ski road and turned off here, this took us down to the Sugarbowl corner as it is known and we then used the main road to Glenmore, before turning left onto the forestry road that takes you round the back of Loch Morlich. A nice gentle ride from here on in, chatting in pairs or listening to our guides talking about the area and its wildlife etc, we turned right at the bottom of Loch Morlich and headed for the Old Logging way that is a custom bike and walk path which took us all the way back into Rothiemurchus and we all made our leisurely way down to the end of our journey next to Rothiemurchus visitor centre. Finishing about 4.30pm.

Three hours worth of riding in good company with excellent guides. It is £40, but this includes bike, helmet, gloves, glasses and knee and shin protectors as well as a funicular ticket valid for one week. All in all pretty good value, and something new to do in the Cairngorms National Park.

Kit List:

Rohan Windrider Jacket
Rohan Cadence Polo

Iain – Rohan Inverness

 

Rohan Heritage

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