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Sligachan grand tour Skye

busta gonadbusta gonad Posts: 162
edited September 2009 in Routes
Whats the most satisfying way to ride this, i have read conflicting reports, anticlockwise looks the most feasable, but written up as clockwise in the mountain biking Scotland wild trails...........my gut feeling is south from Sligachan and miss out the punishing road climb at the end, by going around the peninsular, but that would make to much sense.

Would anyone like to share thier experiences of this ride, any beta much appreciated.

Posts

  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,609
    I did it the opposite way to what you suggest and it was fine but on balance I think that you are correct. You get the nice descent at the bottom of tyhe glen once you climb past the bothy that way.

    It's a nice run. There are drainage ditches near sil. hotel - take tubes.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • busta gonadbusta gonad Posts: 162
    edited July 2009
    So what did you think about the ride, technical enough?, it goes without saying just being in amongst the Cullin would be enough, planning on getting up there to do this ride in the autumn, so any tasty morsels of how good the ride is would be a real brucy bonus :lol:.
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,609
    Well the S. glen itself was fairly flat (for Skye). It's pretty much all rideable and technically not 'extreme' but it's enough to focus your attention. Mostly singletrack with a few river crossings (mostly dry when I did it 2 weeks ago), the occasional bog and lots of twists and rocks which demand your attention. I really enjoyed it - riding it at any sort of speed was really good fun. It's the sort of technically interesting riding that you could do all day - you just get in a rythm with it; at no point was any off road section 'a drag'. I did come off once on a wet river crossing - slippery rocks and got a puncture from mistiming a hop over a drainage ditch. Otherwise no hitches. There is a climb /descent at the bottom after Camasunary, as you move out of the glen - quite steep with long flowing descent afterwards towards Kilmarie. This bit could be described as a technical landrover track. I did it as a climb but I remember some rocky sections. Generally quite loose and fast I'd say. From Torrin I went back to Broadford (to meet up with the family) by road and had to miss out the Strath Mor off road bit iIm afraid. I read in a guide thatStrath Mor is slightly more difficult than Glen Silgachan. There was a nice cafe in Torrin by the way - directly opposite the path up Strath Beag. The Silgachan hotel is good stop too - nice beer garden! The scenary is amazing. Hope that helps.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • John MooreJohn Moore Posts: 580
    If it's in the MBR always do it in the other direction :wink:
  • Paulie WPaulie W Posts: 1,492
    I did the route the OP is suggesting a couple of years ago. The first half of the ride which takes you to Camasunary and then up and down a fast mildly technical rocky descent is the best bit. The second half (along Strath Mor) was just a bit of a grind only just rideable in sections (not in a technical way more in a boggy way) - its possible that we missed some of the trail. This didnt spoil the ride mind mostly because of the scenery. Take the slightly longer road loop around the peninsular; the main road is a bit hairy in places.

    And a definite plus point - hopefully still is - was the micro brewery at Sligachan.
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,609
    Paulie W. - Yeah the brewery is in the hotel I think. I enjoyed it too!

    I'm not so sorry that I missed Strath Mor then.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • glen sligachan, well what can i say. (sept 09) having ridden all round the world i can honestly say this is one of the worst routes i have done.

    this was far from enjoyable (i know this is my first post so bear with the negativity please)

    the route in from the hotel was ok, lots of water bars then very eroded but 90% rideable. the views are just stupendous though, possibly worth all the pain.

    once you get to the cairn things get a bit easier until the first loch where its just bog with no discernable trail, wear your wet socks. its a push for another 20mins or so, then a nice ride down into the bay. again fantastic views. the uphill over the pass is about 80% unrideable very loose steep rocky. the ride back down to the first road is ok but very rough, probably good on a full susser but be careful of going too fast and getting punctures. the road ride round to the next single track is quite good and scenerific.

    at the return singletrack just after the bridge is where the real misery starts, only about 10% of it is rideable with the start hidden under the swollen lochan. once it appears again its good trail but at the next lochan the trail is gone, just hiking through bog till you get to luib. absolutely no maintenance seems to be done on this trail and you will be knee deep in peat at points. this completely ruined the route for me and fiance, leaving us cold tired wet and miserable. to be faced with a 9.5mile road ride back to the hotel.

    sorry but this is not mountain biking 15miles of road, and about 5 miles of pushing. if i had paid anyone to guide me on this i would have demanded my money back.

    it may have been a classic a few years back but not anymore. i think a better option is to just head to the bay from sligachan hotel and then back again.

    sorry for negativity, i wil lpost much more happy in future

    peace out
  • I reckon you need to MTFU :wink: Seemingly it has been hosing it down for fifty days straight on Skye, wettest summer for 148 yrs or summat..

    You are not the first person to whinge about the man eating bogs, thinking about leaving my assault to next summer now.
  • MTFU :shock: .. having ridden all of whistler squamish, pemberton in 2 solids week of wet, better than most folk can ride Glentress blue in the dry. and numerous manly trails in italy spain, france and sweden, and 15 years of scottish riding, your right i should have expected and coped with sligachan at a much higher level. :lol:

    i'm new to this forum, so i have no idea what the typical level of riding is from the members here, or more importantly what they expect from a trail, in my lowly defence i was just trying to point out that sligachan is not as great as all that. and defenately would not advise a specific trip to ride it. i just felt that 20 out of 27 miles on a epic mtb route not involving actual mountain biking was a big let down.. sorry if it was a bit negative and this reply is only to defend my good manly name. although i am probably just making myself look like a censored . any new posts will be much better
  • Paulie WPaulie W Posts: 1,492
    MTFU :shock: .. having ridden all of whistler squamish, pemberton in 2 solids week of wet, better than most folk can ride Glentress blue in the dry. and numerous manly trails in italy spain, france and sweden, and 15 years of scottish riding, your right i should have expected and coped with sligachan at a much higher level. :lol:

    i'm new to this forum, so i have no idea what the typical level of riding is from the members here, or more importantly what they expect from a trail, in my lowly defence i was just trying to point out that sligachan is not as great as all that. and defenately would not advise a specific trip to ride it. i just felt that 20 out of 27 miles on a epic mtb route not involving actual mountain biking was a big let down.. sorry if it was a bit negative and this reply is only to defend my good manly name. although i am probably just making myself look like a fool. any new posts will be much better

    Without wishing to state the obvious, the prime reason for riding anywhere on Skye is Skye itself. You can stick your Glentresses and your Whistlers for my money, fun as they are - riding, even carrying, your bike through the wilds of somewhere like Skye is what mountain biking is really about!
  • oh god, i feel like i'm making myself a right censored here., and we are now going completely off topic, first off, when i say whistler, i dont mean A-line or crab apple hits, i would assume you have never actually ridden whistler for you to recommend sticking it it anywhere other than your list of must ride places, the park in the upper section has trails more natural and gnarly than anything you will ever likely see in scotland - original sin, goats gully, captain safety to name but a few, with scenic views to put skye to shame, secondly i will assume you have never ridden xc at whistler- cut yer bars, thrill me kill me, comfortably numb, section 102 would put any trail in the world to shame for their technicality, exposure, outtthere wilderness (dont see any cougars chasing me down in scotland) and again fantastic views. Pemberton and squamish ... it does not get more natural than there and would make most so called scottish mountain bikers cry for their peatbogs.

    having ridden most of the routes in the angus glens, loch brandy, loch muick, old jocks road, glen isla, ben alder, little glenshee, the lomond hills, the sidlaws, aviemore, the pentlands, a route at the back of schehalliion above loch tay sorrry dont know the name, numerous epics round dunkeld, pitmedden (fife), isle of harris and so forth. i feel i have some knowledge on what makes a good natural route , and believe me 20 miles of not riding offroad out of 27 is not a good natural route, yes skye is awesome,.....awesome walking, awesome climbing, awesome road riding, awesome wildlife spotting, but as far as mountain biking is concerned (bear in mind my only taste is glen sligachan - if there are better then let us know) it has awesome views but is far from awesome to ride.

    so unless you rode it that week you have no idea what condition it was like when i rode it..
    i have said in previous post though, that a much more ideal way to ride it would be just the glen sligachan part to the bay and back at least you will be riding 95% of the time and still get a long ride out of it.

    you obviously feel that pushing your bike or riding it on road is about your favoured level of riding, however i must agree you can stick glentress for my money too......unless you know about the secret double black stuff, not a metal chip in sight!!! :lol:
  • Your points are very valid, from personal experience there is a lot of hype associated with riding off piste in this country, from my limited knowledge( a born again mtbiker for a year so far) many of the classic rides are flawed in some way, i have ridden all the usual suspects this year, Snowdon, Helvellyn, Can Ban mor and still i feel something is lacking, although i have to say the best ride so far and one i would highly rate is over the Calf and down Bowderdale in the Howgills, truly amazing scenery with class A singletrack. My quest to discover the finest biking in this country is still on, i had hoped Skye would offer just that, my quest continues......and now abroad i have heard of this amazing trail named the holy trail(grail) above Chamonix ..... Canada for riding looks amazing, i have climbed there a couple of times and consisider it exceptional in every way.
  • Paulie WPaulie W Posts: 1,492
    There was a tongue-in-cheek element to my post. Like most sane people I prefer to ride something that flows and offers a technical but rideable challenge especially if that can be married up with an epic, wilderness feel and fantastic scenery. Having ridden Glen Sligachan, even if in better conditions than you, I can see how it might be less than rideable for long stretches - I even said that this was my experience in an earlier post. My point was that this is natural riding and the expectation that the trail should be maintained in places like Strath Mor, which you actually raised, strikes me as a little naive a naievety that is suprising given the long, long list of places you have ridden in the past - especially given there are good few potential 'pushers' in this list.
  • true true. sorry about the long list, its a bad habit i have, especially when i'm trying to get my point across. and i did note there was a bit of tongue in cheek, but perhaps i have been a bit too defensive in my replies.

    with regards to the strath mor section being maintained, i was in no way meaning glentress style motorway. but more of the glen sligachan side style would have been preferred. however i am fully aware that any scottish natural route will involve walking. its just i prefer it to be because of a mechanical, too steep, or too technical, not because of peatbog.
    i also prefer circular routes rather than outandbacks. but to fight over the 2 - peat bog circular or rideable outandback the latter will always win for me. i have walking boots, i have a road bike, DH bike and a xc bike, all of which i only use one of at a time and prefer not to be on a route thinking i wish i had taken the other instead.

    reading all this makes me think i am a spoilt git, with too many toys and far too many fabulous rides under my belt which then makes me scoff when i dont get things as good as before. case of too much belgian chocolate im afraid.

    dont know how many will agree on this but i will leave my review on glens sligachan as

    slightly technical first half with astounding views
    annoying hike a bike climb out of bay. (but perfectly acceptable in scottish mountains)
    good descent to road
    pleasant 5 mile road ride to next section
    80% unrideable 4 miles of singletrack/peatbog
    9.5 mile road ride with big hills back to base.

    time anywhere between 5 and 8 hours depending on skill and fitness

    5/10 ... 8/10 if ridden as glen sligachan only
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