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Ben Nevis route???

sofaboy73sofaboy73 Posts: 574
edited September 2010 in Routes
me and a mate are trying to sort out an MTB version of the three peaks (i hasten too add not in 24 hours, more on three consecutive days).

anyway, snowdon is all sorted - up the llanberis and down the rangers. Obvisously can't ride on Scafell so were aiming at Helvellyn instead (i think i'm right in thinking it's the highest ride in England).

However, I'm coming unstuck with Ben Nevis. Only been up it once years ago and don't know any riding route up or around it. Had a scout at an OS map and a few possible ideas but would appreactiate so real world input - anyone help?

Posts

  • Buckled_RimsBuckled_Rims Posts: 1,648
    There's only one real route up Ben Nevis that's bikable and that's the tourist route. However, I've never seen a bike on there so not sure if it's legal, despite the fact everything else goes up :wink:

    I know the Ben well, so i can tell you there's no route north, east or south unless you want to carry a bike 99% of the way up. Only the west tourist route and that's very steep in places.

    I see lots of bikes on Helvellyn, which as you said is slightly higher then Skiddaw the next bikeable mountain. Not sure if Scafell Pike would be bikable as it's all volcanic rock on the top.

    The best mountain in England I've biked is Cross Fell on the bridlepath from Garrigill, it's fast...very fast back down :lol:
    CAAD9
    Kona Jake the Snake
    Merlin Malt 4
  • Paulie WPaulie W Posts: 1,492
    It's legal but not tremendous fun because it is, as noted, up a busy path. MBR did a series on big mounatin rides in 2008 - Ben Nevis, Snowdon, Helvellyn.
  • sofaboy73sofaboy73 Posts: 574
    Hi Guys, thanks for the replies.

    Paulie - Do you know what the name of the path, starting point or grid reff is for the route up? I missed that copy of MBR so don't have access to the route details.

    Alterbatively, i 've heard there's a decnt route around the flanks of Ben Nevis. form what i've been told it's a big day on the bike or a bivy oevr night, can anyone shed any light?

    thanks for the help
  • Buckled_RimsBuckled_Rims Posts: 1,648
    There's only 1 route by bike, it starts at the vistor centre in Glen Nevis or the pub at grid ref:

    NN126728

    The only other routes is a semi-rock climb over Cain Mor Dearg arete

    I really can't think of a flank route either. I've been all around Ben Nevis and it's hard enough walking up Steall. There's the road up Glen Nevis, but then it reaches woods and becomes extremely boogy near the waterfall of Greys mare tail.

    The only route I can think of is the Coire Leis up to the mountain hut, after that forget it it's got between 40% and 100% gradients :wink:

    The route you heard is probably one the Aonach Mor/Beag routes, but called Ben Nevis as nobody in England can pronouch it. LOL.
    CAAD9
    Kona Jake the Snake
    Merlin Malt 4
  • sofaboy73sofaboy73 Posts: 574
    thanks foor the detailed response buckled rims.

    will have to do some closer inspection of the map and a bit of google earth action.

    the tourist route up from the pub / visitor centre - how rideable do you reckon it is? How does it compare to something like snowdon?
  • Buckled_RimsBuckled_Rims Posts: 1,648
    I've never ridden up either Snowdon or the Ben, but been on top of both a quite a few times.

    From the pub to the Lochan is rough but possibly mostly bikable in a low gear. Once you get on the zigzags, starting at 700m, it becomes murderous with the steepness and scree. having said that a Model T Ford managed to drive up so it might be better slightly off path.

    I've just had a look on Youtube and this is one vid that you might be interested in, there's not much biking but it'll show you the height and terrain.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfreuEwDcxc

    Best of luck.
    CAAD9
    Kona Jake the Snake
    Merlin Malt 4
  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,588
    ...a Model T Ford managed to drive up...
    Wasn't it carried up?

    sofaboy: there isn't a hope in hell of riding a bike up the Tourist Path to the top of the Ben. There's a track up to the CIC hut which is hike-a-bike but not exactly 'fun'.

    Snowdon via the Llanberis path is mostly rideable but it is relentless and I think it's a mistake to give it 100% and ride it all because the descent is just as demanding.
  • Buckled_RimsBuckled_Rims Posts: 1,648
    .blitz wrote:
    ...a Model T Ford managed to drive up...
    Wasn't it carried up?

    sofaboy: there isn't a hope in hell of riding a bike up the Tourist Path to the top of the Ben. There's a track up to the CIC hut which is hike-a-bike but not exactly 'fun'.

    I always though it was driven up, but I concede I might have been wrong.

    Thinking about it, it's possible to bike up to the Lochan and cross around the North West flank down to the mountain hut (CIC) in the Coire Leis and back down to Fort William (zooming through the golf course for a bit of fun :wink: )
    CAAD9
    Kona Jake the Snake
    Merlin Malt 4
  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,588
    Thinking about it, it's possible to bike up to the Lochan and cross around the North West flank down to the mountain hut (CIC) in the Coire Leis and back down to Fort William (zooming through the golf course for a bit of fun :wink: )
    That would be pretty good IMO :)
  • busta gonadbusta gonad Posts: 162
    Yeah as has already been said, the"pony track" on the Ben is hike a bike, picture a big rocky armoured staircase below the col, above its just very loose and rocky, i have been down it on foot a few times, i would imagine a big bike would be the weapon of choice, Snowdon and Hellvelyn are in a different league as bicycle descents, much fun to be had.
  • sofaboy73sofaboy73 Posts: 574
    don't worry, they'll be plenty of pushing up snowdon. haven ridden it before, i plan to double the pushing this time - well it would do to look like a sweaty wreck in the shiny new coffee shop now would it!

    thnaks for the input guys, will check out that alternate route on thee OS
  • MountainPeteMountainPete Posts: 418
    I'd recommend walking the routes before you cycle them. Sounds a bit pansyish I know, but a lot of Ben Nevis and Scarfell will be unrideable...
  • EdwardHEdwardH Posts: 4
    The Ben is pretty much all doable. It is a hike a bike to the top - took four and a half hours for me and bar a few rock steps is all rideable (I think an over the handlebars effort on the first real nasty one put me off the rest) We started from the SYHA hostel in Glen Nevis.
    The path down from the CIC hut is also a great run and well worth pushing up for - there is an MTBCut video of this somewhere out there.
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,609
    There is a great route around Ben Nevis - not up.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • yeah what edwardH said!!
    do you have a date penciled in? to avoid snow and walkers
    i've recently done these 3 so this may be of interest? www.bmycharity.com/24triplesummitdownhill
    any fool can get wet
    they all float down here georgie
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