Pete joined Mark from Alba MountainBike and trials whizz Ali Clarkson for a perfect day of even better singletrack hidden away in the Scottish Highlands.

The sun came out in force for the triumvirate as they navigated singletrack Scottish roads for many, many miles until they struck gold. Almost one thousand vertical metres of gold, that is.

Loading up on sweets, water and factor 50 above a loch that was as flat as a mill pond. The perfect day for an adventure.

The long, sweaty hike-a-bike had to be one of the steepest we’d encountered but steepness means you gain you’re height quickly, and it wasn’t long before some impressive views opened up.

The access track below was our route in and the Munros to the south start to peep above those closer in. We hadn’t had phone signal for an hour by now, and that would change until we were back in civilisation.

Oh Scotland. Luminous green after a long, sunny summer, and with the flowers out in force, it couldn’t have been a better time to head high. Only one of the roads you can see here has tarmac on it…

Don’t be fooled. Scotland’s peaks are famed for their false summits, thankfully, this would be the only one of the day but sported a particularly sketchy bedrock section just before the top.

Still going up. You can’t get to over 1000m without putting a shift in. By this point we were sweating heavily and looking forward to a breeze at the top.

Views for days! Time to take in the view, relish the breeze and inhale some Haribo before the descent back to the loch began. The reservoir below and the singletrack ahead the only man-made influence we could see from this vantage point.

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Pete may or may not have been fairly excited to happen across the tail feather of a juvenile Golden Eagle on the march to the top.

Droppin’! Time to reap the rewards of the three hour mission to the summit. What would follow would be the best part of an hour of singletrack heaven.

Mr Alba Mountain Bike, Mark Clark making tracks under the high sun, doing his best to keep Ali honest.

But no luck. Ali would be hot on our heels for the duration of the descent.

Airstrip in the middle of nowhere anyone? The glen here is popular with deer stalkers and our route would take in some of their handiwork, the airstrip helps the rich get out here to seek out the big stags.

Ali coming in hot and almost tucking the front and head-butting Pete in the process.

Bog cotton = Scottish summer. You know summer is here when the white, fluffing heads of the bog cotton dance along the breeze.

And you know you’re at the bottom of the hill in Scotland when there’s something other than grass and flowers growing. By this point brakes were fried, as were the arms, but the grins could not have been wider.

If you want to be shown around some Scottish Highland gold then you need to give Mark at Alba MountainBike a shout.


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