Munro: a Scottish hill over 3000ft (915m). We’d been climbing them off and on for the past decade and, having acquired a habit of cycling to peaks in the Andes, thought we’d give it a whirl in Scotland on newly acquired Genesis Caribou fatbikes. Fully expecting the weather to be lousy we foresaw cutting the trip short when it became too miserable, but after the wettest summer in years we got lucky – just the 1 hour of drizzle in 12 days. Cue some fantastic off-road biking and hiking in some wild, unspoilt landscapes.
Assembling bikes by torchlight at Lairg station.
En route to Ben Hope, the second of the trip’s eleven Munros.
Sizing up Ben Hope, and working out where to stash the fatties as we trotted up the hill on foot.
The luggage setup revolved around dry bags and podsac straps. Not the quickest or most convenient way to store kit, but it was cheap, waterproof and worked pretty well.
About to head off-road into Glen Golly.
The ferocity of the midges took us by surprise and meant camping was not the relaxing experience it normally is. Until we were able to get our hands on some midge nets, the face buff was the best protection.
A fun little shortcut to Arkle.
Our Arkle campsite, complete with Foinavon views.
Foinavon, on the walk up Arkle.
Near the top of Arkle.
Descending from Arkle to Loch Stack.
Nearing the paving after the descent from Arkle.
Off-road near Ben Stack.
Checking we’re on-track, near Ben Stack.
Descending to Kylestrome.
Ben More Assynt.
On Ben More Assynt.
Still on Ben More Assynt.
Sunset in Lochinver. We detoured to the coast on day 5 for the only well stocked shops of the 12 day trip.
Our bothy home for the night, complete with dartboard.
Descending a windy Suilven.
Taking the rough route to Ledmore Junction.
By Cam Loch, getting to the end of a good few hours of pushing.
Riding along the shores of Cam Loch.
Heading upvalley on the deserted road in Strathcarron.
Some impassive wildlife in Gleann Mor.
Riding up Gleann Mor.
Some nice 4WD tracks in Gleann Mor.
Looking west from the summit of Am Faochagach.
…and the view north-west.
With phone reception hard to come by the Munro tops were the most reliable bet. Neil managed to organise a job interview in a gale on Suilven; here’s Haz checking the long term weather forecast.
Looking out from Glenbeg bothy at the deer.
Escaping the bogs in Gleann Beag. Not much riding was done up there…
A nice calf shot to finish. This is what happens when you use your leg to catch the pan of boiling water that’s falling off your camp stove…