|XC Bike Trails in Glencoe Mountain Resort Area|
After hearing from Andy and a few others that the ‘weasel track’ (named after the ex military vehicle used to ferry skiers up back in the days before the chairlift) was rideable I decided to give it a go as well as exploring a few other trails in the area. As usual it was a pretty cold start, 10 degrees in the car park can be hovering on freezing point at the top of the chair, and a roadie like me, with nowt but lycra on can get a little chilly on the ride up! Once up there the first challenge was actually finding the track, on OS maps it comes off the top of the chair so I tried following the contours along but couldn’t see anything so decided to descend pretty much straight down.
Soon enough I was along side the DH track and as it would happen the start of the weasel… For those of you wanting to try the track follow the DH run until you get under the chair heading along the hillside to the riders right, on the corner where it gets steep there is a wide gap in the snow fence…that’s the weasel! (See photo)So…the weasel is as promised a more gradual descent, for the most part it runs along the hillside with no real steep sections, drainage isn’t great, not really a surprise given it has hardly been used in 50 years! In parts it is wheel stoppingly boggy, nothing some rocks won’t sort in the future but for now if you are a bit cautious like me you will be hopping over those parts, or bunny hopping if the skill level is there. The track has some really fun rock slabs which are surprisingly grippy and some tight little singletrack which seems to be the rise in the middle of the vehicle tracks. I wouldn’t say it is fully rideable but its fun none the less.
Eventually the track joins onto what is marked as ‘Old Military road’ on OS maps, this for me is where the real fun started, the track is surprisingly dry and fast and I battered down to join the WHW down by Ba Cottage, really fun, even on a hardtail. The West Highland Way was fun too, fast and wide with some tough little climbs but mostly downhill, make yourself obvious when approaching walkers though, often they are in a bit of a daze from such a long trek and get a bit of a fright when you come speeding past them! The track joining the WHW to the bottom of the Glencoe Mountain Resort car park is also fun, now that the drainage ditches are sorted.
After a quick drink I headed over to the Kingshouse along the WHW, which for this stretch is tarmac for some reason, after sharing a powerbar with the friendly deer at Kingshouse I headed over the bridge and to the right along the track marked ‘Rannoch Public Path’ from here it is 19km to Rannoch on a well made dirt track as good as any of the forestry commission ones in the Trossachs, I would say this kind of thing would be Ideal for families and those who want a non technical ride, it has great views and is really peaceful as you ride along next to a gently meandering stream. The ride up to the mast about three KM along is quite fun too, first you ford the stream and then tackle a steep little gravel track.
Photos here - FLICKR
There seems to be plenty of existing trails to explore in the area so get on up here and check them out!