The Glen Finglas Mell Trail by Bike

The Glen Finglas Mell trail is situated in the heart of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, and is a terrific cycle route for the intermediate but reasonably fit rider.

The majority of the trail itself consists of land rover track so the riding is by no means technical, however, a lot of speed can be gained on the descent and there is definitely the potential for accidents, so it’s important to control your speed. The views from start to finish are just spectacular and it’s a very worthwhile day out.

To access the car park, turn right at Brig o’ Turk by the tea room and continue to the end of the road  where you will find parking on your left hand side for about 5-6 cars. From here the route begins with a climb up a steep minor road (the right hand side road at the fork – do not head towards the dam) which offers an excellent view of what lies ahead from its high point.

Glen Finglas Mell Trail 2

You then start to descend and eventually reach a farm where the minor road becomes a land rover track (after approximately 2km). Follow this hilly track for a further 1.6km and you will reach a fork (just before a bridge). From here we took the left fork towards Glen Finglas and continued around the north side of the reservoir, however, it’s possible to do the circuit in either direction.

3.5km after the junction and many photos later you will eventually reach a ford on the trail. Depending on the water levels it is possible to ride through this – and if you do this will definitely be one of the highlights of your day (remember bigger splashes = bigger grins)! We would advise riding through it slowly at first though before going back for round two … full speed down the hill, off the brakes and ploughing into the water! There is also a bridge for when the water is too high.

Glen Finglas Mell Trail

The long lung bursting climb then begins! Its 3.6km, but a good chunk of it is a gentle traverse with a steepening at the start and finish. You’re rewarded at the high point of the track (marked by a large cairn) with panoramic views over to the Corbetts: Ben Vane and Ben Ledi and the Munros: Ben Vorlich, Stuc a’Chroin and Ben Lomond…and of course the fast descent that lies ahead!

Glen Finglas Mell Trail 3

Without stopping to take in the views you would be back down at the head of Glen Meann within a matter of minutes. It’s definitely worth having a few breaks to spend some time admiring the scenery.

Eventually you will re-join the original track by the reservoir for the return trip to the car.

Distance: 22km

Height Gain: 860 metres

An alternative start, adding a few more kilometres onto your route would be to park at the Glen Finglas car park 1km east of Brig o’ Turk, just off the A821. Follow a marked path which begins with a steep climb and you will eventually join the minor road. Make a right turn here and follow the road to reach the farm which marks the start of the land rover track and follow the remainder of the route as above.

A Winter Expedition – Monadh Mor and Beinn Bhrotain

Finally, a high pressure weather system!!

On Monday we headed up to the Cairngorms (best looking weather forecast) for a 2 day mini adventure. We had 3 munros left to do in the area, accessible from Glen Feshie, so did these with a wild camp on the plateau.

Day one was Mullach Clach a Bhlair, a fairly insignificant Munro, but it was worthwhile nonetheless. We then camped near Tom Dubh in our new Hilleberg Nallo 3 GT. The front porch completely opens up so we had amazing views whilst lying in bed!

Sunrise!

Sunrise!

View from the tent - Sgor Goaith

View from the tent – Sgor Goaith

The next day we headed up Monadh Mor and Beinn Bhrotain in the most amazing weather we have had all season. Blue skies all round…felt quite alpine like. It was warming up throughout the day on Tuesday so snow was getting a little slushy underfoot, but not enough to slow our progress.

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Some debris from cornice collapse

Beinn Bhrotain Summit

Beinn Bhrotain Summit

More pictures can be found in our facebook album.

Winter Mountain Leader Training

For the past week, we have been up at Glenmore Lodge on our Winter ML training. The first 4 days were more workshop based looking at teaching skills to novices and ropework for security on steep ground. We then went out on exped, dug an awesome snow hole and had an amazing view of the Aurora Borealis from the slopes of Cairn Gorm whilst doing some night nav.

Coire an t-Sneachda on 26.2.14

Coire an t-Sneachda on 26.2.14

Our 4 man Snowhole

Our 4 man Snowhole

Keith and Kieran enjoying our newly built accomodation

Keith and Kieran enjoying our newly built accomodation

Sunrise on Friday 28th February

Sunrise on Friday 28th February

Cairn Gorm Summit Weather Station

Cairn Gorm Summit Weather Station

Ben Lomond

On Saturday, John, Keith and I headed up Ben Lomond via the Ptarmigan. With forecasts not looking great for most of the highlands, we searched for a break in the weather and ended up with excellent views and blue skies for the majority of our day :-)

Looking South Down Loch Lomond

Looking South Down Loch Lomond

Ben Lomond Summit

Ben Lomond Summit

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Ski Touring in Glenshee

Last Tuesday (11th February), we skiied up Glas Maol via the Meall Odhar ski tows then headed down Sron na Gaoithe before dropping into Coire Fionn. Conditions were excellent, with extensive cover above 650m.

Fraser, Janey & Pete on top of the buried ski tow

Fraser, Janey & Pete on top of the buried ski tow

Skinning on the Glas Maol plateau

Skinning on the Glas Maol plateau

Looking up Coire Fionn

Looking up Coire Fionn

 

MTA