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Venue: Carn Ban Mor

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No. of Trails: 2
Car Park
From Aviemore take the B970 towards Inverdruie, and turn right towards Feshiebridge. Just before you get to the bridge take a left hand turn onto a single track road with passing places. Continue along this road until you get to the car park.

Click here to see a detailed map and information about any additional locations.
Carn Ban Mor is a legendary ride amongst the locals. Basically you climb up beyond the height to qualify the hill as a Munro (but it’s not one because there is a bigger hill too close by, Sgor Gaoith). Then you get the whole descent all in one go right back down again.

The road continues on beyond the car park indicated by the map above, but there is nowhere to park a car further up the road.

Be careful of the elements on this ride. It is marked as ‘Epic’ for a reason, you are properly out in the hills. It has a combination of altitude and remoteness, so you need to be prepared for rapidly changing weather etc.

Trails at Carn Ban Mor


Trail TitleLength (Miles)Ascent (Mtrs)Time (Hrs)Tech GradeFitness Grade
Trail 112.68254 Hard Very Hard
Carn Ban Mor & 2 Munros16.810087 Hard Very Hard

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Comments and ratings for Trail 1
Did this in July 2013 and the trail up was loose gravel/rock and not that cycle-able once you started ascending the Trail. Once at the top you could cycle between the two Munros quite easily. But th... read whole comment...
slam13867 gave this trail 2 stars about 6 years ago gave this trail 5 stars about 8 years ago
This is a fantastic day out in a real mountain environment. As an alternative, at tag 4 turn right and continue along the track towards the summit cairn of Mullach Clach a Bhlair and bag yourself a mu... read whole comment...
wildhighlander gave this trail 5 stars about 8 years ago
A classic ride! This is one of those rides where you feel like you get a great return on your climbing investment. But definitely one for a nice sunny day!
wayne gave this trail 5 stars about 8 years ago
Doing this ride on a day with sun, clouds, rain, hail, snow, hail, rain, clouds and sun, in that order, was very good. I can only imagine how spectacular it would have been in blue sky and sunshine. ... read whole comment... gave this trail 5 stars about 8 years ago

Trail 1

Viewed 1969 times
Length: 12.6 Miles
Ascent: 825 m
Time: 4 hrs
Tech Grade: Hard
Fitness Grade: Very Hard
Av. Trail Rating:
(5 votes so far)
From the car park you have a flat spin along the road for a mile or so until you get to a small house where the singletrack starts. This trail is quite natural compacted mud and small rocks. At this stage the landscape is open heathland.

At Tag1 you have the first river crossing. The boulders normally allow you to get over this with dry feet. At Tag2 you have another river crossing, and again if you pick a good place to cross you shouldn’t get wet.

Then you go along the edge of the forest on a very eroded trail which is slipping down the bank in various places. Eventually the trail evens out and you have a gentle spin up to Tag3

At this point you take a left turn up a fire road. At first this looks innocuous enough, and then it starts to get a bit steeper, and then it twists and turns, and as you turn each corner you keep expecting it to level out a bit to give you a rest. But it doesn’t. That’s because this is not just any fire road, it’s the biggest lung busting fire road climb you are ever likely to do (almost 700m vertical over 2.5 miles). It’s not so steep that it’s technically hard to ride at any point, and it’s a fireroad so it is a solid and secure surface, but it just stays relentlessly steep for so long that it is quite a fitness challenge.

Eventually you’ll reach the top at Tag4. From here you have an undulating transit along the top of the hills on rough fireroads until you get to Tag5. At this point you take a sharp left turn back on yourself and ride up the last climb of the day. This section is singletrack, but it runs through open grassland and is quite undefined in places and boggy in others.

At Tag6 you have reached the very top of the hill, and it is all down from here. The start of the descent gives you a massive vista over the whole mountain range beneath you (if you have time to look at it). Very open, very rocky, and quite steep in places. The rocks are large boulders, and the trail is very wide and washed-out, so line choice is often not obvious. There are also loads of ‘wheel stoppers’ so you do need to be careful. But the trail is so open, and you can see so far out in front of you, that you are able to go quite fast even if this is your first time on the track because you can adapt to what is coming well in advance.

The descent just goes on and on and on. It all makes the epic fireroad climb from earlier seem worth it. Eventually the trail changes character a bit as you get to the tree line and it becomes more about compacted mud and smaller boulders in a narrower trail. This is where the drainage ditches start. This section is great fun too, but do be careful of walkers because it is much more closed-in and there are many blind corners.

Ultimately you come out back on the tarred road you started on and head back to the car park with a massive smile on your face (hopefully!).

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Comments and ratings for Carn Ban Mor & 2 Munros
We did this in July 2017, we went up SG on a mix of walking tracks and sheep tracks by the look of it towards the top, hike and bike was involved. Summited SG with a great view to down to Loch Eanaich... read whole comment...
aleisharosier gave this trail 4 stars about 2 years ago
I rode this in Oct 2016 on a 29er HT. Great GPX, map and overview above, I also took a map & compass which I was glad of as the weather closed in. Note unfortunately that the path down ie tag7-9 is ... read whole comment...
stevemacd gave this trail 3 stars about 3 years ago
Note, the main path down has been recently (2016) built up for walkers - the main path is very loose & full of drainage ditches. It will need a couple of years of wear to make it really fun again.
jock77 commented about 3 years ago
Followed this route today, after downloading the gpx file to my Garmin, the climb is hard work, and full kudos to anybody that does it start to finish, the description is very good and accurate, the... read whole comment...
ross61 gave this trail 4 stars about 7 years ago
The descent from Carn Ban Mor has been resurfaced. It's now smooth with hundreds of water bars, perfect for pinch punctures.. Was looking forward to the singletrack descent and was pretty disappointed... read whole comment...
sdw85 gave this trail 4 stars about 7 years ago

Carn Ban Mor & 2 Munros

Viewed 1732 times
Length: 16.8 Miles
Ascent: 1008 m
Time: 7 hrs
Tech Grade: Hard
Fitness Grade: Very Hard
Av. Trail Rating:
(4 votes so far)
Follow the same route as described in Trail 1 at this location from the car park at Auchlean, and head south up Glen Feshie, following the river.

At Tag 3, turn left and follow the track as the big climb begins, taking you up to the summit plateau at Tag 4.

Stay on the track as it turns to the right and heads south towards the summit of Mullach Clach a Bhlair, your first Munro of the day. As the track passes the summit of MCB, turn off at the rough path that leads directly to the summit cairn.
There's not much climbing to be done here, on a very flat plateau. The path is little more than some grass that's a bit more worn down than the other grass here ! Easy enough to cycle on though.

MCB is a pretty uninspiring summit, but you've got here on your bike, which has to count for something at least ! It only takes about 10 minutes from Tag 4 to the summit so it's worth doing to say you've bagged a Munro on two wheels.
There are good views back towards the Cairngorms though, and the pointy summit of Sgor Gaoith ( your second Munro ) can be seen sticking invitingly above the nearer summit of Carn Ban Mor. Return back to Tag 4.

At Tag 4, turn right and follow the track as it undulates across the summit plateau to Tag 6 where you turn left towards the summit of CBM. This trail is little more than grass and moss in places, but you'll notice the turn off easily enough. The path gradually improves and becomes better defined as you get higher and nearer Tag 7.

At Tag 7, turn right and head for north towards Sgor Gaoith. The direct route over the summit of CBM ( a Munro Top ) has short sections of grassy path / kitty litter, which quickly fade away to nothing, and reappear for a few meters again just as quickly. There is a more defined path from Tag 7 that heads NE around the summit of CBM which seems to be the better option, but it quickly deteriorates into something similar after about 150m or so.

Once over the summit, you can see a well defined path heading down CBM, and up to the summit of SG ( Munro number 2 ) ahead of you at Tag 8. The route can be cycled all the way to the summit of SG, but you have to pick your way between rocks the closer you get to the summit. The gradient is easy enough though.
As you get near to the summit, it's definitely worth wandering off the path to the right to get your first view down to Loch Eanaich - it's something special, you don't realise the size of the cliff you're on top of until you're gaping over the edge.
Further on the view from the top of SG is amazing, and well worth the extra effort to get here.

Retrace your route from here back to Tag 7. Gape in awe at the descent that awaits you, and go for it, downhill all the way back to the car park.

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