Hedley and his son, Angus from Innerleithen wanted a guided bike ride to get a feel for the famous Torridon trails, so they got in touch with me to arrange a route and date. After discussing what they wanted: epic views, singletrack, climbs and of course a mountain descent it was agreed to ride the Beinn Damh Loop.
We met for coffee and headed off on the delightful Balgy Trails from the back of The Torridon Inn for a warm up and to check that our bikes were behaving themselves. Hedley & Angus were riding 160mm travel bikes from Whyte & KTM whilst I once again had my Merida One Forty from Dryburghs of Dingwall as my ‘work bike’. The little loops and corners above and alongside Loch Torridon were soon left as we begun the ride up the side of Loch Damh. On the way to the fish farm we met Angy working hard as usual. Despite the sections of standing water and some pretty high bracken Hedley & Angus enjoyed the challenge, with no complaints at all. In no time at all we reached the important junction and river crossing at Kinlochdamh. We were now committing to riding towards some epic views of ‘the Green Hills’ if the cloud lifted…
The climb to the remote south side of the mountain from the river is not too technical but it does need riders to understand how to move their weight around the bike in order to keep traction. The three of us had plenty of chances to see some views and other trails appear on the way up, as well as discuss other techniques to use such as ratcheting past rocks. Some sections, where we pushed, did not require any explanation!
At the bealach the scale of our descent became even more apparent; definitely a time to press the reset button – have some more food, adjust clothing and most importantly take stock of what the descent will require. Our descent of approximately 400m took us from a high mountain path, across broken slabs then through some steep and loose rocky terrain before crossing a river for the final rocky, rooty and steep descent to Loch Torridon. Seats were dropped, shocks set to Descend and off we went on a magical ride which flowed all the way.
Over a coffee and a Coke we chatted about other routes here in Wester Ross as well as other adventures. The guys told me next time I have to take care of the midges! Otherwise a great day, hope to see you in Innerleithen one day so you can guide me.
Thanks, blog by Jim Sutherland, nineonesix-guiding