Posts Tagged ‘mountainbike’

Cambu for the new.

Great life change on the turn of the season had left the mtb hanging; the rat race was undertaken in an youthful fervour through the medium of bmx. Going the distance on a bmx was slow and hard wearing but with perseverance the speed has come and skills and fitness have grown.

It seemed right and just to mark the first trip out in the woods to be marked with something that would test the ability and get the juices flowing so after a dose of rush hour traffic and jakey spotting, Cambusbarron came in to sight with Kenny a super talented, local randomly waiting at the trail head. Jen introduced us, the craic flowed and Kenny led us out into the magnificence that is Cambu. Following Kenny was a revelation, skill and class oozes from that man and following his lead brought me down lines and over jumps that in usual company would be considered before attempted. So hats to Kenny and the other locals that build the trails, the whole place from forest to quarry is truly outstanding. For pushing limits and just hanging out in the woods nothing in range comes close.

10 Under the Ben

Well it was another great race and a great day in the sun, rain and mud! Finally I managed to put some of the footage together to make this wee vid. Our group of friends had a total of 6 teams entered! I’m already looking forward to next years race but for now, we’ve got the Tour de Ben Nevis coming up in September…

10 Under the Ben on High 8


Season sketches

As my enthusiasm for the cycling season grows I have found myself sketching bikes and riders like an obsessed adolescent. These are the results, hope you like?


Balmaha – Conic Hill.

I wanted to head to the top of Conic Hill, but despite the spring in the air and brilliant sunshine there was too much snow and ice on the trail to make it worth while. The descent would have been pretty dangerous and not much craic. However on the way back down I found some great little trails hidden away in the woods. They were very steep pretty loose and technical, a great wee play ground. Spent quite a while carrying the bike up steep inclines and skittering down trying to retain grip, which i lost a couple of times, luckily not at the crux of anything major so I managed not to pitch it over. Still got a nasty scrape on my knee after sconing it off a fallen tree. There’s something really comforting about just messing around in the woods on your own, maybe it just reminds me of my childhood, whatever it was a fine day. Bring on the spring.

One week later…

I headed up Conic hill from Drymen my hope that the majority of the snow had melted proved futile as the north side was still caked in the stuff. So after much huffing and puffing I managed to shoulder the bike up the 360m, not after sinking in some snow drifts and getting thoroughly soaked mind you. The ground was particularly wet as was the main part of the steep descent which is excellent. Dropping 360m in just over a km gives you an idea of the gradient. It is not a fast descent however, it is loose and rocky with a myriad of lines to choose. What is fast is the frequency of the rocks and steps coming at you and looking far enough ahead to choose the right line is tricky as the terrain is pretty severe under wheel. Is it worth the walk up? I would say yes but I don’t mind a bit of hike a biking. It’s a lot of time spent for a short descent, but the quality of the terrain is great, nothing beats a real rugged natural trail. Add to this the woods behind Balmaha which are full of classic flowing singletrack and the aforementioned steep stuff further up the hill. I’ve updated the video with the conic adventure…

About High-8

High-8 is a loose gathering of like minded adventurists who document first person, on the ground experiences with words, photos and film. The hope is to form a rough guide to outdoor adventure sports in Scotland and provide a warts and all, honest representation of what we find. No sport is excluded from mountaineering and mountain biking to gorge walking and kayak all are welcome and encouraged.


If you want to share some of your adventures just drop as an email and we'll register you on to the system.


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We have compiled a list of usefull weather forecasts to help with planning trips. This list is designed to work on mobile phones, so it can be used when out in the wilds. Signal willing of course...

The Code

The Country Code, which most of us learned in school (and we probably haven't read since!), was updated in 2004 when it became the Countryside Code. Here's the updated version:
  • Be safe - plan ahead and follow any signs
  • Leave gates and property as you find them
  • Protect plants and animals, and take your litter home
  • Keep dogs under close control
  • Consider other people
In Scotland, where there is a more general right of access, there also exists the Scottish Outdoor Access Code:
  • Take responsibility for your own actions
  • Respect people’s privacy and peace of mind
  • Help farmers, landowners and others to work safely and effectively
  • Care for the environment
  • Keep your dog under proper control
  • Take extra care if you are organising a group, an event or running a business.
There's obviously a lot to to be learned from these - it's amazing how many people get out to enjoy the countryside but are still happy to leave it in a mess. Even with the recent updates, the Countryside Codes seem slightly outdated when considering the wider issues involved when lots of people get out into the countryside. Some places just can't handle high volumes of people, no matter how they behave and publicity, no matter how interesting or well-done , has the potential to attract lots of people to an area. Blogs including video, pictures or words, form part the the wider media which could easily contribute to tipping the balance, and so we as bloggers have to consider the implications of what we decide to post. Can the place we're writing about take more people, and if not, it might be wiser to leave maps, place names or grid references out of posts. In Scotland, the Mountain Bothies Association has been careful to protect the location of some Bothies due to mis-treatment and, in some cases, even malicious vandalism. That is not to say they would not advocate people using them - in fact, a well used, maintained and loved network of bothies exist, and the MBA as an organisation is there to encourage this. Some bothies are busier than others but generally it is the less remote places which are more susceptible to abuse - something which might be worth considering when deciding whether to post information. It must be said, in most cases it's obvious what should or shouldn't be publisiced, but it's worth taking these considerations to mind.

Please note: The Code is constantly being revised and added to. If you like to add something login in to the discussion on the forum.