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Mountain biking adds to Cairn Gorm features

Posted 29 June 2012
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Mountain biking adds to Cairn Gorm features
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Like Snowdon, Cairn Gorm is a mountain that is forever having attention drawn to it. Both give their names to national parks, have mountain railways and attract people all year round.

However, the analogy has its limits. Cairn Gorm is a winter ski resort and even in summer the reminders of this are all around, from the idle ski lifts to the patches of snow that linger all year.

And unlike Snowdon, the Cairngorm Mountain Railway neither starts at the bottom, nor goes to the top, although its Ptarmigan top station of 3,600 is higher above sea level than Snowdon's summit. So while thousands can stand atop Wales with minimal physical effort, there is at least a little walk to the 4,084 ft top of Cairn Gorm.

However, since it was opened a decade ago access to the summit has been restricted, with only paid-for guided walks from the Ptarmigan included.

Now, however, a new element has been added. The CairnGorm Mountain company is now offering guided bike rides all the way down to Coire Cas and the Rothiemurchus, a descent of nearly 3,000 ft. Along the way, it follows ski slopes and then the old ski road, before passing Loch Morlich as riders reach the bottom of the glen.

Mountain biking on the mountain itself is a development that may excite many, adding to the opportunities in the forest below.

And for many people, it will only add to the myriad of features that make Cairn Gorm user-friendly mountain.

Even walkers climbing it will find the trip an easy one, with a car or bus ride to the ski centre car park 2,000 ft up offering a chance to gain altitude and then grab some food before taking the walking paths to the top. And the energy saved can be used productively by crossing the sub-arctic tundra of the Cairngorm plateau and then up onto Ben Macdui, the second highest mountain in Britain.ADNFCR-2803-ID-801397836-ADNFCR