MBR's series on Britain's Best Singletrack hits Stob Bàn in the Highlands
At the base of Stob Bàn, you can’t help but feel inspired.
Here in the Highlands the tallest peaks in the UK meet the sea within four and a half miles, and once you hit the trails, the old adage that ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ couldn’t be more true.
This patch of Scotland is somewhere you can lose yourself in beautiful terrain, and it’s only in a rare moment of clarity that you’ll notice your perspiration as you march upwards.
Eyeing the contours on the map shows the Stob Bàn path from Glen Nevis to be fairly consistent, and perhaps not what you’d expect when you see the way the mountains rise vertically out of the glen.
There are kicks in the path, but they don’t come all at once, so with a steady pace the height comes relatively quickly.
The route upwards follows the river that flows from the near-vertical northern face of the mountain, and keeping the gorge to your right will see you well.
Above the thinly spread downy birch, a summer outing on this route has a distinctly Alpine feel to it.
If you packed your A-game, the large portion of this route is rideable in both directions.
It would be worth keeping fuel in the tank for the descent, though, as that’s what you’re here for and why you’ve just climbed almost 1,000 metres above sea level.
The initial sections are all about flow on the upper reaches, and there is plenty of it if you know where to look. Further down, you’ll need to be brave.