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Information on mountain biking at the Festival from BikePacking Scotland

We are thrilled to be running a bikepacking workshop and a guided ride at this year’s Braemar Mountain Festival in the beautiful Cairngorms from Thursday 1 March to Sunday 4 March. And we are even more thrilled that adventure cycling is one of the major focuses of the event in its second year, with a great selection of more guided rides, skills sessions, talks, workshops and film screenings on offer.

In the first event on Friday 2 March at 9.00am Joe Flanagan, a Pro Ride coach, will share his enthusiasm and knowledge in an half day ride out incorporating skill sessions. Joe Flanagan is one of the three Trippin Fellaz, together with his brother Sam Flanagan and Ali Parkin, who love to combine their favourite pastimes of travel, climbing and riding to produce amazing image and video content. At 9.30am Aneela McKenna from Go-Where Scotland and Lynne Armstrong from Air Maiden will be sampling the incredible riding of Deeside in a half day guided ride for women, from ribbons of sweet single track to ancient drove roads and long forgotten tracks, finishing with tea and cake back in Braemar. For the ride Juliana Bicycles demo bikes are available as well on a first come first served basis.

Aneela and Lynne are back on Friday afternoon at 3.00pm with a talk to celebrate the legacy of ‘bicycling for ladies’. They will take the festival audience on a journey of bikes and their role in women’s emancipation. In the spirit of the suffragette movement and penny farthings, they share sisterhood giggles, personal stories and their passion for the simple act of riding bikes. The day finishes at 7.30pm with an inspiring talk by Bikepacking Scotland’s founder Markus Stitz, who in 2016 became the first person to cycle the world on a singlespeed bike with bikepacking bags. During his 34,000km journey from Edinburgh through 26 countries he saw the Aurora Borealis in Iceland, braved minus 17C in New Mexico, crossed the Australian Outback, cycled through 40C in Thailand, climbed up to 3150 m in Iran, cycled the Anatolian Highlands and the Alps and rode the famous cobbles of Flanders. All to prove that it can be done. One gear is enough to cycle the world.

Saturday starts again at 9.00am with another MTB skills session, this time specifically aimed at 14 – 18 year olds and delivered by Joe Flanagan. Next up at 9.30am is our bikepacking workshop with Markus and Jay. Markus has designed all routes listed on this page, and Jay is an experienced cyclist and outdoor instructor and has worked with Markus on designing the Central Belter. Both will share their bikepacking secrets in this 2-hour workshop.

Those who want to experience bikepacking first hand, can join Jay and Markus at 1.30pm on a half day guided ride around Braemar. At 3.00pm the Flanagan brothers, Joe and Sam, will be talking about taking mountain bikes to the biggest mountain in the UK, the mighty Ben Nevis, and finding not only the funniest way down, but also the most exciting way up. Later in the afternoon at 5.00pm Go-Where Scotland’s Andy McKenna tells his story of his pharmacy-free face-off with Multiple Sclerosis and his quest for a holistic path to health. ‘This Way Up’, a moving and inspiring film on how MS impacted his life and his riding, will be screened as part of the session.

Tickets for all events can be bought online at www.braemarmountainfestival.com. Prices range from £10 for talks, £15 for the workshop and £35 for guided rides and skills sessions.

Events selling out. Book now to avoid disappointment!

Here is a quick update on ticket sales as of 17th Feb 2018:-

Courses and workshops:

Navigation courses – Saturday and Sunday are now both full

Mountain First Aid – Saturday has 2 x places remaining, still good availability for Sunday

Winter skills – Saturday and Sunday are both full. There is 1 x place remaining on Friday

Avalanche Courses – Saturday has some availability but Sunday now full.

Biking ride outs – Women biking on Friday 1 x place remaining. Skills sessions with Joe Flanagan on Friday good availability. Youth ride on Saturday is half full. Bike-packing ride out and workshops on Saturday have good availability.

Ski sessions with Gillian Parker – 3 x places on Friday, good availability for Saturday and Sunday. Telemark skiing sessions have good availability.

Ski tech workshops – Good availability on Saturday, but only 2 x places on Sunday.

BMRT visit – 2 x places remaining.

Photography workshops – 2 x places on Friday remaining but good availability on Saturday

Adventure Film Making – Availability on both Saturday and Sunday.

Orienteering and hill running – Availability at all sessions.

Talks and Films

Availability currently remains for all our talks and films across the weekend at all venues.

Evening Events

Tickets are still available for all our evening events, however sales have been very brisk in the past week and the following events were all sell outs last year (and we turned away people on the doors):

  • Ceilidh
  • Mountain Food and Music night
  • Headline speakers on Friday and Saturday nights

Programme change

Please note that due to health reasons, Charlotte Peacock has had to unfortunately cancel her talk on Nan Shepherd. We wish Charlotte a speedy recovery.

Orienteering information

© Nigel Corby

Orienteering Info for Braemar Mountain Festival

At the Braemar Mountain Festival this year there will be an opportunity to try out orienteering on each of Fri, Sat and Sun afternoons. As well as being a fantastic family sport in its own right, orienteering is an excellent way of practising skills for navigating in the mountains. The fundamental skills involved in orienteering include map interpretation, route selection, compass work and understanding contours, all of which are equally important for navigating in the mountains. The difference is that orienteering offers opportunities to practice these skills repeatedly in easily accessible locations.
The sessions on offer at the Braemar Mountain Festival will take place in Creag Choinnich woodland and up onto the open hillside of Carn nan Sgliat.
Fri pm : 60’ “Score” event suitable for anyone with basic navigation skills
Sat pm : Introductory session for families or youths
Sun pm: “So you think you can navigate” challenge suitable for those with some prior navigation experience
More details and registration are available on the Braemar Mountain Festival and Mar Orienteering Club websites