Although quite remote, the Corbett Stob an Aonaich Mhòir offers a fairly easy outing if you use a bike.
The 855m tall hill is located some 13km along an estate road, which the public can walk or cycle. The road is mostly tarmac (rough in places but very rideable) and rises from 210m, close to the shore of Loch Rannoch, to around 620m elevation.
The cycle uphill has a few steeper sections as it progresses but nothing too arduous. I enjoyed the ride, especially the unexpected sunshine and the views of a beautiful stream alongside the road and then the higher rounded hills and moorlands covered in a blanket of autumn-coloured vegetation.
I rode my gravel bike, while my friend Ben cycled his mountain bike. Both types of bikes were fine for the road surface.
The road started as a rough track but quickly transitioned to tarmac. The surface is old tarmac, with some newer tarmac sections. You should peep an eye out for some deep potholes. I got caught out a couple of times by pot-holes filled with rain water that were deeper than I thought.
The ride was a little longer than I expected but I liked the idea of covering so many kilometres by bike, rather than what would be a very long and rather dull walk if you chose not to cycle. I also knew the ride back downhill would be a dream!
From bike to walk
The start of the walk uphill is easy to spot thanks to a small cairn by the road-side. This is where you suddenly see Loch Ericht, over the brow of the bealach and stretching north-east.
Ben and I left our bikes here and then found a faint trod that led us slightly north of west to climb towards the summit of the Corbett. The rough terrain was a big contrast to the relatively smooth road.
The ground is thick with vegetation. There were also boggy sections and peat hags to start with. The trod came and went but Ben and I generally walked upwards keeping a mostly straight line for the highest point.
It’s a short walk, no more than 1.5km, and not particularly steep or strenuous. As we approached the summit cairn, we were suddenly treated to superb views along Loch Ericht. The mountains of the Ben Alder area rose steeply from the other side of the loch.
The summit reveals how remote this mountain is. All around is moorland and high mountains. The western side of the Corbett plunges steeply towards vast Loch Ericht.
The wind was quite strong at altitude, so Ben and I quickly returned back down the way we had come.
From walk back to bike
We reclaimed our bikes and set off for the return ride along the estate road. Apart from a couple of ups, the overall return ride offered a fantastic downhill cycle. It felt wonderful to whizz through the scenery and back to our start point.
Route details of Stob an Aonaich Mhòir
Ben and I parked at a car park on the B846, on the north short of Loch Rannoch, just short of the start of the estate road. This added a couple of kilometres to the overall distance.
Total distance: 31.75km.
Total elevation gain: 771m.
Corbetts bagged: 133