Cycling Bealach na Ba Tornapress

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Bealach na Ba - Tornapress

Basic data & ranking

Average grade: 6.8 %

Length: 9 km

Altitude start: 10 m

Altitude top: 626 m

Ascent: 616 m

Bealach na Ba rankings

Difficulty ranking world: 3751 (all)
Ranking Scotland: 3 (all)
Ranking Scottish Highlands: 3(all)
Difficulty score: 64.76 what?

Bealach na Ba ratings

(4.7)  Overall

(3)  Road

(3)  Traffic

(1)  Amenities

(5)  Surroundings

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The Bealach na Ba is situated in Scotland. This climb belongs to the Scottish Highlands. Starting from Tornapress, the Bealach na Ba ascent is 9 km long. Over this distance, you climb 616 heightmeters. The average percentage thus is 6.8 %.

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Stories, information and comments from Bealach na Ba climbers
Story by Andrew Hearn from Mullion Cornwall, United Kingdom, submitted on 30/09/2014
Having been to Spain in the mountains a week after spending 4 days cycling in and around the applecross peninsular in September 2014 I can recommend the belach na ba especially from the Tornapress side ie east to west. Whilst it is a long way to travel the stunning scenery and the length of the climb give you a good preparation for anyone travelling to the mountains abroad as it replicates a typical mountain climb In fact this climb was harder than some of the Spanish ones (mind you I am 61!!) I agree with previous comments, the climb up to the hairpins is the hardest bit. Be prepared for all kinds of weather - the 1st day I climbed it was 16 degrees at the bottom and 1 degree at the top .The next day it was warm and sunny .The whole surrounding area is great cycling - hardly a pothole in site
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Story by Peter Craig from Edinburgh, United Kingdom, submitted on 19/12/2011
I climbed the Bealach na Ba from Tornapress, after starting from Torridon, in beautiful weather this September. It was sunny and warm with a gentle Northerly, so I was sheltered on the climb, though not on my way North up the Applecross peninsula to Fearnmore. But the view more than made up for that - Skye, Raasay, the Torridon hills. In the hostel that night were two veterans, one of whom had first cycled the Bealach in 1959. He did the whole circuit, before there was a tarred road round Applecross, starting and finishing at Loch Carron. They set off the following morning, not in the leasdt deterred by the Westerly squalls. Respect!
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Story by Manuel Barbosa from , United Kingdom, submitted on 11/03/2010
Did this climb twice in two days. Beautiful climb which as others have said the middle bit is the most dificult. The beginning was incredibly quick, I was almost being pushed up the mountain. I thought that as the climb turns right, in to the main section, I would be protected by the mountain side. Didnt happen, the wind seems to be channeled down the mountain, making it much more difficult. Make it to the hairpins and you can rest and enjoy the remainder of the climb. Id love to do this with no wind at all, but its an awful long way to travel. Still, its a must for anyone wanting to do the best climb in the UK and worth doing at least once.
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Story by Jonninho from , United Kingdom, submitted on 19/10/2010
Climbed the Bealach from Tornapress side on Oct 9th. An unbelievable weekend of weather. Not a cloud in the sky & 20C. As everyone else says, the section just before the hairpins is the steepest. Cannot seem to find a decent profile showing any detail of the climb, but nothing substitutes for the experience. Enjoyed the descent to Applecross having done a bit of homework on Google Earth/Streetview (great tool if you have never seen the route before!). The cicuit round the whole peninsula is just magnificent, with many more short steep climbs to add to the Bealach itself.
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Story by Nomad from , United Kingdom, submitted on 07/08/2010
A magnificent climb the views are stunning. My first ascent was in 1970 when the coastal road was a track! Ive been over a few times but the hardest was on a tandem with camping kit and eleven bags: at one point we pressed and wound something up, probably the block. We stopped for fear of a mechanical, found we couldnt push the load upwards so were forced to ride! This is a classic climb, the British version of an Alpine Climb. Definately 5 points.
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Story by MarkL from St Hlens, United Kingdom, submitted on 06/07/2010
Many British climbs are hard in a different way from the alpine cols. This one is hard in the same way. It never gets extremely hard, but as everyone else has noted, the long straight in the upper half of the valley is just hard enough for long enough so that the hairpins at the top come as a relief. This climb must be done first from this side and on a clear day or you will have missed the best of the experience. Climbing from this side is a majestic experience and the view back down is breathtaking and awe inspiring.
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Story by Tim Deegan from Yeovil, United Kingdom, submitted on 12/09/2009
Climbed 10 yrs ago from Tornapress. As stated above the long drag up the 2nd part of the valley is worse than the final hairpins, somehow. One drawback is getting past downcoming traffic as the road is narrow. Because of this I had to stop on the nastiest part. Otherwise had a great time, waved on our way at Tornapress by a group of motorbikers pointing vigorously down the turning to the pass, clearly aware being as they were, French, of the only reason a cyclist would have arrived at Tornapress. There is a very nice fish and cake resturant (tiny) called the Kishorn ?Seafood Restaurant on the N side of road a few miles S of junction.
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Story by Dave from , United Kingdom, submitted on 01/09/2009
Ive also done the Bealach na Ba in both directions as part of the 43 mile loop of the Applecross peninsula from Sheildaig. First day clockwise, going up the climb from Tornapress (east-west). Hardest part is the long straight before the hairpins at the top, otherwise its quite manageable. Descent to Applecross is very technical and requires a lot of concentration. If youre doing the loop all the way along the coast as I did from Applecross back to Sheildaig, dont underestimate how tough it is. It may not be that far, but there a lots of energy-sapping hills which dont show up on a touring map so stock up with food at the excellent Applecross Inn or the wonderful Potting Shed restaurant in the walled garden just beyond the village. Second day I rode the whole thing again anticlockwise and enjoyed it even more. Reached 49 mph on the descent towards Tornapress on that long straight bit before I caught up with the car ahead...
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Story by Tim from , United Kingdom, submitted on 08/04/2008
Ive done this climb twice, once from each direction. I recommend east-west as you get to pass slowly beside the towering cliffs of the corrie, the majesty helps to distract from the pain. When you get to the top you reach the brow and suddenly have the whole of Skye and smaller islands spread out in front of you (if youre lucky to get a clear day), which you continue to have for the entire descent. To top it all there is the very good pub in Applecross, you can virtually freewheel from the pass summit to the pub door. Going west-east, the views of Skye are out of sight behind you, the terrain is relatively uninspiring, and when you descend through corrie the awe of it all is all gone in an instant. And theres no pub or any other refreshments at the other side for about 7 miles either side of Tornapress. I did it unladen both times, west-east first with cloud and no view at the summit, east-west a year later with blue skies and 60 mile visibility. The second time the climb took about an hour including many photo stops, the final approach to the first hairpin was done by cycling left-right across the width of the single track road as it is so steep.
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Story by grc from , United Kingdom, submitted on 22/07/2008
went up this side in may 08 with moutainbikes, panniers and camping gear. having never done anything this scale before it was intimidating and the second half unpleasant. i had to stop twice for a breather but cycled all the way. in hindsight i think that stopping might have been a more mental than anything else. there is a very demoralising corner 2/3rd up. i didnt think the hairpins at the top were the hardest bit, it was the long straight drag to reach them
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