Bealach na Ba (Applecross). How big have you done this in?

Discussion in 'UK Touring' started by Derbyshire wanderer, Aug 22, 2016.

  1. Derbyshire wanderer

    Derbyshire wanderer Funster Life Member

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    Hi all.
    We are thinking of doing a fair bit of the NC500 and would like to do the Bealach na Ba.
    I have done it once before about 20 years ago (in a Landrover) but it was very misty so we did get a picture of the thing that shows you how far the sights are but we had trouble seeing the Landrover as it was so bad.
    If it looks like reasonable visibility we would like to revisit to get the views and the photos but cannot find out if we would make it without ending up on the evening news!
    I am not in the slightest fazed by single track roads or cliff edges but I am concerned that the hairpins may be too tight for a 7.6mtr van with a very long overhang.
    What have you been over it with and did you have any regrets?
    If it's a thumbs up, I will post pics if we get there.
     
  2. milliethehymer

    milliethehymer Funster

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    I've traversed the pass quite a few times in different vehicles, 2 wheels and 4, and the road is fine unless you meet other traffic - especially at the switchback bends about half way up.

    My view is that unless you are confident in reversing your van out of the way, possibly on these blind bends, you'd be better off taking the long way round. I was on a motorbike coming up, and met a local 7.5 ton delivery truck here. It was scary rolling my bike back out of the way, heavily laden with luggage ...

    The long way round takes a LOT longer, but is spectacular and well worth doing anyway!

    I guess it all comes down to your own confidence level and your level of trust in other road users to know the dimensions of their vehicle.

    If you are confident, who am I to tell you not to do it? Personally I'd not take my 7m that way, but at the end of the day it's your call!

    The Applecross area is great and I'm sure you'll enjoy it whether you go up pass or the long way round.
     
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  3. WillH

    WillH Funster

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    Met a guy on Harris a while back who'd been over there and he said my 7.0m van would be too big, reckoned it could also ground on some bends.
     
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  4. dna

    dna Funster

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    we did the trip in May in our Apache 700 which is 7.4m long and no problems on the route. There is a section on the NC500 website giving guidance on driving on those roads. We stopped to let people overtake if they caught us up and kept an eye out as far ahead as possible for opposing traffic so we could stop at passing places. In fact the more scary road sections were the narrow 2 lane ones where you risk losing the wing mirrors.
    I would agree it all depends on your own confidence. By the time you get to the famous sign at the bottom of the pass you will know how you feel on the narrow roads, how the weather is and can decide which way to go.
     
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  5. WSandME

    WSandME Funster

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    My friend and I did it this year in our Hymers: B660 and B675 just over 7 meters each. No problem, never needed to reverse.
    There were some excellent examples of roadcraft. One guy in Land Rover towing a large trailer waited at the top of one incline for at least a dozen vehicles to pass.
    I think the trick is to look ahead and anticipate - the passing places are very frequent, and problems only arise if several vehicles bunch together. Leave a decent gap beteeen the vehicle in front and behind.
    It's fun!
     
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  6. Derbyshire wanderer

    Derbyshire wanderer Funster Life Member

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    Thanks, that sounds quite positive. I am confident with reversing if needed and have no problem pulling over for others to pass.
    The trip all those years ago has many times made me think I would like to do it again - with the views but it's only going to be possible in the MH as we aren't taking the toad this year.
     
  7. spitfire

    spitfire Funster

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    We did it in a just under 8m Hobby 750! Was worth it but not sure we would do it again !
     
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  8. Borderland

    Borderland Funster

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    I once followed a snow plough, he had no problems. :)
     
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  9. Badknee

    Badknee Funster

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    Ive done it in a car and a bike but wouldn't do it in our Moho, too much stress on the clutch going up and the brakes going down.
     
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  10. Ranger

    Ranger Funster

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    As a rear wheel drive addict I was wondering if a heavily laden front wheel drive motorhome would get traction on the uphill hairpins if it was wet?
     
  11. Peter & Elaine

    Peter & Elaine Funster

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    image.jpeg This was us 2 years back right at top 6.8 meters plus well over 3 meters for trike
     
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  12. AlanHogg

    AlanHogg Funster

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    We have done it in various motor homes over the last 20 odd years with no problems. The biggest was a Kontiki 669 at nearly 9m and more recently in a Rapido 990 at almost 8m. As previously noted, the most important thing is to look ahead and see what is coming down. (Or up!)
    To be quite honest, I find the long route more challenging as it is very bumpy and full of blind bends.
    Whatever you do, make sure that you stop at the top and look at the fantastic view of Skye and the Cuillins.
     
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  13. Doobray

    Doobray Funster

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    Did it in May with a 7.2M Burstner no real problems other than the classic car rally coming up the hill but plenty of passing places and well worth the view
     
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  14. Bobby22

    Bobby22 Funster

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    The best advice is not to get too close to the car in front as the passing places won't allow more than one big vehicle in convoy to pass as has been said above.

    It really is worth the effort.
     
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  15. wigster

    wigster Funster

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    Am thinking about it , and the pass :getmecoat:, done loads of single track roads while we've been up here but as we live in our van at the moment and it's not a short one , I'm thinking one moment just do it then thinking better safe than sorry etc. The Mrs panics enough as it is I reckon I'd have a chesterfield sofa style passenger seat if we did try .
     
  16. landscaper

    landscaper Funster

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    We have done this in our 7.6 Fiat Bessacarr. The driver frequently wants to repeat the experience - the passenger does not :(
     
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