Cycling down Snowdon

Last weekend the three of us hiked up and down Snowden and really enjoyed it. You can read about it here. Near the bottom, as you leave the road and start on the path there is a sign.

20180811_131059.jpg

Imagine my surprise as four mountain bikers sailed on through the gate. A bit later we had to step to the side so that another two could pass, and then later on another two, although I stopped to talk with one of them. I mentioned the sign that said there is a ban on cycling from May to September. He said that it was a voluntary ban. That’s a new oxymoron, one I’ve not heard before.

What a load of rubbish I thought.

Back home a few days later and my wife google’d cycling Snowdon, and fair enough there is a voluntary ban, although all cyclists must be off the path by 10am. The last two we saw most definitely were not.

What got me though, is why would you want to cycle Snowdon on a Saturday in the middle of the summer when there are many hundreds of people walking up the mountain. Trying to cycle through people is an absolute pain, I want to be able to go fast, and not have to stop every couple of seconds for walkers. The voluntary ban could be revoked at any time if cyclists don’t slow down or move out of the way.

As a cyclist, I think Snowdon should be for walkers only in the summer, definitely at a weekend, especially as there are so many other really great places to cycle in North Wales.

Advertisements

Walking Snowdon

A long weekend away camping in north Wales, what could possibly go wrong. The two hour journey took nearly five because of accidents, I forgot the inflatable mattress and the campsite was horrible. We stayed one night, ignored the festival toilets and the scary fight at 3am, packed up and drove to Llanberis.

Even though one of the biggest triathlons in Wales is based there, and the Brutal, I’ve never been. Looked like a nice little town, dominated by the mountain railway, which was completely sold out for the whole of August, even at nearly £40 for a return ticket. We wisely decided to walk up instead, along with hundreds of others. The weather was perfect, clear sky, no rain and not too warm.

20180811_114333.jpg

Walking from Llanberis is the most popular route, but not the shortest. It wasn’t like when I hiked up Scafell on a foggy day and didn’t see a single person. Snowdon was busy. Too busy to go to the actual summit, which was a teeming mass of people, with a queue almost down to the summit cafe, most of them taking selfies.

20180811_112537.jpg

Nelly enjoyed it as well, although she did want to know what the hell that train was. Nelly is the English Pointer.

20180811_112527.jpg

Helen, my beautiful wife, also enjoyed the walk. Just under 9 miles which took us about four and a half hours. We stopped often and took our time, although all three of us were tired as we walked back into Llanberis.

20180811_112257.jpg

I would definitely like to go back to the area, hopefully with a bike and explore some of the great hills. Also, at some point I need to walk up Ben Nevis so that I have the full set. We’ve cycled through Fort William and looked up into the mist where Ben Nevis probably was, but we didn’t have the time to walk up. Next time.

Ingleborough

Last year, on 2nd January, me and Helen (my beautiful wife) ran/walked up Ingleborough, although we didn’t get all the way due to the heavy mist. We couldn’t see a thing, so we turned back early.

https://www.strava.com/activities/461306831

This year we tried again. The weather in Clapham was great, sunny, no wind and not too cold.

20170101_102827

There is a waterfall behind us, honest.

20170101_113546

Progress was good, and we soon made it past the narrow gully with the rocks and over the last sty. You can see the top was covered in a light dusting of snow, which from down here was fine. Gradually as the path got steeper the wind picked up, until almost at the top the wind was ferocious, with ice covering most of the rocks.

20170101_121213

Wearing ALL my clothes 🙂

20170101_121220

Nelly, our dog, wasn’t happy at the top, and my foot was beginning to hurt, so we made the decision to head back down, passing loads of people all on the way up. I couldn’t believe how many people there were. Why aren’t you all in bed hungover?

We stopped for a break and our sandwiches in a sheltered area near the sty, and then set off down the rocky path.

20170101_131951

We saw an 80 year old couple near these rocks. I hope that we are still able to get up there in 30+ years. Once past these rocks the path is easy once again, and soon we were back in Clapham. We had only done 11.5 km, but it had taken almost four hours, which is a testament to how tough the route is.

https://www.strava.com/activities/817750043

Once again we didn’t get all the way to the top, although Helen had a crazy idea that we could go in the summer. As I said – crazy.