Snowdon – 14th January

The summit of Snowdon (-3.8 deg C)

Wow, what a great day! The weather was superb, clear sky up till the saddle then misty cloud for the last 250ft to the top. Although once above about 700m the Southwesterly wind really did start to bite!

Clothing was an issue on the way up. To start with everyone thought they’d got too much, but every rest stop more kit went on till everyone was wearing pretty much everything they had with them.

We went up the Llanberis Path, which was a combination of ride/push till we got to just before the station at Clogwyn, after that the gradient meant it was push all the way to just before the saddle where the Pyg/Miners Paths join. After that we went up the side of the railway as there were so many walkers. Fortunately the railway was not working as it’s out of season.

At the top it was pretty busy, I carried the bike to just below the trig point, but left it and walked the final 20ft as if I’d have taken it up I’d knocked a few walkers off (probably wouldn’t have been a bad thing)

The descent was down the Snowdon Ranger Path, but before we got there Steve managed to pinch flat while showing off to the camera. A dodgy spare tube meant we left him to sort it while we carried on to the edge of the Clogwyn Du’r Arddu ridgeline where we waited for him while huddled behind a cairn as the wind was whipping over the top.

Once he caught up we headed off down the zig zagging descent. I’m pretty sure everyone had at least on off, mine being a stunning over the bars number. A typical hardtail off, the rear hit a rock and kicked up, pushing me forward, just as the front hit another…. from that moment it was only going to go one way! My right knee hit the ground hard, and I hate to think what state it would have been in if I wasn’t wearing pads. Once on the ground I couldn’t get up as my right leg had got trapped between the top tube and saddle. To make matters worse I got a massive cramp in my left calf and lay wriggling about shouting “Ow, Ow, fuck, Ow”. Steve and Simo said they were convinced I’d badly hurt myself!

We carried on down, with some sections being hard to walk down, let alone ride. It soon flattened off and we got a real nice pace on down towards the point where we would turn off and head North.

The turn off came and we then had to push 400 ft up and over Bwlch Maesgwm into Telegraph Valley. This was the start of a superb descent on some stunning singletrack. There were some waterbars, but they were easy to spot, and some even had a slope up to them that could be used as as takeoff ramp. Halfway down, my saddle pack decided to come off, and at the same time Steve’s freehub gave in. He now had to roll down the rest of the descent and so stayed at the back, and was in a great position to see my water bottle come out and go bouncing down the side of the hill.

The track now widened and started to undulate along the side of the hill, which was a problem for Steve, so a tow/push was needed. At this point Ben’s rear derailieur decided to do a death jump into his rear wheel…. Once he’d removed the mangled mess we now had two bikes out of six that required a push/tow. Fortunately we soon got to a farm gate, and beyond it was smooth tarmac dropping down into Llanberis. I don’t think even those that could pedal bothered  till we were in the main street.

We pedaled, pushed and towed straight to Pete’s Eats a superb cafe, where it was tea and various butties / sarnies all round……

Ride – #8     Bike – Gary Fisher Paragon 29er

Miles – 12.4     Total 2012 miles – 153.8

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