MTBMonkey On April - 11 - 2011

After last years failed attempt to summit Snowdon due to 8 inches of snow and -15C night temp we decided to give it another go. Freakish conditions again occurred, although this time 20C sunny and crystal clear, not bad for April.

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Rhyd Ddu was the start point for the lesser travelled southern approach, a nice gentle climb to start, which soon turns into a mix of ride, push, carry. Conditions were fantastically hot for the time of year, but good for riding. The Trig point was reached at 1085m now time for the descent into Llanberis, a technical rocky descent at the top which leads to loose rocks, and then onto rocky steps inter linked with fast sections for maximum speed. Sadly max speed was never reached due to the masses of Sunday walkers most who got the train to the half-way point, so we could let it go a bit more in the lower section. It was hard to gauge the exact thoughts of those people but from their expressions it was a mixture of admiration, fear, disgust and bemusement. The descent from Snowdon.

A quick snack stop at Pete’s Cafe, then back along a steady climb up Telegraph Valley which runs parallel to Foel Goch and then onto the Ranger path down in Llwyn Onn. The final descent was almost entirely clear of traffic allowing for a demonstration in speed, one which sadly not all were ready for. Video of descent

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A cracking little loop only about 15 miles with about 1300m of total climbing, but well worth the effort. Allow at least 4-6 hrs for the loop dependant on fitness and skill level.

We stopped in a bunkhouse run by the Cwellyn Arms pub in Rhyd Ddu. The pub is the only one in the village and sadly the lack of competition meant portion sizes in the restaurant were somewhat constrained and the prices weren’t far off what I’d payed on a visit to London the week before. Anyone looking for a big meal after a hard day riding/walking may find themselves disappointed. Maybe we were spoilt somewhat after half a Cow pie in the George at Keswick a few weeks before which was a challenge to eat, even after a long day out (Not seen anyone eat the full one yet), but on the plus side the quality was good. We did voice our concerns and were told to buy a sweet, at £6-8 however and after advice from another customer we decided to decline. We were booked in for the breakfast, but after the land lord told us if we didn’t like the portions on the meal we wouldn’t like the breakfast, we decided against it, at £7.95 it was a bit steep anyway.

The bunk house 10 minutes down the road did the job, basic and clean as you would expect, probably not ideal if you are looking for an early quite night as the rooms are large and inter linked, although that would depend on who else is stopping, to be fair we weren’t that quiet on initial arrival, but were out trumped about 30mins later by another group. A quiet word from Stef though settled things down (dont mess with the Stef).

We will definitely be doing another route in Snowdon at some point, but will make the start point somewhere else.

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