/ Snowdon

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balmybaldwin - on 28 Sep 2012
Hello,

Was hoping someone on hear has riddne up snowdon, and can give me some advice.

Hoping to do this next weekend after the voluntary cycling restriction is lifted on the Bridleways.

From what I can see there are 2 bridleways to the top of Snowdon, one being the main tourist path up from Llanberis, and the other the Snowdon ranger path.

My question is, which of these should we go up, and which one should we go down (are there any particularly nasty sections on either of these routes which I should be aware of, or are they faily straight forward?)

It's been a long time since I used either of these routes on foot, and I can't remember any nasty bits.

Also, can anyone recommend a good loop to do taking in Snowdon? I was thinking up the Llanberis path, down the Ranger path, but I'm not sure of an decent route back to Llanberis.

Thanks

Ed
a lakeland climber on 28 Sep 2012
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Up via Llanberis path, down via Ranger. Tricky section on the ridge above Cloggy, probably a carry. Return to Llanberis via Telegraph Valley (between Moel Cynghorion and Foel Goch).

ALC
balmybaldwin - on 28 Sep 2012
In reply to a lakeland climber:

That is what I thought, but I've just had another look at a map, and I see there is also another bridleway down the Rhyd-Ddu Path to Pitts head.

Any idea what that's like? could go that way and back up the snowdon ranger before doing Telegraph Valley?
Frank4short - on 28 Sep 2012
In reply to balmybaldwin: Did it as per a Lakeland climber's suggestion about 6 weeks ago (though we didn't head up till 2.30, so were coming down after the 5pm curfew). Great cycle, couple of technical sections about halfway down the rangers path though the vast majority of it is cycleable and remember cycling down the railway tracks from the top to the rangers path turn off is cheating.
a lakeland climber on 28 Sep 2012
In reply to balmybaldwin:

The one over Llechog? Don't bother - a lot of it is similar to the carrying bits of the Ranger path.

ALC
Horse on 28 Sep 2012
In reply to a lakeland climber:

I thought the optimum way was to start at the Ranger, over the Telegraph, up the Llanberis and down the Ranger path. That way you finish with the down. It is how I plan doing it on Monday.

This gives and idea of the techy bits, must be serious given they have 160mm forks

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-KYY4_ywpM

And probably best to avoid doing this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Tix2VUjwGg
Frank4short - on 28 Sep 2012
In reply to Horse:

> This gives and idea of the techy bits, must be serious given they have 160mm forks
>
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-KYY4_ywpM

I'm not sure what's worst about that video - the music, their line choices or their complete inability to even attempt half of that considering the bikes they're on and all the padding, etc. they had. Everything up to the point the film ends is completely ridable. Granted we didn't necessarily ride it clean but we rode everything to that point. After where they stopped filming there's a 100-150m section which is super technical. One of the lads who's got considerably bigger testicles than me managed to ride about 80% of it sessioning it. So it's not completely unridable just needs some manliness. We probably would have tried a bit harder on that bit too but I was due to get married 2/3 weeks later and his wife's expecting their second child.

>
> And probably best to avoid doing this:
>
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Tix2VUjwGg

As for that film it's on the easier section down the bottom half, brake fail or no not sure how he managed to go off there.
Horse on 28 Sep 2012
In reply to Frank4short:

I thought you might realise the first one was taking the p***. I'd go with poor line choice. I'm guessing the bit missing from the film is some great big rock garden, is it also steep?

If so I'll have to think of a decent excuse for walking that bit, impending marriage and spawning are no longer viable for me.
Frank4short - on 28 Sep 2012
In reply to Horse:

> I'm guessing the bit missing from the film is some great big rock garden, is it also steep?

A couple of corners higher up require what you might call a consider approach line to ride them clean. Though they're all pretty doable. Other than that there's just the section of about 100-150m of technical stuff. Considering virtually every youtube clip of it I've seen appears to edit this section out e.g. they walked it. I wouldn't be too afraid to get off for that section.

Which it has to be said is the wonderful thing about mtbing. That you can just get off and walk if you get scared.

In answer it's not actually mega steep just super rocky with a couple of large drops with sketchy run outs.

Also in answer to your earlier post about route choice the descent from telegraph valley into Beris is actually a great end to the day and the climb up to the col isn't too bad. Well actually it's more like a 20min push. So given the choice I'd probably ride it from Beris rather than the way you suggested.
pauldr - on 28 Sep 2012
In reply to balmybaldwin:

i went from the campsite in Llanberis, there is a path/road at the campsite that you follow and it eventualy cuts accross to the Tourist path Via some boggy bits and a old house, then i went up the tourist path (wouldnt recomend going down it far to many people) to the summit, then returned down the rangers path (The rock garden can be a bit scary if your going at speed) then i went down the switchbacks (care required the further down you go on the corners) the bottom of the switchbacks area is bloody hard. then along the path (easy riding) through 2 gates (if i remember right) then carry on till you see a post on your right (just after a bend i think). Then i shouldered the bike up a vague path (very steep) levels out then follow the path (boggy) through a gate and between a Saddle after that its a very fast (usualy empty apart from some sheep) singletrack back to the camp site (watch out for the drainage holes on the path).. i can email you a map and official guide of the route if you want....
pauldr - on 28 Sep 2012
In reply to pauldr: Might see you there am going to doing it again around then... oh and dont forget your pads
balmybaldwin - on 28 Sep 2012
In reply to pauldr:

A route would be good if you can, looking at those videos, it looks fun and do-able... Years ago I did the telegraph valley on a rigid bike, so it doesn't worry me too much.

I've never owned MTB pads (I think this is what stops me falling off!... it might be the time to invest!
Frank4short - on 28 Sep 2012
In reply to balmybaldwin: This is pretty much it barring the start point marked http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/fullscreen/129035811/
johnj on 28 Sep 2012 - 88-104-129-210.dynamic.dsl.as9105.com
In reply to balmybaldwin:

A few of us did this as an overnighter, up the tourist path and down the ranger track with an overnight bivi on the summit in august 1997, apart from a few bits it was all ridable on my zasker with 63mm travel, v brakes and 130mm stem, back then you didn't really have much control over where you were going the bike just took its own line and you had to hold on, it didn't matter anyway as my fully packed rucksack kept pushing the back of my helmet forwards over my eyes, vision is highly over-rated anyway! happy daze eh, have a good trip :+)
Dave Kerr - on 28 Sep 2012
In reply to Horse:
> (In reply to a lakeland climber)
>
> This gives and idea of the techy bits, must be serious given they have 160mm forks
>
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-KYY4_ywpM
>

They're not very good are they?
airbournegrapefruit on 29 Sep 2012
In reply to balmybaldwin: Depending on your technical ability all of the Llanberis - Ranger route is ridable.
Only real advise I can give is to allow your brakes to cool a good amount before heading down the zigzag section. I run with Hope tech m4's with 180mm rotors and I was noticing a high amount of fade by the time I was half way down that bit.

Oh and a full-face helmet might come in handy if you do plan on riding all of it.
muppetfilter - on 29 Sep 2012
In reply to balmybaldwin: something to take on board is the time you plan your descent for. We have always left it a bit later in the day to avoid the walkers making for a better ride with much fewer people to pass.
ChrisJD on 29 Sep 2012
In reply to balmybaldwin:

I've done Snowdon a couple of times (years back) weekday evening after 5pm, we just went up Miners, carried/rode-bits up Zig-Zags and then blast down Tourist to Beris. 100% rideable and a UK must-do (though one of the times we had a complete mare with pinch flats, so get tyres and pressure sorted if you like to rip down fast).
IainRUK - on 29 Sep 2012
In reply to airbournegrapefruit:
> (In reply to balmybaldwin) Depending on your technical ability all of the Llanberis - Ranger route is ridable.
> Only real advise I can give is to allow your brakes to cool a good amount before heading down the zigzag section. I run with Hope tech m4's with 180mm rotors and I was noticing a high amount of fade by the time I was half way down that bit.
>
> Oh and a full-face helmet might come in handy if you do plan on riding all of it.

even the steps?
Horse on 01 Oct 2012
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Typical mountain day today on Snowdon, big wind, rain clag and sun. Started at the Ranger then up to the col and down the Telegraph, fantastic descent into Llanberis. The up the tourist path was not helped by the weather, above the inevitable push to Cloggy station the wind made riding so hard it was not worth it. Likewise on the return from the cafe, we could barely see or hold onto the bike on that first section never mind ride it.

Once over the railway the weather improved quickly as we lost height. Fast loose and rocky to the zig zags and sunshine. Then a very rapid plummet with a couple of minor mishaps down a the narrow, steep rocky bit to a 30m mince through the hard bit. Then onto 2 miles of wonderful singletrack back to the Youth Hostel. Advantage of starting at the Hostel is that you get to finish on a good section of single track which you miss if you start/finish in Llanberis.

Great day out, took us about 6.5 hours including a stop in the summit cafe and more pushing than essential due to the wind.
johnny1 - on 01 Oct 2012
In reply to Dave Kerr:

no
SC - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to balmybaldwin:

I have a (possibly stupid) idea for a ride on Snowdon, I quite like the idea of taking my downhill bike up there. Has anyone ridden the Pyg Track before? It's been a few years since I last walked down it but I don't think it would be impossible.
EeeByGum - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to Frank4short:

> I'm not sure what's worst about that video - the music, their line choices or their complete inability to even attempt half of that considering the bikes they're on and all the padding, etc.

Good job there is no elitism in mountain biking eh? ;-)

I do however agree with you on the music.
balmybaldwin - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to SC:

I think that you are right that it wouldn't be impossible, it could piss a number of people off though given that its a foot path
Dave Kerr - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to EeeByGum:
> (In reply to Frank4short)
>
> [...]
>
> Good job there is no elitism in mountain biking eh? ;-)
>

Is it elitism to say people are a bit crap when they are in fact a bit crap? Or is it just insensitive? I'm not sure.

SC - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to balmybaldwin:

The plan would be to sleep on the top and ride down very early.
quirky - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to SC: I rode down the PYG track many years ago, when the path went over the gorge, a few sections had to carry it but most of it was rideable, i do remember my teeth being shaken loose tho!!!
SC - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to quirky:

Nothing shakes yer teeth loose when you have 200mm of full suspension and a lot of speed.
quirky - on 02 Oct 2012
In reply to SC: ahh but this was the good old days!! Trying to remember if I had pace elastomer shocks or a flexi stem at the time! Jumping the gap was fun I remember......nothing to you young uns these days tho.
balmybaldwin - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Best video I've found: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1taP-BH5kOc

I think this is the ranger path, but can anyone confirm?
airbournegrapefruit on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to IainRUK: Yeah OK Iain, the summit cairn steps were walked up, but they were most certainly ridden down afterward.
IainRUK - on 03 Oct 2012
In reply to airbournegrapefruit: No I meant the allt moses steps... the ones leading to clogwn.. some of them are pretty large.
Horse on 04 Oct 2012
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Rangers path starts at 7 mins. They miss out the last section of single track back to the hostel presumably because they started in Llanberis.

Hope you get fewer walkers than them, we were lucky there weren't any on the descent on Monday.
balmybaldwin - on 04 Oct 2012
In reply to Horse:

DOes that cover most of the "technical Section" that's been mentioned above? If so then it does look pretty rideable (it may be a different matter approaching it on a bike!)
LastBoyScout on 04 Oct 2012
In reply to balmybaldwin:

I did it up the Llanberis trail and down the Ranger trail on my Trek 970 with no suspension apart form knees and elbows and with cantilever brakes!
Horse on 04 Oct 2012
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Yes. The hardest bit is at around 15 to 16 minutes in, it is not a long section. I think part of the difficulty comes because it is at the end of a long, steep descent and you might be getting tired.
balmybaldwin - on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Well, that was an experience!

Managed to ride up a lot of of it, with the odd section carrying. The clouds came in near the summit which added to the atmosphere.

The Top of the ranger route down was good, as was the rockier section below it - until one of our group face planted and a fair amount of blood flowed (we patched her up and continued). The rocky steped section descending above the lake wasn't really rideable onsite with an XC bike, and I now see why there are so few videos of that section (the one posted above does include some bits, but is heavily edited). It's a real shame though, as that section looses you a lot of height, and the path out from the rock garden becomes really tame and uninteresting.

The run down through Telegraph valley is quite nice, but again the path seems supper smooth and unnatural apart from the awkwardly angled rain gullies which if miss-timed can take out your rear end.

All in all, worth doing for the experience, but not as good as I had hoped, partly because my skills weren't up to scratch in terms of full on downhilling, and not wearing armour made me a little too cautious.

If I were to do it again, I would probably come down the Llanberis path, as that was all rideable on any bike. I would probably also do it in the summer late in the evening when the paths would be quiet.

Some experiences learned:

1. Don't do it on a weekend - there are far too many walkers
2. Ranger path is not for those with less than 6" suspension, and armour of some kind
3. Don't wear SPDs - otherwise if you stop you'll have trouble getting going again
4. Some walkers are really unpleasant tossers - one bloke in particular taking pleasure in informing us that he was encouraging all other the walkers to have a go at cyclists
5. Many walkers were really nice and friendly, and it was good having a bit of banter on the way up.

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