Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sun and celeberaty.

We were the celebrities, unbelievably.

Well, what a weekend. With both Daryl and I having the most ridiculous, busy weeks, we hadn't really planned a thing until Friday night when it was all kicking off. We'd decided to go to Cader Idris, last minute, as both of us wanted to go and the weather was going to be rather nice!

So up I rocked to Dave and Steff's in the MK massif, scoffed some fish and chips and faffed about with maps and gear before getting to bed. Saturday we set off early clutching the directions from bikefax for a bike up Cadair Idris as we thought it would make a change to the usual forest loop/trail centre and the Audi A4 avec Spesh Stumpjumper crew!!! We starteed South of the mountain and set to the beeeatch of a climb-helped greatly by the fact it was hot-damn hot. But we had prepared ourselves for that (well mentally at least) so carried on in typical shambolic on bike/off bike/on bike fashion. As we approached the join with the pony path-the main walkers track we started to come across more people who all seemed quite astounded at the fact we had bikes with and remarkably friendly. This air of celebrity continued all the way to the top-even over the final 100m where we had to shoulder the bikes! We then had a quick spot of lunch and prepared ourselves for the route down-which mostly involved me emptying out all the air from my propedal and being faced with a ride down with no damping and savage bottom out!!

We weren't too sure about the rocks at the top but went for it anyway and it was absolutely amazing-different from anything we have ridden before as we drifted down in an avalanche of boulders generally whopping and hollering and we thrashed past the bewildered walkers-they were impressed you could tell! At least until I got my first pinch puncture, and they all overtook us. Just as we got going again it was daves turn who once he had fixed his puncture decided to rip his valve in half. Quick bodge later and we were off again trying to beat the air leak to the bottom-which we almost did. This lower section was awesome as we ripped through fields launching off the little kickers into and out of gullys.

We then packed up and headed to the North Side of the mountain for camping at the most bizarre derelict campsiite ever, some cider in a wonderfully cosy-log fired pub by the lake and then some sleep. Before getting up super early washing in the river brokeback style and setting off on the next mission.

We planned to climb the Cyfry Arete and wanted to start early before the crowds. We headed up the foxes path and got to the lake at the foot of the boulder field to the most peaceful, sunny, quiet scene with not a bugger in site. We set off up the boulder field-sparking avalanches (definately wear a helmet on this route) with rocks the size of your head to the start of the root-marked out by the large CA on the rock. A quick tool up with rope etc. and Dave set off on the lead. The route was very exposed the whole way but on mostly solid rock with plenty of holds and the next few pitches gave a great opportunity for much needed ropework practice. The downclimb off the table about halfway up being the most difficult with a barndoor style shambles of a move by me!! We then moved up the crux which again had plenty of holds but was great fun leading up to the final section which can easily be done without a rope as it is just broekn ground.

At the top we again acquired noteriety as a bunch of walkers had sought us out desperate to speak to us about the route and get a first hand impression! We then had a cracking bit of lunch in the sun with shirts off-soaked up the rays for a bit before accepting the fact that we could not sit there forever, so made a hasty descent-we even ran for a bit! And then the drive home which I admirably slept through a portion of!!

This was all rounded off in fantastic style by a beautiful roast chicken dinner courtesy of the lovely Steffi-thank you Steff :)

ridiculous packing for two people.









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