Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Alpine Highs, well almost...

Way back in June, Daryl and I snuck west for one of our signature 'stack it high, enjoy it cheap' weekends. We've not been back to Snowdon together since our little accident there and it was time to go back with a bang and tick off one the 'must do's' of mountain biking. Finter, who has been climbing loads recently, also wanted to redpoint the whole country, so the climbing bags were added to the bike kit and camping gear.

We'd settled on camping at Llyn Gwynant, where neither of us had stayed before. The main reason behind this was that it allowed us to do a mother of a loop from the campsite, up to Pen Y Pass and then down to the Llanberis pass where the sloggin would begin.

Clear and crisp night.

Having arrived just after midnight, we were up and out by 5:30 the next morning, shivering in the frost (yes frost - it had even snowed higher up!). Campsite completely dead except for the early morning wee wee crowd, its a nice feeling, knowing you are getting the jump on everyone and you'll have the views and mountain to yourself fro a bit.

Llyn Gwynant.

We stopped on the way to Pen Y Pass as the view of our objective was bathed in beautiful light and the stillness was incredible.


We were able to spot our fall spot from here and it was nice to be back in much better conditions.



We set off soon after and started the climb up to Pen Y Pass, before the great free wheel down past all the classic climbing that nestles deep in the Llanberis pass and soon found the start of the LLanberis pass, our chosen climb.

This was when we realised that our early start wouldn't yeild an empty mountain as we passed probably 50 people coming down in dribs and drabs, doing the three peaks challenge! Many surprised at the sight of the bikes and lots of happy encouragement as they paced the last of their steps on the last mountain.

It was on the up that the weather started to close in and we entered the rain and fog.




Jackets on, and a quick look at the scenery before the real climbing starts. We had done a bit of pushing through difficult sections, but now it really started to get going. There were some sections where all you could do was push or carry the bike and we were both cursing the up. We like going down!

Anyway. We made it and it was a slag. I was happy.

Basically, I was delirious and needed a twix.

We headed to the cafe. WAHT!? I hear you cry, Yes, dry and warm and full of cake and coffee, it was. Bloody lovely. Shame about the window all down one size, it could have been a white wall, but it hit the spot in there and I can remember the old cafe from a trip when I was a teenager, and it is definitely nicer!!

Fuelled on stuff, we headed back out into the cold, damp, fog. The fog made the top half of the descent interesting as it was quite thick, but within a few minutes we'd broken out of it and we were starting to run flat out. The Ranger path proved to be a very good choice!

The downhill went in an absolute blurrrrrr! I have to say, we were pretty pleased with our ride and hit everything flat out and on site with the exception of two sections that were definitely unrideable unless you are called Gee or Peaty.

The scenery was awesome and we stopped for a few quick shots en route.

The view of our route up from the Ranger path.


The bad part was we rode some of the most demanding stuff and were having such a good time, didn't stop to shoot it!


DAV_2968 (1)
Classic. With I'd shot it a fraction earlier, but this sums up the route down...

No comments: