Cadair Idris – good as a ‘1st mountain’?

Viewing 27 posts - 1 through 27 (of 27 total)
  • Cadair Idris – good as a ‘1st mountain’?
  • Premier Icon ta11pau1
    Subscriber

    I’m starting to plan out some trips for this year and before I go and book trips which include big mountain ascents/descents (Snowdon, Ben Macdui, Helvellyn etc) I probably need to do some ‘baby’ mountains to cut my teeth on and make sure I’m up to the task.

    Is cadair idris a good one to start with, and are there any others in Wales and or peak district I should do?

    timc
    Member

    Presume you mean. on the bike & not hiking?

    No need to do a qualifier, just go straight to snowdon.

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
    Subscriber

    How are you planning on doing them? Some little hills can be very difficult, some big ones very easy, pedaling some can be hard but walking them isn’t.

    stevextc
    Member

    I did Cader Idris many decades ago on a touring bike with paniers so there must be at least one route that’s a good first mountain.

    ton
    Member

    yeah I think so.
    took my lad up for his 1st proper hill.

    and if you are fit, you can ride up and back down.

    munrobiker
    Member

    Where are you based?

    Cadair Idris is a good starter – the hardest stuff is at the top and isn’t particularly technical. Then it’s singletrack through grass (which can be very boggy if it’s been wet), a bit of fireroad then a nice bit of singletrack (starting with a bit more bog) to finish.

    Doing Snowdon isn’t actually very hard – it’s a good ride via the Ranger’s Path, but a good beginner option is just going down the main Llanberis path (though it’s very busy so best done at odd hours).

    If you’re nearer the Lakes, good ones are Helvellyn via Stick’s Pass (it’s a relatively straightforward ride),

    Sticks Pass-

    Stick’s Pass

    In Scotland, Ben Vorlich is a good start. Ben Chonzie is very easy (it’s basically a steep landrover track). Carn Ban Mhor is excellent fun. Capel Mounth is a good one around Glen Clova. Ben Lomond is good, more technical but easy. Mount Keen I’d say is the perfect starter mountain. For a relatively easy very remote feeling ride, Glen Callater is a good one.

    Carn Ban Mhor-

    Capel Mounth

    Mount Keen

    Ben Lomond

    Glen Callater

    Macdui isn’t a mega gnarly trail but it is a BIG ride so you’re right to build up to it.

    tnrbilly
    Member

    We did Cadir as a warm up to Snowdon the following day.

    Quite a few of us enjoyed Cadair more – probably due to the lack of tourists and a cafe at the top so it felt like a proper mountain. It was an up and back route (which I think is the only one ride able, but could be wrong) and coming back down wasn’t especially technical but was very fast and great fun.
    Snowdon was a long drag up the Llanberis Path, very busy as you got nearer the top and then down the Rangers Path which was quite a lot more technical than Cadair but a cracking ride.

    geomickb
    Member

    Ben Macdui, now that sounds good. Always wanted to summit but it’s a long way to walk.

    Premier Icon mossman
    Subscriber

    Drum Mountain starting in Conwy? you can make a decent loop out of it

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    Depends what you mean by “baby”, Cadair is still bloody big.

    I presume you ask about Wales or Peak District hills for geographical reasons, but I’d consider a trip to the Lakes to get into mountain riding.

    Loads of big hills of various sizes there and more RoWs than Wales.

    chevychase
    Member

    Cadair’s a great ride. Really enjoy it. Knock it out – stay in or near Barmouth and it’s not too far to get to the start, and a few pubs / an indian in the evening 🙂

    I prefer Wales to the Lakes riding although there are a lot more ROWs. Hopefully not for much longer if the open access thing goes through.

    Especially in the national park. I’m moving there for that reason 🙂

    Premier Icon ta11pau1
    Subscriber

    Yeah I’ll be riding as much as possible, not done any proper hikeabike so will be good to get some practice at that.

    Ive said Wales and peak district as they’re both close enough for a weekend trip, and probably a bit less daunting than some of the Scottish and lakes summits.

    I’ve never ridden proper mountain summit, hikeabike, natural trails, so want to get a few easier ones done on my own before booking myself onto a guided trip which would involve some bigger summits

    Basically I want to be sure my body is ready for it! 😁

    Remember, us softies from the south east don’t have this sort of thing on our doorstep, cadair idris is 3080ft of climbing in 7.5 miles according to trailforks, the closest I’ve come to that was Afan W2 at 3000ft of climbing over 27 miles.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    I’ve always thought the Black Mountains in South Wales make for a good taster. Not steep or really dangerous enough to get into any real trouble (as long as you’re sensible) but reasonably remote and accessible at the same time.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    I don’t disagree with you chevychase, mainly suggested Lakes as there are more options for smaller hills and passes to build up from.

    Yes, quite excited about the access thing in Wales. Funny how it’s not really an issue in the Lakes, but cheeky riding is much lower-profile in the Welsh mountains.

    Ive said Wales and peak district as they’re both close enough for a weekend trip

    Have you ridden much in the Peaks before? I’d suggest checking out Cavedale and Jacob’s Ladder for reasonably long, rocky descents which are similar to what you’ll find in the mountains in terms of terrain.

    Premier Icon tjmoore
    Subscriber

    Multiple hills around Surrey Hills can easily get you 3000ft+ climbing, but it’s very different to a Welsh mountain or the lakes.

    How about Brecon first (Gap ride perhaps) and/or Black Mountains (the hills, not the trail centre)?

    Premier Icon Mary Hinge
    Subscriber

    Cadair is a good one.

    A while back we did the Bont Scethin loop in the morning and Cadair in the afternoon. Top day out that 🙂

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    View from top of Cadair, I really enjoyed the descent – was quite engaging on my short travel 29er.

    Downtube of aforementioned 29er at the bottom, yes there’s a fair bit of sheep poop…

    Premier Icon ta11pau1
    Subscriber

    Have you ridden much in the Peaks before? I’d suggest checking out Cavedale and Jacob’s Ladder for reasonably long, rocky descents which are similar to what you’ll find in the mountains in terms of terrain.

    Not been there yet, planning when it’s been dry to ride cutgate, will add those to the list!

    It’s less the descents I’m worried about, its more the climbing, there’s some very steep (maybe 25-30% grade, but short) hills local to me that I have to push up and it’s always hard work.

    Multiple hills around Surrey Hills can easily get you 3000ft+ climbing, but it’s very different to a Welsh mountain or the lakes.

    Yeah I could get the same elevation but as you say it’s not the same, maybe I should try and ride my local hill a few times, 250-300ft in 0.3 miles, doing that 10x would be 2500ft in 3 miles (and would also kill me!).

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    Cutgate is a superb trail but a bit too “flat” for what you want.

    Plenty of testing climbs in the Peaks though, including to get to the trails I mentioned.

    I’ve always enjoyed doing it. Bit of bike a hike near the top over the loose boulder fields – on the way up you may be thinking they are not going to be be rideable on the way back down,especially if your not used to this kind of riding .They are though-just need to spot your line through early and keep momentum and then it’s all good fun
    Cadair Idris Descent

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Subscriber

    Yeah do it, it’s good fun. I’ve done Cadair and Snowdon twice now. Would second the Gap in Brecon. Mint loop that.

    You can ride much of Cadair and it is a stout climb for mere mortals like me but it’s good and the lake view is great. There are some sections you’ll be pushing and lifting your bike but in the main it’s a ride.

    I tried the little mental section from the summit. It was hard 😂

    scruff
    Member

    Can you ride cadair idris directly from Dolgellau?

    Premier Icon colournoise
    Subscriber

    I tried the little mental section from the summit. It was hard 😂

    I concur…

    chevychase
    Member

    Nah – you can’t ride cadair from Dolgellau (unless you’re a roadie masochist) – the bridleway’s on teh south of the mountain. Lots of gpxs about for it. (Dont forget to turn left off the double-track on the way back down).

    Peak District is ace. Cut Gate is a belter (do like that, flat(ish) one way, steep the other). I like hitting out from Hope, maybe up the roman road by Win Hill, down the beast or potato alley, up via lockerbrook down the screaming mile. If you’re uber fit you can extend it with a few options (including cut gate) or go back over, down hagg farm… nice little loop. Tend to head out that way when I’m not camping out somewhere else.

    Having no kids is great 😉

    munrobiker
    Member

    I’m convinced there has to be another rideable way off Cadair Idris than the bridleway. That can’t just be it.

    FWIW, I’d generally agree with chapaking. The Lakes will offer you better opportunities for big mountain riding. Wales, in terms of bridleways at least, only has Cadair and Snowdon, neither of which are world beaters compared to most of what the Lakes has to offer.

    Can’t you call your bike Mr Ed Jnr and ride up the Pony Path, having ridden up from Dolgellau to near Gwernan Lake? 😆

    ElShalimo
    Member

    For your first mountain, try The Calf in the Howgills.

    Ascend from Sedbergh, descend via Bowderdale. It’s a good intro big day on the hills. We did it in October years ago and had every weather imaginable. Hard work but good fun.

    Linky

Viewing 27 posts - 1 through 27 (of 27 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.