Snowdon – 'essential' gear

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  • Snowdon – 'essential' gear
  • gribble

    Yes, I am trying to have a crack at cycling this at the end of the month. I fully appreciate people used to have a go on a Raleigh Lizzard with nothing but Kendle Mint cake and their skills. As I don’t have any Kendle Mint cake or skills, I am looking for some advice in terms of preparation/kit.

    Route is up Llanberis and down Ranger, cutting back up to Llanberis half way down. Am doing this in a small group. I won’t be doing this in bad weather and am fully prepared to turn around if it gets bad half way up. I am also in the back of my mind thinking early morning to avoid walkers (even though this is pre-voluntary ban Summer period) and secondly so I don’t get stuck on the mountain after dark repairing a puncture.

    I have a hard tail with 115mm of travel. I have taken the liberty of sticking on some Ardent 2.25s front and back as it looks rocky, which is the most the frame/fork will take. Have also got some flat pedals. Unfortunately a bigger bike is not an option, although I would love the excuse.

    In terms of personal kit, I have got a map, compass, hydration pack and will be taking spare warm clothes and sugary treats. Also have 1st aid kit and space blanket.

    Do I need anything else (i.e. like knee pads)? I am not sure I can prepare my bike much more…


    Couple of beers to enjoy the sunrise before heading down Ranger?


    Its not that hard if you have common sence.

    Take a few spare innertubes and pump up your tyres – your likely to suffer pinchflats otherwise.

    Spare mech hanger.

    Other than that have fun, if the weather looks pants turn round.

    Premier Icon Pook

    comfy walking shoes ;o)

    Normal stuff you would take out on a decent ride! Navigation is pretty sraight forward, just follow the path or cairns. From experience i would advise some sort of knee/elbow protection as falling off on the rangers will involve you hitting lots of rocks.


    Only thing I would take over a normal ride is a warm layer or 2

    Other than that it just a long push/ride and a ‘make it worth the push’ technical descent

    Have a great time

    Petes eats when you’re finished


    A bike
    A windproof top
    Money for Pete’s Eats.

    All you need.


    spare inner tubes, tyre boot, and a bell. And a sense of humour.


    I’m doing it in a couple of weeks time if the weather’s ok for it. Are the rocks there really sharp enough to rip sidewalls?

    Also what weather is acceptable? Ie if its raining a bit in the morning would we be better off going to CyB? Doing it with 2 less experienced riders and I don’t want to put them off bikes, or for them to have a shit time. We’re doing a few days at trail centres beforehand to warm them up!

    Premier Icon binners

    As has been said, pack plenty of tubes. And then a couple more. Just in case. The Ranger is hungry for inner tubes. Its a war of attrition.

    As has also been said; Pete’s Eats when you get down is compulsory

    Have fun! We did it setting off at the crack of dawn, on a beautiful morning with not a cloud in the sky*. Fantastic!

    * other weather conditions are available ๐Ÿ˜‰


    I’d say ride flats if you already have them, done it twice and you will do quite a bit of bike carrying in places, which was much nicer in Five Tens than the SPD disco slippers i wore the first time.

    Be prepared for all weathers, can be blinkin cold at the top, first time i did had snow at the top and i wore latex gloves under my normal riding gloves.

    If for any reason you do get stuck in dark or not enjoying it, come back down Llanberis, it is much easier to ride down that Rangers (although not as much fun).

    Finally, once you come back down Rangers and have to turn off to cut back over the top to Llanberis, make sure you spot the turn, the path is not that distinct at all and is very easy to go passed especially as you can get some speed up down there.

    Oh and have fun..

    Premier Icon lowey

    Alternativly start at Ranger station, push up the zig zags and take Telegraph valley to Llanberis, then the tourist track to the top. That way you get the full unfettered descent right the way to the Ranger.

    Few extra layers and knee pads if you have them. If you go in the cafe at the top, dont get warm and comfy as the temp difference coming out of it is shocking!

    We are doing it on Sunday!!!

    I’d use Lowey’s route.

    I wouldnt do it on a bike in the snow and ice (unlikely though, I’ve been waiting to climb Snowdon in winter conditions this year but blinked and missed the chance a few weeks ago)

    If the weather is poor, but you still want a big mountain day, you might find friendlier conditions to the south on Cadair Idris (though no cafe on the top!)


    Thanks all.

    Lowey/agent – thanks, will have a look Lowey’s route when I get home.

    It can be very cold and windy on the summit, even it it’s fairly clear. Dress appropriately and take plenty of energy bars – fairly energy sapping to climb up there and you want to keep your brain sharp. Am envious BTW.


    oooo wow this is something i would love to be able to do,fantastic scenery if the weather holds off.You will have a marvelous time.
    Maybe one day i would be able to take on the challenge of reaching the top,but my skill’s come quite short of this terrain,hence why im going on a skills course ๐Ÿ™‚
    you’ll have hoot of a time.

    Premier Icon Boardstupid

    We are planing this trip shortly found the link below to be good


    Make sure your brake pads have plenty of life in them and as others have said, take plenty of tubes, spare clothing and a fully charged phone. It is a miserable place if the weather is against you, however if the weather is fair, it is absolutely stunning, enjoy it.

    However, if you are from Merseyside, leave your bike at home, wear trainers, jogging pants, a t-shirt and carry your sarnies/Pringles in a Kwik-Save bag and expect to see a Mountain Rescue Team, possible yellow helicopter and spend a couple of days recovering from hypothermia in Ysbyty Gwynedd Hospital in Bangor!


    Rigid bike, steel rims, brake blocks with a leather strip in them, ron hills in lime green, no helmet, butties made by my mum.

    It’s a big hill, get on with it.


    Crikey – that pic only shows that you got to the top in one piece!


    Yes, cos now, some 20 odd years later, I’m still posting from the top……


    I did it last summer and it was great fun. I’d take knee/elbow pads if you’re not used to rocky steep stuff. Go tubeless if you can and take spare tubes. Brake pads should have life in them and make sure you have a couple of layers. Ron hills and no helmet are fine if it’s sunny and you don’t crash. If you fall off and knock yourself unconscious or get stranded and freeze then you look like a pillock.


    If you fall off and knock yourself unconscious or get stranded you’re probably not very good at riding a bike down a big hill….


    Im off up there in the 25th really looking forward to it. We have Llandegla and the MBR at CyB on the Saturday. If anybody else is up here that weekend keep an eye out for a bloke pushing a silver bike up the hill moaning about his legs. As I will either be doing that or bouncing down the Rangers on my head.


    I just want to see the pics from the bottom showing your shredded Ron Hills and rims that have been scored through ‘cos your blocks had worn out by the time you got down to Cloggy. You’d be smiling because we had no idea what the future would hold.

    Chaps, whilst I acknowledge that Snowdon is a proper mountain (just) with the variable weather that comes with being so high, lets not forget that you can get up and down in less than half a day. This isn’t a polar expedition. Its even got its own railway FFS!

    Take an extra wooley top, enough munchies for a half a day ride, and some armour if you feel that way inclined, and get it done.


    I did it three times on the same bike, then again twice on my next bike, but in lycra shorts and a T-shirt. Pad up, helmet up, make sure those hydraulic pads are up to it, take your camelbak, take all the spares you think you need, been there done it before you, done it with less crap, enjoyed it more petal

    All good advice above.

    Personally I’d run:

    Big tyres
    QR or dropper seatpost

    And I’d take:

    Some nice grub
    Spare tubes
    Spare brake pads
    Knee and shin armour
    A good outer layer and a spare mid layer
    First aid kit
    Space blanket
    My time getting down. ๐Ÿ™‚

    It’s a shed load of fun – enjoy!

    Paul on the Ranger Path by Pimpmaster Jazz, on Flickr

    Ooo, hark the all mountain men on here!

    If you look closely you can still see the pieces of raw rabbit between their teeth from dinner tonight. ๐Ÿ˜‰


    Train ticket


    this would be an adventure for me i think as i normally ride trail centres.


    Actually take crikeys advice. You’re a complete jessy unless you cycle up Snowdon backwards on a fixie wearing spandex whilst tossing off an angry gorilla, before kicking a toddler just to teach his dad a lesson for wearing hiking boots and sensible clothing.


    Hurrah for modern mountain bikers…

    Too dim to understand that the most important bit of safety kit you have is between your ears. Snowdon is perfectly safe, perfectly doable on any bike if you use your brain, choose your day and have the sense to back off if conditions are not right. It’s not about being macho, its about matching your ability to the task. I’ve run up and down Snowdon in a pair of shorts and shoes, on a summers day. Presumably this is gnarr level idiocy…

    Premier Icon Sanny

    Ah. Proper mountain biking. ๐Ÿ˜€

    I’ve refined my kit over the years to blend lightvweight and common sense.

    For me, the following make up my big hill essentials.

    Rab Photon hoody
    Rab Momentum Jacket
    Smart wool hat
    Waterproof gloves
    waterproof shorts or trousers
    Survival bag
    map and compass
    Spare buff
    Leg warmers
    Arm warmers
    Kyle Strait knee pads
    Elbow guards if it’s properly technical
    Dry bags to stuff my gear in
    Charged mobile phone ( last resort)
    Spare food
    Bag of sweeties
    bottle of ginger
    Head torch
    First aid kit

    It might sound like a lot but it packs down easily into an Alpkit 20 litre bag and doesn’t weigh very much at all. I only add a couple more bits for hut to hut touring. I go for the better to have and not use it than forget it and wish you had brought it approach. Using water bottles instead of a Camelbak saves a shed load of weight and makes for less heft on your back.

    Of course, you don’t need to take any of that stuff to have a good time!

    Enjoy it and post some pics.


    Jesus Sanny its not Everest.


    most important bit of safety kit you have is between your ears.

    Which is why it’s a good idea to protect it with a helmet ffs!


    Except I would have had to wait a few years for them to be invented…

    Good grief, you boys are softies…

    Premier Icon Sanny

    I ache

    Of course it isn’t but I like being prepared. Well that and it’s an excuse to buy more kit! Ha! Ha! I’ve been on a few rides where mates have had major offs (broken pelvis followed by a helicopter trip, broken collarbone etc) that made me realise the importance of common sense and being prepared. On one ride many years ago in the snow, I reached the stage where I wanted to get off my bike and go to sleep in the snow. I’ve never felt so cold and fortunately was still with it enough to recognise that I was in deep shit and had to keep going. It stuck with me and I learned a valuable lesson of not underestimating the hills. Sorry, I’m not trying to be preachy or Mr Super Safety. Most of the time, being unprepared isn’t going to bite you on the ass! If you have a read of MRT reports, it’s interesting to see how things can escalate. Most of the time, things work out fine in the end but I was shocked and saddened to read that a mountain biker died on Iron Keld just before Xmas. It’s a trail a know really well being close to Ambleside so it came as a real shock to read the report.

    Premier Icon Onzadog

    Don’t forget the oxygen cylinder due to the altitude. Don’t worry, you can save weight and discard it half way down with all the others.


    Fair do I can’t say that I have ever been in that sort of situation and if I had I would probably carry as much as you do.

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