- Snowdon Ranger PSA
I’m supposed to be going with a group of 7 others this Sunday, we’re riding early so will hopefully avoid walkers, but the plan was to ride back down the rangers then up the hill to Telegraph Valley.
Jon, would you say the Rangers is still worth riding or would up/down Llanberis be preferable? Some of us have ridden Snowdon before, others haven’t with some being a bit unsure on the technical stuff.Posted 4 years agochambordMember
I was walking up Snowdon on Saturday. Almost got to the top at about 1ish and saw a man with a tidy looking black Rocket struggling to pass the crowds – you I presume?
Haven’t been up Snowdon before and must say I was pretty suprised how busy it was. I do look forward to taking my bike there one day though – I was pretty jealous of everyone with 2 wheels when I was stumbling along on my boring old feet.Posted 4 years ago
Llanberis has also had loads of work done on it since I last went (5 years ago?) – it’s almost all rideable up (bar the steps up to the tunnel by Clogwyn Station, and wind dependent). It wouldn’t be desperately exciting as a DH, especially given the amount of pedestrian traffic would mean you couldn’t give it full beans.
I’d still do the Ranger, although next time I want to go and do Rhyd Du as I haven’t ridden that, and it’s hopefully much quieter.
saw a man with a tidy looking black Rocket struggling to pass the crowds – you I presume?
I would guess so – there’s not that many around! Thanks for the compliment!Posted 4 years agoioloMember
It’s even better to get up there before sunrise. When the sun comes up make a bacon sarnie on the summit and ride down.Posted 4 years ago
I can nearly guarantee you’ll see nobody.
It also makes it a bit more of an adventure going up in the dark.
You can either then do it again with the walkers or go riding somewhere else.robj20Member
I agree, by far the best time, last time i went i left the car at 4am an was at the top watching the sunrise. Even if you do come across the odd walker there heading up so facing you, makes it much easier to navigate past people, and usually the early walkers are pleasant walkers.Posted 4 years ago
I will never do a mid-day ride on snowdon and especially not at weekend.peachosMember
ditto, my best time was setting up from Llanberis at 8pm on a glorious summer evening. cracking sunset and the mountain to ourselves. the only thing that spoiled it was my mate eating his way through his tubes and then mine like that tiger that came to tea, making us miss the pub.
could be a shame about the work, but hopefully it’ll still be alright. does it look like they’ll be leaving the top high speed big shaley corners alone as well as the bottom tech fest? just the middle slate stuff???Posted 4 years agotmb467Subscriber
Nowt wrong with the llanberis as a DH if there are no walkers. We did it midweek on a lovely september evening and it ranks as one of the best flatout descents I’ve done – the length of the DH makes up for the slog up
obviously my opinion probably marks me as not being a true STWer as the llanberis isnt the gnarliest ridePosted 4 years ago
We did the classic “lets go and ride Snowdon in early October” thing this weekend.
First off, I can’t believe how busy it was. The summit area from the top of the Pyg track to the station was rammed – elbow to elbow. It was like Oxford Street in December. I tried riding down from the summit station but had to give up – it was just too damn busy, and in the face of so much animosity from the walkers, it wasn’t worth the grief. I really, really wouldn’t recommend doing it of a weekend if this is what it’s usually like.
Anyway – onto the Ranger path. It would appear the days of lovely loose drifty hairpins have ended. They’re obviously about to start work armouring the trail and to that end have heli’d in loads of bags of rocks. Which they’ve dumped in clusters on the corners making the trail impassable to all. So everybody is walking/riding down the steep grass banks and tearing that to shreds instead, which all seems rather short sighted. (I understand them not wanting to carry the rocks very far, but dumping the bags on the banks would allow them a clear work area, and not trashing the grass – especailly given the current footfall levels). It is all still rideable if you’re comitted, but you need to be prepared to take some very cheeky lines. Did properly piss me off at the time.
It wasn’t all bad though – the bit where you come out of the clouds down the back of Cloggy, above the lake is still magical, and the gnarly steepy gully bit lower down is still lots of fun (and doesn’t look like it’s going to get modified).Posted 4 years ago
Jon, did you clean the gully?
Yup. I did it before blind a few years back, and got down with one dab*. This time I was waiting for the missus, so had a look at it first. Took 2 goes to get down the last section of it (awkward wheel trapper on the way out of a dropoff), but not too bad at all. Rock was dry which helped…
*shame it was my face I dabbed with…!Posted 4 years agojambourgieMember
I was thinking of heading up in the week sometime soon. Not on the bike but walking, sleeping in the back of the van the night before. Only ever done the Llanberis path in the past. Anyone got a good recommendation for a more interesting path? I want to try Crib Goch, but will prob wait until I’ve got some better footwear for that.Posted 4 years ago
Setting off at 4 from Llanberis would get you to the top between 6 & 7. I’d leave it an hour or so you get up there about 7.30, 8.00 ish. Any earlier and you’ll be descending in 1/2 light and it’s miserable up there at the best of times (never seen a view from the top). Rangers is way more fun than the Llanberis, bags or no bags. It’ll still take you less than 1/2 an hour to get down though!Posted 4 years ago
Setting off at 4 from Llanberis would get you to the top between 6 & 7. I’d leave it an hour or so you get up there about 7.30, 8.00 ish. Any earlier and you’ll be descending in 1/2 light and it’s miserable up there at the best of times (never seen a view from the top). Rangers is way more fun than the Llanberis, bags or no bags. It’ll still take you less than 1/2 an hour to get down though!
Cheers Jon. I’m going with my other half who, although is a competent enough rider, might find very technical descents intimidating. She did the red DH at Nevis Range happily enough. How would Rangers/Llanberis compare?Posted 4 years agoD0NKSubscriber
obviously my opinion probably marks me as not being a true STWer as the llanberis isnt the gnarliest ride
I bet it’s a nice fast run but the speed you need to go at it to make it interesting is a no-no at anything but first light and it probably isn’t convenient for most (think I’d have to leave the house at 2am to do that sort of run) Rangers is slower and quieter IM(limited)E so more conducive for a fun ride.
dropping bags on the trail does seem stupid but as someone said maybe a helicopter/time thingPosted 4 years ago
I’ve never done the Nevis red so can’t compare, however my other half isn’t a fan of monster tech fests either, and she enjoyed herself. The bottom half of the trail is pretty flowy/non-tech (as is Telegraph Valley if you go back to LLanberis that way). The top section is fast, rubbly and open – no special skills required and can be ridden at any pace you like. The middle bit might be a walk though.
Either way its a great mountain biking experience, possibly with the emphasis on the mountain bit. As I said in the original post, it’s one of *those* moments when you drop out of the clouds coming down the Clogwyn ridge and the view for miles around opens up. Worth putting up with the weather and the walkers and the grunt up the hill and then some!Posted 4 years agoaracerSubscriber
obviously my opinion probably marks me as not being a true STWer as the llanberis isnt the gnarliest ride
On the contrary, if you rode it all that probably makes you a bit overskilled for here.
Liking the sunset pic – still have plans to be there at sunset at some point in order to do the 3000s before sunrise.Posted 4 years agoboxfishMember
Did Snowdon for the first time the weekend before last. Up Llanberis (with some pushing/carrying I might add!), the summit was crowded with walkers. The descent of Rangers was mercifully devoid of pedestrians and I loved it. From the loose surface at the top with grapefruit-sized rocks pinging off my shins, to the rocky steps halfway down (I dabbed, the shame!) it was great fun. We branched off right and pushed a short way up to the saddle point at the top of the adjacent valley (Telegraph?). The smooth, flowing trail back to Llanberis got the juices flowing. Much cake was then eaten.Posted 4 years agojambalayaSubscriber
@mduncombe – lovely photos !
I walked up at the end of October last year and it was busy – cold but with nice clear views though.
Thanks for the updates and info, useful as it’s on the to-do list.
As for helicopter it’s easy to aim at the trail rather than taking a guess at how steep the grass banks are, stones more likely to stay in place and safer for folks on the ground who have to disconnect the bags.Posted 4 years agowardeneryriMember
I was given the heads up re this thread on Twitter, so apologies for nosing in, but hopefully I’ll be able to clarify a few of the points on here:
Bags on the path: a few on here have already hit the nail on the head – due to the terrain (very steep) in places it was safer for the helicopter pilot to put the bags on the path rather than risk dropping the bags and then the bags sliding off down the slope. We also suffered very bad weather during the lift – it took three weeks to complete two days worth of flying, so admittedly some bags had to be less than accurately placed, for the pilots safety more than anything else. We also had to drop the really big stones in-situ as all the work will be done manually from here on in, so the less movement required the better.
Impact on the trail: We’ve tried to keep work to a minimum as generally speaking for both bikers and walkers natural paths are always preferable, however in areas with significant erosion/gullying and areas of path spread we are going to have to use stone pitching. The work is mainly concentrated on the corners and the pitching will be staggered (like on the Llanberis path). We’re going to try and incorporate rolling waterbars as drainage – which is a bit like a speed bump across the path – to drain water, rather than the traditional cut-offs which I understand can be an issue for you guys in terms of punctures and being catapulted off.
Busy times: a few on here have commented that it’s a much more enjoyable ride when it’s quieter, in this respect I may be able to help as we have people counters on all the paths, so I can provide info on what times of day/week/month (on average) are quieter. If someone can advise on the best place to post this data then would be happy to do so.
If you want to get in touch re any of this to discuss further I’m on Twitter as @wardeneryri
Snowdon Warden – Snowdonia National ParkPosted 4 years agoEcky-ThumpMember
Thanks for taking the time to reply Helen.
It’s encouraging that someone out there is taking account of what users are saying.
I’d also strongly agree with ndthornton’s point:
Please, please dont make the track any easier on our account.
Its currently one of the best descents in the UK.
If it looks un-ridable….that’s how we like it
It wasn’t said in jest!Posted 4 years agowardeneryriMember
Thanks for all the positive replies. As beautiful as the Peak District is martinhutch and JonEdwards I’m afraid for me Snowdonia takes some beating! Ndthornton and Ecky-Thump let me know if there’s any specific features that you don’t want to loose (grid reference and picture would be handy) and I’ll check whether any of it falls in the planned work area and we can go from there. grum – will post quiet times data asap. nosedive – it’s basically the top zig zags, but you’re fellow riders will probably be better placed to advise whether it’s worth it or not. The actual pitching work is due to start in early November – weather dependent!Posted 4 years ago
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