To anyone with snowdon experience…advice

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  • To anyone with snowdon experience…advice
  • So from first hand experience of the terrain, is it worth travelling to snowdonia (from Derby) to go up an down snowdon on a hardtail? Ive no doubt its possible on one, but if its 8 miles of jacobs ladder type rocky-ness decent I might just try something else until I can afford such luxuries as a FS (I fancy keeping my fillings for now).
    Think I read somewhere that some of the paths are built for hoards of idiot tourists, and so are managed quite flat, or am I making that up?

    djglover
    Member

    An up/downhill towpath

    Premier Icon Stranger
    Subscriber

    Wish the towpaths round here were like that! 🙂

    forge197
    Member

    I did it on a 100mm lightweight XC bike, but seeing as we went a very odd route up which involved rock climbing I was glad it was light. Coming down it was a handful but only went over the bars once. Next time I’d take a longer travel HT or a FS as it would make the decent more fun.

    Some of it’s rocky some it isn’t bit of a mixture on the way down, that’s the path that goes down to Lanberris.

    rolfharris
    Member

    Of course it is. If you go up Llanberis and then down the ranger’s path it’s an excellent ride. Up and down Llanberis is a waste of effort- it’s all smooth. Ranger’s is rocky and exciting. Not like Jacob’s, it’s singletrack with rocky sections and the odd rock field. A 5" hardtail will be more than capable. I’d definitely not sacrifice it just because you don’t have a full susser- it’s a worrying thing when people are turning away from real trails because they don’t have the most technologically advanced, and often over the top, bike.

    IanMunro
    Member

    Take whatever bike you have and don’t worry. Remember people have been going up a down snowdon on bicycles way before suspension existed and absolutely loved it.

    mark_b
    Member

    At the risk of willy waving i’ve only ever ridden up/carried up the Rangers and Rhyd Ddu bridleways and ridden down the Llanberis track.

    This was on a rigid bike with cantilever brakes (many years ago pre-V’s before i sound like a Luddite !) so i’d say any bike can cope with it. All depends how fast you want to go 🙂

    Cheers guys, will give it a go then! seems there is a choice of trails for everyone.

    mark_b – i knew there wud be at least one story of someone doing it on a fully rigid and canti brakes! legendary

    Steve P
    Member

    Did it last 18 months ago on my 1999 TREK 8900 hardtail with 80mm up front. Was a blast from Lanberis, a good laugh…

    Basically we had to carry bikes all the way up, against 60mph winds & snow. Half the group went back at the bridge because conditions were so bad – made it to the top in a total white out. And my calves were burning from the strain. Then the few of us that made it strapped everything down and cained it back down… It’s one to do – just to say you’ve done it….

    Take plenty of layers if you’re going this time of year, a survival blanket and a whistle… when visibilty drops up there you can’t see a thing…and if you crashed off the path….

    S!

    Umm, I wouldn’t say Llanberris was flat… Not massively tech and I’d say easily doable on a hardtail, but not too boring either. BITS of it are quite flat, but bits are not!

    zokes
    Member

    Erm yeah – lots of bike ‘gods’ on here it seems. Of course you can ride it on any bike, whether you’d enjoy it or not is another matter! Anyone who thinks the Llanberis path is flat and smooth either has a 12" DH monster or is going very very slowly.

    Having ridden it many times from an old GT with RSTs, a 5" HT and a 6" full susser, I know which was most fun. In fact, as I now seem to have aquired a Patriot 7+, I suspect i’ll enjoy it even more on that. Interestingly, a lot of the ‘improvements’ for hoards of hapless walkers in sandals and bermuda shorts have made it more difficult if anything, seeing as they worked out the average length of a bike, and spaced the block steps to be as bumpy as possible. But i’m sure the regulars will tell you you need a rigid 29er fixie to enjoy riding anything properly.

    If you are coming up to the area and don’t fancy such a rockfest, there’s plenty of other stuff to be had that will put a huge grin on your face without removing all your fillings on a HT.

    Yeah I wouldn’t go just for Snowdon, but you’ve go the Marin, Penmachno and loooooooooads of natural riding not far away too

    Richyb
    Member

    Am I right in thinking there’s some sort of voluntary curfew for bikers on Snowdon? Can someone tell me when you’re allowed to ride it?

    james
    Member

    I can’t remember what the sign said exactly, but I think its something like 9am-5pm, April 1st to September 30th = no bikes. Can’t remember if its no bikes or no bike riding. I’ve thought about pushing up on an afternoon (the bike as an accessory to walking as on a footpath), then waiting till 5pm before riding down. The climb is probably part of the challenge though I imagine
    I ended up walking up/down instead last march when half of it was under thick snow, and my riding ‘mates’ didn’t want to try it anyway.

    grumm
    Member

    zokes what would you recommend as the best way up/down (on a 6" full suss)?

    I wonder if that curfew has been put in place because they just assume cyclists must be a problem when its busy, or if there were any actual incidents on the paths? And I don’t think it should be the bikes who give way to people, we’re going faster 😉

    sofatester
    Member

    I did it naked, on a BMX, at night, in February, With Tesco front light.

    Then I rode down Snowdon 😆

    zokes
    Member

    Well Grumm, I’ve only ever done the ‘towpath’ everyone keeps harping on about, but that’s usually as we go straight after work when it’s quieter, and there’s not as much time (both from a daylight and a needing to get pack to Pete’s Eats point of view). I also reasonably regularly do Telegraph Valley (Bwlch Maesgwm), which you can link to from the Snowdon Ranger descent (up Llanberis, down Snowdon Ranger, up and over the Bwlch back down to Llanberis). I am aware it is a classic route, but one downside to living so close is that you take things for granted and never bother organising a proper route as opposed to a quick blast. I’m led to believe that the Snowdon ranger is a more techy pick-your-way descent, so for speed thrills, we’ve always kept to the Llanberis path. Noone I know has tried the Rhyd Ddu path on a bike, although I have walked it, and it looks like there’d be one or two hairy scrambling-with-bike moments, then some fairly unremarkable but long descending. I’ve not walked that way for a while though…

    As for the ban, it’s there with good reason. Over 3m walkers do Snowdon every year, most of whom are not well equipped or experienced. Likewise, a lot of bikers go up there who are not used to riding such terrain and jump from the north downs to this in one step because ‘it’s Snowdon’, forgetting that it really is 3500 ft and a bit more prep may be needed. Out of control bikers and skittish walkers are not a good combination. It’s far more fun as a dawn raid or push / ride from 5 in the summer. By that time there are much less walkers about, most of whom have always seemed quite positive, shouting encouragement as opposed to the usual red-sock attitude. The bottom line is, the attitude from the rangers is that they don’t see why bikers need to go on snowdon because we have the Marin trail. When I pointed out that there’s a nice path to walk around the lake, and I didn’t see why all the walkers needed to go up there either, he didn’t seem to get the parrallels. Put simply, if given the slightest chance, they would ban cycling on the mountain outright, and as it’s in a national park, it would be a real criminal, not a civil offense, with powers to the police to confiscate the bikes. As a local, I’d rather not have that risk, so stick to the guidelines, and respectfully ask others to do the same. It’s no fun trying to fight your way past hundreds of gaumless walkers anyway.

    mark_b
    Member

    Erm yeah – lots of bike ‘gods’ on here it seems

    Not entirely sure what that implies – OP asked for opinions on a suitable bike for the route and got them based on real world experience. Or an i missing something ?

    PS i have been up the Rhyd Ddu with a bike. Wouldn’t recommend it though.

    Done the Llanberis path on a old GT LTS years and years ago, no problem but you have to get off and push in a few places going up even if your Julian Absolone (sp) Good going down!!!

    Dont try and get up the Watkins path on the other side though!!!! 😯

    colande
    Member

    dare i say it,
    have you tried walking up snowdon via crib gogh
    ,
    i know it’s completely off the point, but thought i’d mention it,
    its an amazing climb, definitely can’t ride it!!!!!!
    (until someone comes along and says they have and in under 2 hours 😀 )

    JonEdwards
    Member

    So from first hand experience of the terrain, is it worth travelling to snowdonia (from Derby) to go up an down snowdon on a hardtail?
    Absolutely

    but if its 8 miles of jacobs ladder type rocky-ness decent
    It’s pretty rocky, but then rocks are fun whatever the bike. Jacob’s is loadsa fun on my Soda.

    Personally, I reckon the Ranger Path/Telegraph valley is by far the better descent. Nothing wrong with the Llanberis, but doing a 2.5 hour climb for a 10min DH when there’s a 30min one on offer seems a bit silly. The Ranger is definitely more technical, but there’s only one truly hairy bit. Telegraph Valley is an absolute blast.

    IanMunro
    Member

    dare i say it,
    have you tried walking up snowdon via crib gogh

    I’ve ridden it. Well bits. Not in under 2 hours though 🙂

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