For years there has been an agreement on Wales’ tallest mountain, and bikers have shared the trails with hikers.
But more recently the mountain has hit the news, and not in a positive way. All through the “peak” season, from Easter to Autumn, there’s a voluntary agreement that bikers won’t descend after 10am or before 5pm. This is in place with good reason. However it seems that recently riders have been choosing not to follow that. After all it’s voluntary, so why should they?
Snowdon is one of the busiest mountains in the UK, last year being compared to both a packed train station and Picadilly Circus. Putting aside any of the glaringly obvious safety issues that accompany bikes descending at speed right next to ill equipped, tired, and potentially touronic walkers, the ride down would just be horrible. Borderline pointless. Imagine trying to ride your bike down the high street on a busy Saturday. But with people even less capable of walking near each other.
So here are a few top tips for riding Wales’ tallest, busiest peak.
Go Early, or go late. Or do both! Tom’s best ever lap of the hill involved a bivi overnight and a sunrise descent. From Llanberis it’s about 2 hours to the top via the Llanberis path. This is also the most riding up, with rumours of a 100% complete ride up recently from a local hero… Set off at 5pm and you’ll be on the top of the hill just as the sun starts to dip a bit, and the descent will be even radder.
Go equipped. Just because morons can shuffle up it in their flip-flops with a shopping bag doesn’t make it less serious. It can often be 10-20 degrees cooler and the top, windy, and exposed. A mechanical or medical issue can leave you out in the open.
Go down a different way. A favourite combination is to descent the Ranger Path towards Bwlych Maesgwyn, and then hike up to the top and down Telegraph Valley to Llanberris. All of the paths have their own charms, so take a map and see what you can find.
Go tidy. Snowdon is often a tip, especially after a bank holiday. When the cafe at the top are doing a roaring trade in single use coffee cups, who can resist the urge of chucking their wrappers on the floor? You, that’s who! Do your bit to keep North Wales stunning and let’s try and make Snowdon a #TrashFreeTrail.
Pics and Ranting by Tom Laws