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On the top of Wales

We all love an epic adventure, whether it’s that week long biking trip you’ve had with friends, an expedition across the arctic or a couple of days away on your local trails. For me last week, I had one of these ‘epic adventures’ which saw me away from the house for just 12 hours.

We had an unbelievably hot few days last week which saw temperatures hit 28°c, were it’s usually around the 13°c mark. So I kicked in a plan which had been in my head for a while. The plan was to bivvy at the summit of mount Snowdon which is the highest mountain in England and Wales standing in at 3560 feet. So after finishing work I bagged some kit in a rucksack and made the 25 minute journey to the foot of the mountain in a village named ‘Llanberis’.
Setting off after 7:30 in the evening as the remnants of the days hikers descended, I was going up to spend the night on the top of this mountain. A few MTBers gave me a strange look as they passed also. The mountain has a cycling ban during the summer months in daytime so seeing a few bikers in the evening is not a strange thing, but seeing someone spend the night up there probably is.

The going was tough with the still hot air. I was sweating all over and it did feel quite uncomfortable but I knew there was a prize at the end. The terrain was good, the wide path is well maintained to cope with the hordes of walkers that ascend the mountain. Thousands of people ascend the mountain either by the many paths leading to the summit or by the steam train which runs on the only rack and pinion railway track in the UK. The further I climbed the lower the sun lay on my back and the temperatures were getting a little more tolerable. With 30 minutes to go till I summited the sun dropped below the horizon which gave the sky some wonderful colours to look at.
The summit was quiet, very quiet. I’ve been up here before and there’s always people milling about but this was different, I had the summit all to myself. I picked my bivvy spot alongside the closed summit café and forced myself to fall asleep so that I’d wake up for the sunrise a few hours later.

 

From 4am the light was filling the sky and by 5 the sun made its appearance by lighting up the surrounding mountains with stunning effects. This was the prize, the reason I made the effort to come here. The views were just majestic!

After making a morning brew it got me ready to leave as I had to be in work at 8am.


The other highlight is what goes up must come down and that meant the 3500 foot descent. This was definitely the best way to start a day.

I kept the Salsa bucksaw in control on the way down. This was the perfect bike to soak up the rocky sections and kept the bike upright in the loose gravel. I was grinning from ear to ear as I nailed the lines I struggled climbing on a few hours earlier.
So an adventure for me was a 12 hour jaunt on the bike with views that’s food for my soul.
So, where’s your next adventure?

2 Responses to On the top of Wales

  1. Pete Thomas May 31, 2017 at 4:40 pm #

    Nice one Jeff, stunning location. Nicely put together blog and video.

    • summittoppler June 1, 2017 at 12:00 pm #

      Thanks Pete, glad you liked it 🙂