Fat Bike Snowdonia #BAMfatbike2018
With the first two camps done and dusted these following months should get a bit easier as the temperatures rising. However the UK saw winter bounce back with some chilling temps which made me bag my March camp near the end of the month.
Despite all the planned locations I had in mind to camp this year I was a little perplexed as to where my March one would be. So after reading the maps, checking the online mapping and finally having a hint of spring in the air I made my way to the heart of Snowdonia which is just a short 20 minute drive from home. Snowdonia is the national park in North Wales, UK which is my usual area for riding and it’s blessed with some stunning scenery with the rugged Welsh mountains.
The Salsa Mukluk was packed again with the Back Country range of bags from Apidura. The route was approximately 15 miles from start to finish and I planned on taking the same route back. I’d ridden 70% of the route before with just the last few miles and the area where I planned to camp being new to me. I followed the double track from the start in the Eigiau valley where I’d ridden many times before and past some of the old farm houses from years gone by. Some of the Carneddau wild ponies were roaming around the lower slopes which is also a nice sight as you try to imagine the hardships they endure during the winter months. The double track was fairly flat with no notable climbs which made the going good despite the stop/start for the video. There was no wind and you could feel the warmth of the sun beating down the first glimpses of spring despite the patches of snow on the mountain tops. Cowlyd reservoir was next as I made my way along its tricky singletrack with the odd hike a bike section. At the end of the reservoir I knew I had a great view to look forward to as I was getting near the heart of this wonderful national park. The summit of the mountain Tryfan came into view which is nestled in the Ogwen valley. A dramatic looking mountain as it rises up with its steep cliffs all around and on the summit is two large upright stones which are called Adam & Eve. I then came to the new section for me as I followed a leat which carries the water which runs of the mountains and feeds the reservoir. The track was great as it was so level but there was also 16 small stiles to carry the heavy loaded bike over! Now that was hard work. After a short tarmac section I was in the area I wanted to camp at. There was a perfectly flat area close to the small lake but there wasn’t much of a view as it was in a dip. After a bit of walking about I found a great spot with a 360° view.
As the evening set in the temperature dropped but there was still no wind, not a breath. My evening meal consisted of pasta and meatballs which warmed me a little. After taking a few pictures of the evening sky I drifted off to a good nights sleep despite the near freezing temperature outside.
I awoke just before sunrise with a slight frost on the ground so I got a coffee on the go. The rising sun hit the eastern face of Tryfan which gave off an orange glow, stunning. My breakfast was going to be omelette with added bacon and mushroom which I had chopped up before leaving home. However when I unpacked to set up camp my 2 eggs didn’t survive my flimsy packing! The cleaning up was something that kept me occupied for 30 minutes though. Note to self, buy those purpose made egg holders! So after frying up what I had cooked, I enjoyed a Monday morning breakfast with a view to die for.
As I packed the gear away the morning sun lit up the surrounding mountains and showed North Wales off in all its beauty. So another one bagged and a few lessons learnt.
As for the next one, I’m thinking April should have a Welsh slate theme to it….