Fat Bike Snowdon
I must admit, I’ve not been ‘feeling it’ the last few months when it came to getting out and that probably showed by the last 3 BAM’s being on the last weekend of the month. I needed that to change, so I picked an area that ‘ticks’ my boxes and got out mid November. The thing that ticks for me is big views, mountains and that sense of being in the wilderness. So after a good look at the map and Google Earth I found a spot that could reignite that spark in me.
The weather forecast was great for this one, so after any early finish on a Friday from work I drove 30 minutes into the Snowdonia National Park once again. I parked up in a layby a couple of miles from the trail to avoid paying the parking fee. A steady climb up the road with glorious views down to my left. I passed the Pen Y Gwryd Hotel which was the base for Edmond Hillary and Tenzing for their training for the first ascent of Everest.
A few paragliders were spiralling high above which put me in a good mood as I knew we had calm weather for them to be out. I got to the trail just as the last of the hill walkers were coming of the mountain. Snowdon has over 600,000 walkers each year ascend the summit so it’s can be a busy place. However I don’t do busy so I picked one of the quieter tracks. The track was great for riding, a steady climb over a stoned surface with views to die for. As I went further up the trail the sun dipped behind one of the neighbouring hills casting huge shadows. After 50 minutes or so I got to the point where I’d leave the trail and search for that quiet spot. A 10 minute push up 200 feet above the trail was a bit of a struggle with the loaded Mukluk but I was soon at the spot that I spotted on Google Earth. A perfect 360° view and not in a direct view from any walkers.
I soon got the Alpkit Ordos tent pitched and my kit inside just as the light was fading. Then it was time to chill, to soak in the view and listen to the silence. Now this was what I wanted from my little adventures on my bike. The night sky was full of a gazillion stars and the odd light from a headtorch as the hardy walkers descended in the night. I had a great nights sleep which was probably helped by my Exped pillow which made a huge difference.
I awoke just before sunrise with cloud all around keeping visibility down to just 10 meters or so. However within 30 minutes the great vista opened up in front of me with the first rays of sun hitting the summit. I enjoyed my breakfast with the fine views all around me. The cloud decided to come and go over the next few hours which added some mystery to the day. I packed the kit back in the reliable Apidura bags and descended as walkers made their way up.
Overall a great trip which definitely sparked the fire in me and I can’t wait for the next one which should be on Global Fat Bike day (weather permitting).