3 years ago I walked this area with one of my sons as a reccy for a fat bike ride. It soon become clear that this was no place to try to ride a bike as it would have involved a fair bit of pushing. Fast forward a couple of years and in May of last year I must have deleted the poor conditions and persevered to get to a place I’d be dreaming of for years, the cantilever stone. A wonderful natural feature that’s been there since the ice age at the summit of Glyder Fach in Snowdonia, Wales.
Back to the present day and those tough hike-a-bike sections were once again deleted from my mind as I decided to go bike packing there. I left the Salsa Bucksaw at home this time and treated my faithful shire horse a run free on the mountains, the Salsa Mukluk.
I loaded up the Apidura handlebar pack with my sleeping bag, bivvy bag, roll matt, pump, a jersey and trousers. I also carried a waist pack with a pot, stove, gas, water and food and then one stem cell on the bars with more water as I knew there wasn’t much to filter up tops.
Within a few minutes of starting the ‘ride’ the pushing also started. Steep grassy slopes made it hard work with the weight of the bike. Some sections were rideable and with it the views erased the pain of the climbs.
I’m currently testing a couple of pairs of the Wolf Tooth Karv grips so keep an eye on fat-bike.com for the review in a couple of weeks…
The evening sun was now getting lower in the sky as the warm day faded away. I was keen to get to a certain area for the Bivvy and it was still tough going with the pushing and the stop start for the filming. However the views more than made up for the hard work.
I got to my bivvy spot drenched in sweat after a very tough few hours just as the sun hit the horizon. I knew I has about 25 minutes before the light went completely so I made a scramble up the last 200 foot boulder field to the summit where the cantilever stone was. I decided to leave the bike at my bivvy spot as it would have been a bit sketchy descending in the fading light. After some faffing taking some video I made my was back to the bivvy. As I left to descend a herd a seldom seen herd of Welsh mountain goats made an appearance which would have made Uncle Gomez go all giddy! There was around 40 of them!! (Editor’s Note: I went all giddy! f’realz)
The night sky was immense, no artificial pollution which meant a gazillion stars shone down on me and with it a few hours sleep.
Dawn came around with some fine colours on show. With just a little dew on the bivvy I had a ringside seat once again to see the morning in.
As the sun rose another heard of goats were walking from rock to rock just above me.
After a morning coffee I made the tricky decent down off the mountain as the first mountain walkers made their way up.
The descent was a different one to the way I came up which was a gem of a ride.
So once again despite the sweat, pain and hard work of the day before I was so glad I pushed on and got on with it for the reward.
Now that is a pretty good memory to stay with me.
Bikepacking, what’s not to like?