All that's good about this spectacular mountain!
At the start of summer we headed over to Snowdon. So iconic it's got a national park named after it. Here's all that's epic about this monster and why it should be at the top of many mountain bikers must ride list!
1. THE TRAILS
The Rangers Track is up there with the most varied descent in the UK. The top starts with a series of huge stone steps, cross the train tracks and you're into warp speed, dodging rocks and flying down shaily shoots. Then your into the fast open grassland where you can weave and pop through the natural rollers of the mountain top. With no time to recover and just about time to slow down you fly into a steep rocky descent where speed is your friend...but the wrong line choice could see a nasty end to your days ride. After a few tight and technical switchbacks the mountain mellows out. You've thamed Snowdon and you're rewarded with some beautiful flowing singletrack with steep banks that you can hop and rip round. The Rangers Track is truly awesome. You can also ride Rhyd Ddu which is very gnarly and quite dangerous. The Telegraph valley that veers off Rangers is another great descent that's fast and flat out. Finally Ilandberis Path which is the easiest way up, however its wide and quite strait so unless you just want to brake your speed PB I'd stick with the other tracks for the descent. Each are different and super fun.
2. Its a true adventure you can do in an afternoon
The climb of Snowdon is hard enough without a bike. Throw in some gale force winds and a bit of sideways rain and you're in for a real mission. To me this just adds to the adventure, some parts you're going to need to hike a bike, especially if you go up Rangers Path. Be prepared, capable map reading, plenty of warm clothes, first aid and snacks. People are caught out on Snowdon each year and you don't want to be amongst those! On a good day you can go up in about 2-3hrs and down in about 30 minutes. But my advice would leave plenty of time though as the weather can change quickly. Plus you'll want time to absorb those beautiful views at the top!
3. The Epic views that are just so bloody epic
I've been up Snowdon when you can hardly see your feet let alone the views. It's a luck of the draw.. when the weather is bad you'll have less traffic on the trails..but you might get frozen to death. Luckily these pictures were taken on the worlds most perfect of days, thank you once again riding gods. You can see Ireland, Scotland, 24 counties of England, 29 lakes, 17 islands and the Isle of Man.................. Not bad eyy!
4. The SCale
It's rare in the UK to feel like your in the middle of no where. With mountains surrounding you.. unless you head over to Scotland. You sure feel humbled by Snowdon. At 1085m she's a beast! Going up Snowdon will get your adventure buds tingling and be sure to make you want to head out and ride some natural epics rather than a day at the bike park.
5. The Story
This is mountain biking in its rawest form. You'll meet some interesting people at the top of Snowdon, the varying terrain, the beautiful views and some seriously fun trails. Legend has it the giant Rhitta Gawr once ruled the land but killed by King Arthur he now lies under Snowdon. This place is truly special and the fact you can only ride it at certain time periods of the year makes it extra special each time you go! I can guaranty plenty of high fives and near miss stories to share over a well earned pint at the Cwellyn Arms.
Thanks to Veloccino, Will Priest and Will King for the pictures
Hugo and Tom are trail hunting fanatics, travelling around the UK to find the best and most beautiful wild riding locations for their mountain bikes. We write about our findings and provide professionally guided mountain bike trips to our favourite spots. We're also big believers in outdoor education for children.