Video: Dawn Raid on Snowdon

Oct 15, 2018 at 8:55
by Tom Grice  

It's a strangely warm evening in October and we find ourselves parked up just outside of Llanberris in the Snowdonia national park, with a last minute plan to summit Snowdon for Sunrise. With the weather looking prime and the sky revealing spectacular stars, we got a few hours sleep before the 4am start. After a quick bowl of porridge in the van we headed down the road towards the start of the Llanberis path, our chosen route to ascend the mountain.

In complete darkness and having never ridden this trail we followed the Trail Forks app and used our head torches to find the path, it's now 5am and we are on our way up the 9 mile route with 975m of ascent to go.

Dawn Raid On Snowodn
After around 2 hours we have rode and hiked our way up in darkness, before suddenly approaching the passage under the mountain railway at Clogwyn. The other side of the tunnel revealed an amazing view over the Glyderrau range of mountains. This was our first view of the morning sun lighting up Snowdonia, having seen little for the first hours this view was breathtaking!

It's hard to concentrate when the views are this good!

Dawn Raid On Snowodn
The path continued to ascend now flanking the northern side of Garnedd Ugain. After another kilometre and a half the path reached the Finger Stone on Bwlch Glas marking the top of the Pyg Track and Miners Track.

Dawn Raid On Snowodn
Now only half a kilometre away from the summit, the sun was rising as we picked up the pace for the final section of trail.

Dawn Raid On Snowodn
Its now around 7:40am and we reached the summit, with only 5 other walkers around it was a surreal feeling to be the highest people in England and Wales.

Dawn Raid On Snowodn

Morning light over snowdonia
All that was left to do was descend back down, we decided to ride the Rydu Path. The first kilometre is very steep and exposed along a knife-edge ridge, before it settles into a steep, rocky but mostly rideable trail to the valley floor.

Dawn Raid On Snowodn

Dawn Raid On Snowodn

Dawn Raid On Snowodn
A truly memorable ride that il never forget.


https://www.trailforks.com/route/snowdon-what-are-we-getting-into/


50 Comments

  • + 25
 Snowdon is a must-do if you live in Wales, nothing beats taking your bike to the highest point of your home country!

Done it 4 times now, one sunrise, one sunset and two in mid-winter. Prefer to come down the Rangers way personally, the Llanberis path used to be good too until the walkers made them put slabs up the steepest bits. Each time it's been an epic ride though. First attempt was on a rigid bike with v-brakes and the ground covered in ice back in '99!

Also if anyone is doing this member there is a voluntary agreement from May to September due to previous issues:

www.cyclingnorthwales.co.uk/pages/snowdn_volunt.htm
  • + 2
 Agreed! Though I don’t live in wales and I’ve done it a couple of dozen times over the past 10 years or so, 3 times this summer. Rangers to telegraph valley is definitely the best descent.

We filmed parts of UK Bike Skills vlog there this summer, check it out on YouTube ????
  • + 1
 think they came down "rhyd du " which is a bit more tech than the Llanberis track
  • - 10
flag amateurwilly (Oct 22, 2018 at 10:24) (Below Threshold)
 I had no idea how small the Mountains (Hills) were in UK till I read this article...... Here I am regularly reaching 3800m here on my weekend rides in Peru, still have 3,000m more to hit the highest peak though...
  • + 7
 @amateurwilly: cool story
  • + 7
 A claasic ride & a rite of passage for MTB riders based in the UK. As mentioned above, please respect the time restrictions so future generations of MTB rider's can enjoy this magnifficent mountain ride.
  • + 4
 It it worth mentioning that the reason to ride that early is the Snowdon Voluntary Cycling Agreement?

www.cyclingnorthwales.co.uk/pages/snowdn_volunt.htm

Stay off the hill in the day, or risk getting blanket banned
  • + 1
 they rode in october so anytime is good , the reason they were up early was to film the sunrise i reckon
  • + 2
 Lovely shots and edit... I did this 3 years ago in September as had tried on many occasions in the winter and never reached the summit, so decided to wait for great weather and just go last minute....We stayed in the closest Youth hostel and started at 5am, great views and awesome decent down the rangers path... A must for any Uk mountain biker!
  • - 2
 Hi Must say that it is mountains like these that e-bikes were invented for so you can ride up and down, but since been a long time since walked up Snowdon 2000 stayed in Llamberis for Summer, so cant quite remember if is possible too ride all the way too the summit, I know it is from Llamberis pass side? Has anyone rode up the railway track?
  • + 4
 @aljoburr: carrying a 55lb e bike up the steep steeps would be a pain i reckon
  • + 2
 @aljoburr:
Hi, yep a friend went up a few couple of months back on a Kenevo. Will have to ask him more about how it was.... I have an Ebike now and Snowdons back on the list as an Ebike adventure.... Rode Helvelyn on it in June and just one section at the top that we had to kind of use walk mode and carry/ drag.. Well worth it though.
  • + 1
 Rode this in July. Great fun and the Trailforks route in the article is likely the best option. It is only 5 miles to the top from Llanberris if you follow the train route and most of it is rideable with only a couple of short hikes. "The ban" is good in a way because it induces you to get to the top in time for the sunrise and there are no hikers awake yet. You get the whole place to yourself!! Come down the Ranger (at full speed) path as indicated with the morning sun behind you and the scenery is great.
  • + 4
 I'm sitting it out in week three with AC joint separation. This brings back memories. Cheers.
  • + 1
 I went up snowdon for the first time this year and the hike up was the hardest thing I have ever done and I said I would never do it again!. just watched this video and I'm going to have to do it again next year for the sunrise.I just need to convince someone to do it with me next time
  • + 1
 Lovely pics! Shame our ascent today wasn't so clear! My first time and my, what a day! Unfortunately it was a white out up top for sunrise, bitterly cold too. Got to do it again next Oct.
  • + 1
 Just got back from wales climbed and walked down the Rhyd Ddu path ! Planning on taking the bike next year as it’s definitely a suitable track to ride !!

Good edit !
  • + 2
 Did this a month or two ago and it was horrendous. No views low cloud and was freezing. Must have another go in summer!
  • + 2
 Saw a youtube video of a guy hiking this mountain. Looks awesome, would love to get a bike up there on vacation one day.
  • + 2
 holy shit that's beautiful
  • - 2
 yes indeed views are amazing and the mountain is great but, trust me - it's much more enjoyable without a bike... 95% of ascend is pushing and on the way down it's hard to go faster than 5mph + a lot of not-rideable sections... not rewarding at all...
  • + 3
 But if your any kind of uk mountain biker. It’s a must. You don’t do Snowdon for the ride you do it for that bloody great view. And the pint at the bottom.
  • + 11
 ??? its about 60% rideable on the way up and all rideable at a good pace if your even an average rider. are you sure your not a rambler on a stealth mission?
  • - 1
 @b45her: 60% When I go out riding I want too ride 100% of the time, surely most of the difficult to ride parts could be made rideable?
  • + 1
 A friend of mine on a borrowed bike, with no riding experience managed to ride 99% of the rangers on the way down. Which bits are not ride(able)?
  • + 1
 @LOS: The going up parts!
  • - 1
 Sorry. I stopped watching around 1:30. Too much cheesy music, and scratchy film effects. It looks like a college freshmen film project. Too bad. From videos I've seen this area looks like an epic ride.
  • + 1
 I actually agree, the pictures sum the ride up better than the edit.
  • + 1
 Did Snowdon on the summer solstice.Rode up and down the llanberis path it was EPIC!
  • + 2
 Nice. Not Done Snowdon for a while. Must have a crack next year.
  • + 0
 Snowden is the best
  • + 2
 Why wait till next year?
  • + 2
 randy was here
  • + 1
 #FakeRandy

tup
  • + 1
 WHERE IS ALL THE RAMPAGE STUFF ?!?! THE EVENT IS IN 3 Days?!?
  • + 6
 You're wrong because it is in 5 days. But you're not wrong.
  • + 3
 Any possibility that pinkbike and redbull are having beef? First Hardline and now Rampage have been lacking in coverage...
  • + 2
 who gives a fuck about the annual bro down popularity contest masquerading as a freeride event, its a bunch of rigged bollocks, its as much a sporting event as WWE.
  • + 1
 Looks Awesome
  • + 1
 That looks epic Tom!
  • + 1
 I have GOT to do this!
  • - 3
 Seems like a very beautiful day!
(but guys bring a proper gimbal next time, this is hardly watcheable Razz )
Thanks for sharing anywaysSmile
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