What to do on a day off work? (#1)

'Scrambles in Snowdonia' by Steve Ashton

'Scrambles in Snowdonia' by Steve Ashton

So… my mind inevitably has an absolute field day when the correct adventure ingredients fall into place; good weather, the right company, suitable destination, a day offโ€ฆ

I have a few ‘outdoor projects’ currently on the go. With fell-running/orienteering (except helping out!), and long mountain descents, out for the rest of the year, I naturally turn to my mountain bike and the low-level scrambles around Snowdonia.

Whilst I consider myself not to be of peak-bagger mentality, I am rather diligently ticking off routes in ‘Scrambles in Snowdonia’ by Steve Ashton (not necessarily to exhaustion), and leafing through Bikefax Snowdonia for ideas about as yet undiscovered territory in the wider local area.

So I had a few days off…

Scrambling on the East Face, Tryfan

Scrambling on the East Face, Tryfan


I immensely enjoyed ticking two scrambles off last Tuesday; the routes in question were low thus requiring the knee to take little issue with my journey. It was a fine day, although certainly nearing the end of the scrambling season (greasy/cold rock more noticeable)

As according to my annotated Facebook album: Milestone Buttress & Continuation…

“Low-level scrambling tackling two high quality 3/2-star grade 3s, cresting the North Ridge some 50m below the Canon, and dropping over onto the sunny East Face. Descent via North Ridge (bah)”

Note: Take Ashton’s gradings with a pot of salt.


Having slept in, I eventually got my act together and set off at 14:15 to do a ‘Girdle of the Glyderau’.

Again, according to my Facebook status…

“36 mile circuit of the Glyders: FelinheliLlanberisPen y PassCapel Curig – Bethesda/Tregarth – Felinheli, ride time 2hr15 ๐Ÿ™‚ Overtaking a seriously clad roadie up towards Pen y Pass was definitely a highlight!”

A girdle of the Glyderau

A girdle of the Glyderau

Note 1: Get a decent pair of windproof bike gloves

Note 2: Set off in good time, it gets dark at 16:20 so 16:40 is no time time to be arriving back home!


The consequence of a quick chat with a visiting friend, a splendid day out biking up Snowdon ensued.

  • Route: up the Llanberis path (70% pedalling, 30% pushing!) and down the Snowdon Ranger cutting back towards Llanberis at Bwlch Maesgym – some super technical and fast single track descents.
  • Length: 44km (27.3 miles) Felinheli and back
  • Time: 3hr45
  • Average speed: 11.6kmph! (7.2mph)
  • Max speed: 60.4kmph (37.5mph)

Note 1: Make sure you liaise sufficiently about kit – a first aid kit is a *good* thing to have

Note 2: You will get a lot of banter riding/pushing your bike up Snowdon on a busy (yet post-season) Saturday!

Snowdon by bike, above the clouds

Snowdon by bike, above the clouds

P.S. I can honestly never see myself settling down in an office job!

P.P.S. I’ve started climbing back at the Beacon again, but I still loathe bouldering!

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