Rhyd Ddu, March 2011


Mountain Bikers on Snowdon Summit


18- 20 March 2011, we had a good weekend at Tan-yr-Wyddfa, the hut belonging to the Oread Club, at Rhyd Ddu. It’s a lovely hut, actually a large house, with Snowdon behind and views over to Nantlle Ridge. A little steam railway also runs at the back but the trains didn’t seem to be operating in mid-March.


Early on the Saturday morning, the more energetic amongst us set off straight to the summit of Snowdon up behind the hut, up the Rhyd Ddu path which is a zig zag route. 18 March was Comic Relief Day and, at the summit, we encountered a Banana, Superman and even a tin of Spam! It was misty at the top and, much to our disappointment, the café wasn’t open. It was also still cold with small patches of snow. As well as all the Comic Relief people, there were loads of mountain-bikers at the summit (pushing their bikes) and it was really quite crowded, as is shown by the picture.


We then began to go down, along the Snowdon Ranger Path, and to get over our disappointment about the café, we stopped at a little stream to fetch water for Sherpa, John and Colin (the photographer) to “have a brew”. By this time, the mountain bikers were tearing past us. But we didn’t care cos we’d got our tea, although it was still pretty cold.


After the tea break, we walked through some disused mineworks straight to the Cwellyn Arms back in the village where we all watched England get thrashed by Ireland in the decider of the 6 Nations Rugby. The less energetic of us joined the others in the pub having walked from Beddgelert to the Sygyn Copper Mine, then up Bwlch-y-Sygyn and back down again after getting lost.  The weather there was beautiful, really sunny and quite warm, with large birds of prey high in the sky. Ospreys?


It rained the next day and some of the people who had been up Snowdon the day before went along the copper mine route. Others went for coffee at Pete’s Eats in Llanberis, then visited the Llanberis Mountain Film Festival (LLAMFF) at Electric Mountain where we went to 2 excellent talks on sea kayaking, by Olly Saunders and Justine Curgenven (watch out for her on the tele!).