All of Snowdonia's biggest ticks, shoehorned into one awesome ride: the highest point, the biggest natural descent, the greatest vertical drop … sound good? Of course it does.

Statistics

Analysing terrain data

969

m

1

m

14

max°

Exposure

Exposure

The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.

Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.

Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.

Description

All of Snowdonia's biggest ticks, shoehorned into one awesome ride: the highest point, the biggest natural descent, the greatest vertical drop … sound good? Of course it does.

And, as this there-and-back route is the easiest way up and down, it's within the abilities of most riders.

You can see it coming, can't you? There's a catch.

If you want the biggest natural descent in Snowdonia, you've got to tackle the longest climb – almost a vertical kilometre of it.

You're still on tarmac, having barely left the houses of Llanberis behind when you first find yourself scrabbling for gears.

Swinging off tarmac and on to the Snowdon Tourist Track, things ease a little.

It's tantalisingly rideable, but right on the limit of endurance and ability, scrambling up little rock slabs and weaving between lumps of rock.

Then, just when you begin to dare to think you might reach the top of Snowdon with only a bit of pushing, you hit the section near the second railway bridge.

Ride even half of this and you'll have earned yourself a cake.

Luckily, it's not far from here to the top, where you can shoulder your bike and carry it up the steps to the trig point for the obligatory summit photo.

Now, admiring the view (aka having a breather and a banana), it's time for the fun bit. Saddles down, it's back the way you came up.

The first section is fast and flattish.

Weave through the rocks, aero tuck along the straight and wooooaaah! Slam the brakes on as you round the big left hander and hit the loose stuff above the bridge.

You did remember to check out the lines on the way up, didn't you? Under the railway and into the rocky stepped section.

This is the most technical bit here – and the site of many, many punctures.

Get through that with your tyres still inflated and you can begin to relax and play around a little.

Pop off the boulders, drop the slabs and enjoy the ride because, only too soon, you're back on tarmac for the final brake-burning drop to Llanberis and the cafe.

Good, wasn't it? Route info – the ride's around 15 kilometres – 7 up, 7 down.

It'll take around 2 hours to climb the 975 metres to the top if you're going well, and less than 30 minutes to get back down, depending on the number of punctures. On a serious note, while Snowdon is fantastic fun to ride, there are a couple of things to note: Every man and his dog tends to head up Snowdon when the weather's good, which means a lot of walkers to dodge.

And when the weather's bad, you might find yourself looking at snow, sub-zero temperatures and high winds.

Pick your day carefully.

In addition, there's a voluntary restriction on riding Snowdon between 10 a.m.

And 5 p.m.

From 1 May to 30 September.

Please respect this, if only because it get so busy with walkers that it won't be much fun for you or them if you ride during these peak hours.

Outside the restricted times is fine, meaning really early or late starts if you want to ride in summer, or any time you want during the rest of the year.