Part 4 – 15 Peaks – No Messing

If you go to the trouble to shave your legs and know your FTP power in watts then you are probably a pretty keen cyclist. Which means that by most peoples standards, you are pretty fit. Lots of people who go to the gym lots are also pretty fit, as are many footballers, 10k runners etc. When attempting to climb several high, rocky mountains in one trip, fitness alone just won’t do.

Cycling blesses the legs but also teaches you how to look after yourself on a big day out and that is a pretty transferable skill.  Knowing to eat before you get hungry, never go in the wrong direction, wrap up before you get cold, strip off before you sweat and keep drinking makes a big difference over ten or more hours of exercise. This means any fit cyclist could easily handle some pretty amazing mountain days. The way I see it, if you are pretty fit, you have a responsibility to go out and do the Welsh 3000s. It’s an adventure between mates at its most beautiful. It’s a feat of endurance and most importantly it’s free.

This time I was determined to hit all 15 of the Welsh 3000ft mountains in a single weekend.  I had two fellow cyclists from my club come along with me. We carried only what we needed and nothing more.  Trainers, pork pies and one map between three. We didn’t run but we did walk quickly. We drank at the same time as each other, ate at the same time as each other and pissed at the same time as each other.  We stayed warm when it was cold and didn’t sweat too much when it got hot. The cumulative benefit of working together to eliminate ‘faff’ and keep moving towards the next peak worked wonders.

Experience is a fine thing and so after many visits to Snowdonia, I finally managed to get all 15 mountains summited in just one weekend. Once you know what to do, it’s pretty easy really.

The only problem was that it made me realise that I really ought to do it in just one long day.

 


On Friday night we bivvied up behind the Pen-y-Pass YHA. It was a great bivvy. We had some wine out of tin mugs and slept pretty well. It rained lightly in the morning but it was time to get up then anyway. This was free.

We paid for the car park (£4 for four hours) and did the first loop before we ran out of time.

We then drove to the Ogwen valley for the second loop and parked on the A5 for free.

We camped at Ogwen Valley YHA. It was inexpensive (less than £10 and worth it for showers/toilets somewhere warm to sit in the evening).

We parked at the car park near Corwen for free on the Sunday. Then had a little wash in a puddle and drove home.

Very cheap and very fun.

 

 

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4 Cyclists in a Van – 100 Greatest Climbs Wales Edition

The van was visible above the ugly fence panels. Parked across the block of prefabricated garages and illuminated by the orange streetlight it looked pretty big. Feargal was hungry and therefore angry. Ollie had a rough day at work and also hadn’t eaten. I had spent the afternoon scouring Strava and making a list of objectives to be displayed in the back of the van. Matt didn’t know what to expect but had packed his trusty up-cycled bowl.

This was it – four lads, four bikes, three days, one van and fifteen of Wales’ most offensive stretches of tarmac.

Continue reading “4 Cyclists in a Van – 100 Greatest Climbs Wales Edition”