Hirnant Pass

I happened to mention to Roger that I was going to ride between Vyrnwy and Bala taking in the Hirnant Pass. He told me it was a hard ride but he didn't quite prepare me for how hard.

I set off by car with a neighbour on a fine morning to Lake Vyrnwy. Soon after Ford, the weather changed and rain set in for the rest of the day, well until we got back to the Ford area. We parked by the lakeside and set off in heavy rain but optimistic the clouds would lift. From Vyrnwy we took the road to Abertridwr and onto the B4391, sign posted Bala.

The road rose and fell gently until we got to Llangynog. Then it was a long, steady but steep in places ride to the summit at 486m. On a good day the views would have been amazing but on this day it was impossible to see more than 75m. The rain continued and the wind was driving it into our faces.

From the top it was downhill to Bala and the weather cheered a bit but the rain didn't stop. Given the weather we decided to give Bala a miss and turned left onto the road leading to the Hirnant Pass. It's narrow and twisty and climbs gently until the trees disappear and the valley opens up. This is where you see the Pass ahead rearing up in front.

It was still raining and the headwind was staring to take its toll. The only way was up and it was the lowest gear all the way. From the bottom you could see the through the clouds and I have to admit I struggled against the elements as well as the steepness of the Pass. I got to that peak only to go around the corner to find it went up again. This time only for about 400m and then we reached the top at 502m. A well deserved rest and an eccles cake spurred us on all the way back down to Vyrnwy. One loop of the Lake and back to the car for a well deserved packed lunch.

Thirty eight miles and 3 hours and 20 minutes of a real hard grind. If anyone fancies joining me for another crack at it in perhaps better weather, let me know.

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