Posted by: audaxing | April 16, 2012

Yr Elenydd

Snow on the Mountains

Snow on the Mountains

This is the new version of the Elenith, it starts from Shrewsbury and goes, like the old one did to the high area between Builth, Tregaron and Rhyader. This is a beautiful, desolate area of mountains and forests.
We left the start at 6am in light rain and a 2 degree C temperature. The first part of the route was up dubious lanes filled with mud and gravel. But this soon improved and we were making good speed towards the mountains. Which seemed to be covered in snow, unusually for this time of year. I was riding this part with Chris N and he pointed out the Long Mynd, which was to be the way back later

Snow on the mountains

Snow on the mountains

As you can imagine, when we got a couple of controls in we were fairly cold and damp so a brief stop in a tearoom was called for. I’m not one of those people that lists how many teacakes they ate but it was a good idea to stop for a moment. My feet warmed up a little.

Teashop in Builth Wells

Teashop in Builth Wells

Next we got on the mountain road to Tregaron, including the notorious “Devils Staircase” climb. This road is beautifully desolate and ends with a marvellous descent to Tregaron. The control was at the bowls club in Tregaron and as usual they were warm and welcoming

At the Bowls Club in Tregaron

At the Bowls Club in Tregaron

After this we went across some more high mountain roads, saw a bit of hail, went through Rhyader and back along the A44. At New Radnor we turned off to the north and into a stiff headwind. After a few minutes struggling along on my own I stopped and waited for the next group back. This turned out to be a couple of Hereford Wheelers riders. They were fitter than me and I kept loosing them on the ascents. But the elastic didn’t break and I rolled into the penultimate control with them

After this it did get quite cold.
The final climb of the day was the Long Mynd. All day this had been mentioned with fear and concern. But to be honest even with 150 miles in the legs it wasn’t that bad.

I finished before midnight and got some sleep in the hall. In the morning I up at 6am and helped with making tea and serving up cereal

The morning after

The morning after

Another great event from organiser John Hamilton


  1. Another great read with ‘atmospheric’ picture. I was forlorn on the day for not be able to ride this event, now having seen the pictures I can feel my my feet freezing with the thought of a very wet and cold day. Anyway, well done for completing this event on such a challenging day. Perhaps 2013 will be a little kinder.

  2. Nice report. Was looking forward to seeing some pictures to illustrate this event. I could not get my entry in as the event got fully booked, but will try and make it next year. Well done to all of you given the precarious conditions!

  3. I’m loitering in the background of your photo from the cafe in Builth – looking for a shop to buy a fleece as I was so cold! Brilliant epic route.

    • In the morning I was wearing all my clothes that I thought I’d only need at night!

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