Rocks and roots



After several years out of use the new 14km Penhydd trail at Afan is reopened! It starts at the middle point on the map, with a pleasant switchbacking singletrack climb and short fun descent to a fireroad. The a long climb up a fireroad to a point misleadingly called the "top" (more on that later). From here more fireroad climbing to pick up one of the old trail sections "Desolation" which feels quite dull compared to the new stuff. It also carries a lot of drainage to leave you fairly mud splattered! Another short fireroad climb to the first of the new red sections which is steep and bermy. Then climb again to some of the old sections - Sidewinder and Dead Sheep Gully - again these feel old and wet now. Then the final descent which is short sections between fireroads - some technical, some more flowy, and back to join the blue route back to the cafe.

Blue Scar

There's also a new 7km blue, the Blue Scar, starting from the middle point on the map. This is the same to the "top" (which is true this time) and then a long descent back to the cafe. The berms are just were you need them to pull you round the corner and the whole thing is wonderful to ride - we really were sad when we reached the bottom.

White's Level

White's Level starts from the eastern point on the map with a long climb, which isn't as hard as say, Cwn Carn's, but is still pretty tiring, and quite tricky in the ice! The black section at the top is great fun, with an enormous final berm. The remaining downhill sections are full of berms and tabletops which are great fun. It's not really a full day's riding but a short add on is to reascend the first climb as far as the first bike stile and fireroad section. Go along the fireroad until the signed trail hairpins back left. At this point, look right and you can see the final descent of the Skyline trail. This is a good fun blast, with increasingly high drop-offs! And the cafe is still great! I think this trail has changed recently so I'll update it when I've ridden it.

Y Wal

The Wall has fewer technical bits but is arguably more flowy. A lot of the advertised 24km is spent pootling along the valley to the bridge and back, which is largely avoided by starting from the western-most point on the map.

Rating: 3, "Good riding, worth travelling to".
Added: 2014-01-26 , Last updated: 2014-02-18
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