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how tuff is the skyline trail??

xcman27xcman27 Posts: 72
edited April 2008 in Routes
afternoon all,

im heading off to afan in a couple of weeks to do "the skyline trail" ...cant wait!

i was just wandering of those who have done it what did you think..

1 how hard
2 how technical
3 my mates a complete novice..but fit, wll he struggle?? ( hope so)!!!
4 how long did it take you?
5 would you do it again?

regards

xcman!

Posts

  • wordnumbwordnumb Posts: 847
    Afternoon.

    I don't find Skyline quite as technical as Whites or the Wall, the difficulty lies more in the distance and the climbs - what is it, 2000m overall? - it's roughly three times the effort of the other Afan trails so pacing yourself is important. There are quite a few fire roads, but overall I was impressed how much of the route is singletrack, the final down is very tidy. You probably know that it shares the initial climb with Whites. There are a couple of short cuts if you change your mind halfway through. Can't remember how long it took last time, we started at 10am so that wasn't an issue, just make sure you pack enough food and water. I'd like to do it again but each time I intend to I get distracted by one of the other trails, or rather the idea of finishing early for a beer at the cafe.

    Although the route is waymarked, you're best printing a map just in case.
    Basically you can't argue with Afan.
  • P-JayP-Jay Posts: 1,478
    I'm building up to it myself. I usually ride one of the Afan trails most weekends (or Cwmcarn XC) unless I'm DH'ing but this has been getting more hit and miss over the worst months of the winter. Back to evening rides and getting out at the weekend now the weather has improved. Anyway, I digress.

    I've ridden a cut-down version a few times. As above it's no more technical than White's or The Wall. It's the distances involved. Personally I would allow myself 6 hours to get around given my fittness level at the moment and to include rest / eating stops and some allowance for flats or other technicals. Basically plenty of time to get back before it gets dark, at the furthest points you're miles and miles from anywhere.

    Your novice mate will really have to consider if he/she is up to that kind of distance of trail. I'm told it akin to riding the other 3 trails one after the other.

    Most importantly! Even though all Afan trails are really well sign-posted pick up a trail map from the centre. If you do decide to bail out early it's the only way you'll be able to pick up the short-cuts / navigate home on fire/access roads.

    Sorry if that sounds negative, it's a brilliant trail. I've done the final descent a good few times (even once on my DH bike! Its that good) and it brilliant.
  • xcman27xcman27 Posts: 72
    cheers for that chaps..very helpful..

    cheers..

    xcman
  • wordnumbwordnumb Posts: 847
    Inspired by this thread, I rode Skyline today. Incredible ride, one minute clear blue skies, next minute zero visibility through snow.

    I've changed my mind about how technical the ride is. I'd forgotten the steps at the beginning of the final descent and the rock/rumble at the end of the Grand Canyon section. Disregard what I wrote above - it's every bit as technical as the other three trails.

    The trails are in great condition at the moment, really smooth and fast. The distance and climb do not get any easier.
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