Ah yes the Llanberis pass. I have many happy memories of the region. One of which was the The Dragon rally at Glyn padarn ( could be spelt wrong ), if memory serves the site we camped at was an old army barracks
Oh how we enjoyed being frozen stiff all weekend, but when you are young and daft, what the hell. I lived in Oldham at the time , we left on Friday evening after work with 14 other brave souls. I remember vividly that on that day a huge snow storm had blown in, the whole of the North of England, and Wales, was snowed under.
No gritters in those days
and all the roads were 6 inches deep in snow. I was on a 500 velocette Venom. After multiple get offs in the snow, which involved every single one of us, my first one was in Manchester, after just 12 miles, with 2 others to follow.
We arrived in Altrincham , as we arrived at the main road from there to Chester we were stopped by the police who informed us that the road had been deemed impassable, so had been closed.
We explained to the officer what we had endured just to get that far, and that we were going on a rally in Wales . He told us that he thought that we were all insane, but amazingly let us through. He gave us strict instructions, that if any other officers spoke to us later, we were to say nothing about ever seeing, or speaking with him.
At around midnight we arrived it Capel curig, to be greeted by road closed sign, which would have taken us through to the Llanberis pass. As we sat pondering what to do, 2 German lads appeared out of the darkness, they had tried to get through to the pass, but told us that it was blocked by ten foot snow drifts. So after pacing up and down and waving arms and legs about desperately trying to get blood flowing to parts of our bodies that had long since stopped flowing blood. We were ready for the final leg of the journey.
Out of the 15 of us that had left home, only 9 of us remained, the other 6 had ever given up and gone home, or stopped at a b & b in Chester.
So the rest of us set off to avoid the pass and approach via Caernarfon. On arriving there, another one of the group gave up, his goggles frozen to his face, and almost losing the will to live, he was taken in by an old couple in a private house . They probably saved his life.
We arrived at the Dragon rally site at 3 am. It had taken us over 9 hours to do the just over 100 miles from home, every single inch of the way was a nightmare. And every single mile whilst being frozen stiff
and unable to feel the controls of the bike. The nightmare actually did us all a favour. It taught us that doing things like that in absolute rubbish riding gear ( in my case, a knackered Belstaff jacket, wellies, crap gloves, and thin walking over trousers, and I was one of the better prepared
of the group )
But ya know, I really enjoyed that weekend, all be it, in a masochistic kind of way. It learned us all lots of things, including resilience, endeavour and comradeship. There wasn't a single one of the 8 of us that completed the rally that would have done that rally in those conditions, if we had had to do it on our own.
And I'm pretty certain that I wont have to do the NVM in those conditions in September