Another mega-classic ride, and perhaps best done coming up from the Ysbyty Ifan side. This gives a very long ascent, never too steep, apart from one section getting onto the moors towards a noisy cattle grid. This climb can be awesome in a gale with rain, especially when riding from far away - a good time to ‘meet the man with the hammer’. Depending on where you are headed you can have a very nice descent towards Ffestiniog or a steep and somewhat bumpy descent to Penmachno.
The opposite direction from Ffestiniog to Ysbyty Ifan is also very rewarding, a long steady climb, past a great cafe, followed by an amazing descent on perfect and usually deserted roads. The climb from Penmachno is a bit on the brutal side, best saved for a low-gravity day.
The highest point by the junction with the road to Penmachno is 485m; consequently, during the winter months it is occasionally blocked with snow.
The common starting point is Betws y Coed but Blaenau Ffestiniog is an obvious alternative option.