I was dithering a bit as I drove towards the mountains from Betws y Coed. It was a ‘good weather day’ and I was trying to choose between walking routes on Moel Siabod, Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) or Moel Hebog. All were worth the trip, but then I remembered that my last visit to Moel Hebog (see post #93) had been whilst I was recovering from a stomach bug that had left me feeling totally washed out – a return trip was indicated.
I drove past a perfectly clear Moel Siabod, and the panorama of Yr Wyddfa and the Snowdon Horseshoe was tempting, but a decision had been reached, and the first sighting of Moel Hebog as the lake of Llyn Gwynant came into view confirmed that I had made the right choice. I set off from Beddgelert in warm, sunny weather and as the views opened up it was obvious that just about anywhere would have given a good days walking. It was also clear that however quickly I walked it wasn’t going to be fast enough for ‘Mist’.
The way up Moel Hebog from Beddgelert gets steeper with altitude, and in the higher part of the mountain there are a couple of rock bands to add a bit of fun. It was on this section that I saw the only other humans I saw on the trip. One opted for an early lunch and as I passed him I realised that I was catching up with the second – I’m not the competitive type, but I think I did crank up the speed a bit towards the summit!
For some, the ascent of Moel Hebog would be a great day in itself, but there is a natural ridge running north over the next summits of Moel yr Ogof (Bare Hill of the Cave) and Moel Lefn (Smooth Bare Hill), and a crossing of all three peaks makes a great day out. The way off Moel Hebog is grassy, and no time was wasted down to the bwlch (pass). From there it was up through a cleft in the crags above, then on to Moel yr Ogof.
Moel Lefn followed in quick succession – rucksacks and big boots aren’t the first choice for hill-running, but I did keep up a fairly brisk walk for the only reason that it felt good, and the route certainly felt better than my last trip had. The height loss from Moel Lefn was 300 metres, bringing me down to the forest below. Forest trails aren’t my favourite, so I kept the pace up, though I was still lagging behind ‘Mist’ – guess who slept all the way home though (clue – it wasn’t the driver!).
Text and images © Paul Shorrock – Image tagged (JB) © John Bamber