#164 – Moel Hebog – “Bare Hill of the Hawk”

Moel Hebog (left), Moel yr Ogof (centre) and Moel Lefn (right)

Moel Hebog (left), Moel yr Ogof (centre) and Moel Lefn (right)

Route - the Moel Hebog Ridge (Click for a closer view)

Route – the Moel Hebog Ridge (Click for a closer view)

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.

First view of Moel Hebog (centre) beyond Llyn Gwynant

First view of Moel Hebog (centre) beyond Llyn Gwynant

Looking up towards Moel Hebog from near Beddgelert

Looking up towards Moel Hebog from near Beddgelert

The view across to Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) just right of centre

The view across to Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) just right of centre

Looking southeast towards Cnicht, Moelwyn Mawr and Moelwyn Bach

Looking southeast towards Cnicht, Moelwyn Mawr and Moelwyn Bach

Moel Siabod in the distance

Moel Siabod in the distance

Impatient Border Collie ‘Mist’ just wants to get on

Impatient Border Collie ‘Mist’ just wants to get on

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’.

First rock barrier – ‘Mist’ checking things out at the bottom ….

First rock barrier – ‘Mist’ checking things out at the bottom ….

…. waiting patiently for ‘the Boss’ …. (JB) Taken on the earlier trip in 2012

…. waiting patiently for ‘the Boss’ …. (JB) Taken on the earlier trip in 2012

…. “Come on, what kept you?”

…. “Come on, what kept you?”

The final rock barrier ahead

The final rock barrier ahead

Looking down to the start at Beddgelert, with Moel Siabod in the distance

Looking down to the start at Beddgelert, with Moel Siabod in the distance

Looking down to the top of the rock barrier ….

Looking down to the top of the rock barrier ….

…. and a view down the last steep bit

…. and a view down the last steep bit

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!

‘Mist’ at the summit

‘Mist’ at the summit

The descent from Moel Hebog, with Moel yr Ogof ahead

The descent from Moel Hebog, with Moel yr Ogof ahead

Looking back at the descent of Moel Hebog

Looking back at the descent of Moel Hebog

The cleft in the crag on the approach to Moel yr Ogof

The cleft in the crag on the approach to Moel yr Ogof

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 seen from Moel yr Ogof

Moel Lefn seen from Moel yr Ogof

Moel Lefn ahead - the last summit

Moel Lefn ahead – the last summit

Heading down towards the forest ….

Heading down towards the forest ….

…. with a lot of height still to lose

…. with a lot of height still to lose

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!).

 

On the way back, with Moel Hebog towering above

On the way back, with Moel Hebog towering above

Text and images © Paul Shorrock – Image tagged (JB) © John Bamber

About Paul Shorrock

I've been mucking about in the mountains for longer than I care to mention. I started out by walking my local hills, then went on to rock climbing, mountaineering and skiing. Still doing it, and still getting a buzz. I'm now sharing the fun, through my guided walking business (Hillcraft Guided Walking) and by writing routes for other publishers, mainly Walking World and Discovery Walking Guides. Just to make sure I keep really busy, I am also currently a member of my local mountain rescue team.
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11 Responses to #164 – Moel Hebog – “Bare Hill of the Hawk”

  1. Wow! You certainly had a good day for it Paul…and the views are stunning. Funny how most people head to the Lakes if they want to go walking in mountains, but I think Snowdonia is just as stunning…and far less busy. I have always loved North Wales ever since I was a kid at school and a teacher took a few of us on a walking weekend up Snowden.

  2. Great terrain photos as always.
    There aren’t many places here that allow dogs to be off leash. Do you ever have issues over there? Of course I’m sure Mist is well behaved!

    • Thanks for the comment Plant Girl 🙂
      The attitude to dogs off-leash over here varies, but Mist is rarely on a leash – I can think of a few dog owners that should be on a leash though.

  3. It’s a lovely hill – haven’t done it for ages. I remember missing the bus as I took a ‘short-cut’ through the forest on the way back from Lefn/Moel Yr Ogof and it took much longer than I thought.

    Do you remember the BBC used to have Moel Hebog as their weather photo for ages – and they said it was Snowdon LOL!

    I’ve done the hill twice I think – once in shorts in winter where we sat huddled behind a wall in a hail/sleet-storm and my friends thought I was nuts – the other time in my bra ‘cos it was red-hot and I got varied reactions from grumbling wives to admiring men 😉 I always feel a bit put-upon if I have to wear clothes going uphill in hot weather 😉
    Carol.

  4. LensScaper says:

    That brought back some happy memories, Paul. Another lovely day by the look of it.

    • A great day indeed Andy, which is more than I can say for yesterday – I decided to abandon a trip on the edge of the Carneddau in the face of the increasingly strong wind. Looks like another blog post will be on the way!

  5. smith greame says:

    The pictures are awesome. Those hills are lovely always.

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