#265 – Moel Siabod – The Shapely Peak

Moel Siabod – The Shapely Peak

(Left click images to zoom in, use browser return arrow to go back)


The route

Close up view of the route

Moel Siabod (which translates as ‘Shapely Hill’) is one of those hills where you don’t bump into crowds, in fact it would be strange to bump into anybody.    All the crowds are over on Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon), the Glyderau or the Carneddau, leaving Siabod a surprisingly quiet mountain.    Which is just fine for those who love a little solitude.

Border Collie ‘Mist’, impatient to be off

Disused quarry tips on the way up ….

…. with the old quarry buildings nearby ….

…. and a small lake that was part of the original workings

I usually start at Pont Cyfyng at the southern end of Capel Curig, as this approach gives the best views of the more interesting south-east face of the mountain – the north-west side of Siabod is little more than a grassy lump, but it makes a good way down, with views over to the mountains of North Snowdonia.    This was the way that I went with Chris on an earlier trip (see post #88) but this time I was taking the more interesting way – with Border Collie ‘Mist’ this time.

Beyond the quarry, with the Daear Ddu Ridge ahead

Llyn y Foel and the Daear Ddu Ridge

Looking up towards the summit

The start of the fun ….

…. with a series of rock steps all the way

Beyond the deserted remains of old quarry workings, lies the Daear Ddu Ridge, which is a direct line from Llyn y Foel (which is ‘the Mountain Lake’) to the summit.    There are quite a few ridges in Snowdonia which justifiably deserve the term ‘knife-edge’ – Daear Ddu isn’t one of them!    The name means ‘Black Earth’, and there’s quite a bit of that – a much better option is to stay as far to the right as possible, where the ridge is a series of rock steps.

The ridge stretches out ahead

The view upwards of the final section of ridge ….

…. and the view back down the ridge

‘Mist’ weighing things up ….

…. but the end is in sight

On the last trip, Chris had been happy enough to follow the broader, earthier route, but this time the dog and I went for the rockier way.    As rock scrambles go, it’s free from excessive drama, because it’s easy to move to the left to avoid anything that looks desperate – as it was, we didn’t find anything remotely like desperate, and although I had fitted the harness on the dog, it wasn’t used, and before too long we were on the summit.

The Snowdon Range just right of centre in the distance

Heading towards the stone shelter ….

…. with a view of the mountains of the Carneddau in the distance

The Coastguard helicopter out for the day

Although the summit of Moel Siabod doesn’t usually set pulses racing (unless you decide to run up it, of course) it does give a grandstand view of the surrounding mountains of the Snowdon, Glyderau and Carneddau ranges.    Remember them? – that’s where the crowds are!  I didn’t see a soul all day, apart from the Coastguard rescue helicopter flying a training mission.    And then it was time (as usual) to head for home.

Great views from higher up ….

…. but it’s soon time to head for home

Text and images © Paul Shorrock

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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4 Responses to #265 – Moel Siabod – The Shapely Peak

  1. The views and scenery look fantastic- Nice photographs


  2. Thanks for that! I’ve just been checking out some of your Dolomite images, some really nice shots in there.


  3. The Daear Ddu Ridge is one of my favourite routes in Snowdonia! I stuck as far to the right as possible last time and found it was quite hard scrambling and felt exposed in places – but then I didn’t rock climb then. I need to get back to see how I find it nowadays! The long ridge to the Pen y Gwyrd Hotel is great too – lovely ridge walking. I did it once from our climbing club with other members so that we could take 2 cars.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The ridge to Pen y Gwryd sound good – finishing at a pub is always a good plan! On my circular route, I used to stop in at Cobden’s for a quick cider, but it’s been closed for ages.


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