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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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Text and images © Paul Shorrock