Welcome to SP!  -
Moel Hebog
Mountain/Rock

Moel Hebog

 
Moel Hebog

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Snowdonia, Wales, Europe

Lat/Lon: 53.00311°N / 4.13635°W

Object Title: Moel Hebog

County: Gwynedd

Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Bouldering, Scrambling

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 2569 ft / 783 m

 

Page By: Nanuls

Created/Edited: May 9, 2007 / Apr 15, 2011

Object ID: 292001

Hits: 4745 

Page Score: 90.48%  - 32 Votes 

Vote: Log in to vote

 

Overview

"On one side was midnight, on the other bright day; the whole extent of the mountain of Snowdon, on our left hand, was wrapped in clouds, from top to bottom; but on the right the sun shone most gloriously over the sea coast of Caernarvon. The hill we stood upon was perfectly clear, the way we come up a pretty easy ascent; but before us was a precipice of many hundred yards, and below, a vale, which, though not cultivated, had much savage beauty."

Lord George Lyttelton on his ascent of Moel Hebog (1756)

Moel Hebog (Hill of the Hawk/Falcon) is located just west of Snowdon, only a short walk northwest of the village of Beddgelert. Its steep rocky summit dominates the view from the village and is also an impressive part of the vista enjoyed from Snowdon's summit. In turn, on a clear day, Moel Hebog offers superb views of the Snowdon range, and an excellent position to grab a quality photograph of Wales' highest mountain.

Although the mountain appears steep and rocky from the west, its eastern flank has a much shallower gradient, rising slowly from the Dwyfor Valley, and offers a much easier ascent. Climbing the mountain is usually incorporated into a longer traverse over Moel yr Ogof (Hill of the Cave) (655m) and Moel Lefn (Smooth Hill) (638m) to the north, and even the Nantlle Ridge for those looking for a long day of walking. The former hill, Moel yr Ogof, is thought to conceal a cave where Owain Glyndwr, who led the last Welsh revolt between 1400-1415, hid after disappearing following the rebellion's failure. When approaching from the west, an easy scramble near the summit can be incorporated into the walk, and although the scramble is easy, there is a lot of loose rock and in wet weather it can be very slippery.

Moel Hebog from Beddgelert
Moel Hebog from Beddgelert
(Photo by Bryan Benn)
Moel Hebog
The slightly uninspiring summit
(Photo by Nanuls)
Moel yr Ogof and Moel Lefn
Moel Lefn and Moel yr Ogof
(Photo by Nanuls)

Rock Climbing

Due to its marginal position and the vegetated and broken nature of the crag, Moel Hebog receives relatively few visits from climbers. The mountain's climbing is split between three areas – The Summit Crags, Diffwys and y Braich.

Climbs are listed, graded and rated with the aid of the Climbers’ Club Guide to Cwm Silyn and Cwellyn (Eifionydd) by Paul Jenkinson and Bob Wightman, so for full descriptions, please refer to this book.

Routes are graded using the British Adjectival Grading System. Technical grades are generally only given to climbs graded adjectivally as Severe (S) or above. A conversion table of international climbing grades by SP member Corax is available HERE! Bolting is strictly prohibited on the crags listed here.

With the exception of Y Braich, all routes are described from left to right.

Route Symbols:
NO STARS A so-so route, neither good nor bad. Not unpleasant unless otherwise stated.
1 STAR A good route which is definitely worth a climb.
2 STARS A very good route, one of the best on the crag and well worthy of attention.
3 STARS An excellent route, one of the best in the area, and probably in Britain too.
NO RESTRICTIONS No Restrictions

Used to indicate that there are currently no restrictions, either seasonal, temporary or permanent, affecting a route.
RESTRICTIONS Restrictions

Used to indicate that there are restrictions, either seasonal, temporary or permanent, affecting a route. See the Red Tape and Access Section for more details.


The Summit Cliffs


As the name might suggest, these rather broken crags (SH 567 467) can be found just below the summit overlooking Cwm Cyd. Legend has it that they are home to Britain's oldest climb, Glyndwr's Ladder (Easy), which was used as an escape from the perusing English by the Welsh rebel, Owain Glyndwr in around 1400.

No. Name Length Pitches Adjectival
Grade
Technical
Grade
Quality Restrictions
1. Pursuer's Folly 72m 4 VD NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
2. Glyndwr's Ladder 75m E NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
3. Wish I Could Be Elsewhere 45m 2 VS NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
4. May Rib 46m D NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS


Llechog
Moel Hebog
(Photo by Nanuls)
Moel Hebog
The Summit Cliffs
(Photo by Nanuls)
Moel Hebog
Moel Hebog
(Photo by Nanuls)

Y Diffwys


The east facing crags of Y Diffwys (SH 567 476) on the western side of Moel Hebog offer around 10 multi pitch routes graded from V Diff to HVS, and have a height of around 150 metres. Unfortunately the crag is heavily vegetated and hard to access.

Y Diffwys

No. Name Length Pitches Adjectival
Grade
Technical
Grade
Quality Restrictions
5. Omega 105m D NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
6. Bending Groove 135m VD NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
7. Anaconda 115m VD NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
8. Caterpillar 115m VD NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
9. Lodestone 90m D NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
10. Tension Crack 80m 4 S NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
11. Compression 130m 3 VS NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
12. Ignition 102m 4 VS NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
13. Redog 58m 2 HVS 5a 1 STAR NO RESTRICTIONS
14. Flashback 61m 2 HVS 5a NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
15. Chinaman 126m 3 VD NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
16. Maiden Gully 130m 5 S NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
17. Maiden Buttress 135m 6 D 1 STAR NO RESTRICTIONS
18. Pink Slab 120m S NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
19. Two Chimney Route 90m VD NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
20. Explorers' Traverse 175m 8 D NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS


The Rock of Ages

This little crag lies just below Y Diffwys on the northern slope of Cwm Bleiddiaid. It is home to some excellent rock which reaches around 12 metres at its maximum. It is split at its centre by an obvious chimney, which can be climbed at Diff standards. Other routes, all of which are single pitch, include Terry's Rump (E1 5b), The Handcrack (VS 4c), The Wall (VS 4c) and the Fingercrack (HVS 5b).

Moel Hebog
Moel Hebog
(Photo by Nanuls)
Afon Colwyn
Afon Colwyn
(Photo by Nanuls)
Moel Hebog from Beddgelert Forest
Moel Hebog
(Photo by Nanuls)
Moel Hebog
Moel Hebog
(Photo by Nanuls)

Y Braich


The crags of Y Braich (SH 567 483) lie on the north-western side of a ridge also known as Y Braich, which runs north-east from Moel Hebog's summit. It's low altitude and good drainage make it an ideal wet weather venue.

Routes are described from right to left.

Y Braich

No. Name Length Pitches Adjectival
Grade
Technical
Grade
Quality Restrictions
21. Deaf School 23m 1 S NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
22. Buzzard Groove 23m 1 VD NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
23. Natty Dread 23m 1 S 1 STAR NO RESTRICTIONS
24. Birth of Gravity 23m 1 HVS 5a NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
25. No More Gain 23m 1 HVS 5a NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
26. Not Taylor Made 23m 1 E2 5c 1 STAR NO RESTRICTIONS
27. Wild Wind 23m 1 S NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
28. Talaq Talaq Talaq 14m 1 E1 5b NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
29. Tropical Rain Rib 14m 1 VS 4b 1 STAR NO RESTRICTIONS
30. Dark Summer 23m 1 HVS 5a NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
31. Song for a Taylor 21m 1 S 4a 1 STAR NO RESTRICTIONS
32. Spectrum 21m 1 S 4a 1 STAR NO RESTRICTIONS


Y Braich Bach

No. Name Length Pitches Adjectival
Grade
Technical
Grade
Quality Restrictions
33. No More Flaying 13m 1 VS 4c NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
34. no More Slaying 13m 1 VS 5a NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
35. Ni Ydy'r Indians 13m 1 E1 5b NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
36. Fair and Squaw 13m 1 VS 4c NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
37. Tomahawk 13m 1 VS 4c NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
38. Ar y Drwm 13m 1 HVS 5b NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
39. No More Playing 13m 1 VS 4c NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS
40. More to Gain 13m 1 VS 5a NO STARS NO RESTRICTIONS

Winter Climbing

Moel Hebog currently only has one winter line of any note, located on Y Diffwys.

Companion's Way is a Grade II, steep rake that runs around 100m from left to right across the centre of the crag. Descent can be achieved easily at the southern end of the crag, although to be fair, your better off carrying on to the mountain's summit.

For more information see Cicerone's Welsh Winter Climbs by Malcolm Campbell and Andy Newton.

Mountain Conditions

This colourful little box below displays the weather forecast for Beddgelert, which is located just to the south-east of Moel Hebog. Remember that Beddgelert is situated at around sea level, while the mountain's summit reaches 783 metres. This means that when looking at temperature the adiabatic lapse rate must be taken into account which in Wales is a drop in temperature of between 0.5 and 1°C per 100m in altitude. Exposure and wind speed can also significantly lower temperatures.

When to Climb and Essential Gear

The most reliable conditions are in the summer. The gear needed depends entirely on the routes you plan to do. A hike will require all the gear normally require for a hike in Wales, remember this Snowdonia so be sure to pack full waterproofs. Easier scrambles and rock routes will only require a moderate rack, while longer harder routes will require a full rack with a good compliment of cams. A singe 60 metre rope should serve well on most routes, however, twin or double ropes would be a wise choice for the harder stuff.

Getting There

Moel Hebog (SH 559 533) can be reached from the A4085, which runs between Caernarfon to Penrhynddeudraeth; parking is available at Beddgelert (SH 590 481) and Rhyd-Ddu (SH 571 525). Rhyd-Ddu can also be reached on the Welsh Highland Railway, which is a steam train that runs from Caernarfon. The railway has now been extended from Rhyd-Ddu to Porthmadog with stations at Beddgelert, which is very handy for getting to the bases of both Moel Hebog and Snowdon.

Red Tape and Access

No red tape here!

Although unlikely it's worth checking the countryside access map provided by the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) regarding whether or not any restrictions on movement in the area are in place.

Countryside Access Map

For climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers, the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) runs a Regional Access Database, which holds mountain/crag specific information on matters of conservation and access, including issues such as nesting restrictions, nature designations and preferred parking.

Regional Access Database

If you are in any doubt about any particular access arrangement, or need to report an incident, you should contact your local BMC Access Representative or the BMC Access Officers for Wales: Elfyn Jones.

View SE from near the Summit of Snowdon
From Snowdon
(Photo by Bryan Benn)
Moel Hebog
Moel Hebog
(Photo by Nanuls)
Moel Hebog
Moel Hebog
(Photo by Nanuls)

Camping and Accommodation

There’s an almost unlimited supply of accommodation within the Snowdonia National Park so it would be inappropriate to list it all here. For budget accommodation it’s worth checking out some of the following sites:

Youth Hostel Association in Wales

Independent Hostel Guide

Campsites in Gwynedd

There are a number of YHA hostels in the area, the nearest of which is the Snowdon Ranger in Rhyd Ddu. The Plas y Brenin National Mountain Centre in Capel Curig also has a bunkhouse, and its own indoor climbing wall if you’re still feeing energetic after your day in the mountains.

Another great local option is the perfectly located Forestry Commission campsite in Beddgelert Forest.

Maps

Open Space Web-Map builder Code
Navigation Maps

OS 1:25k Explorer Series OL 17 Snowdon/Yr Wyddfa

OS 1:50k Landranger Series 115 Snowdon/Yr Wyddfa

Harvey Map Services 1:25k Snowdonia: Snowdonia The Glyderau and the Carneddau

Harvey Map Services/BMC 1: 40k British Mountain Map: Snowdonia

Road Maps

OS Road Map 9 Wales/Cymru & West Midlands

Guidebooks

Snowdonia (Official National Park Guide) Snowdonia (Official National Park Guide) by Merfyn Williams with contributions from Ian Mercer and Jeremy Moore

A handy book full of useful information and interesting facts about the National Park.
The Mountains of England and Wales: Vol 1 Wales Cicerone Guide: The Mountains of England and Wales: Vol 1 Wales by John and Ann Nuttall

A classic book covering the Welsh ‘Nuttalls’, which obviously include the Eifionydd.
Hillwalking in Wales Vol 2 Cicerone Guide: Hillwalking in Wales Vol 2 by Peter Hermon

The second of two guidebooks describing walking routes up every 2000-footer in Wales – covers the Moelwyns to the Tarrenydd and includes the Eifionydd.
Hillwalking in Snowdonia
Cicerone Guide: Hillwalking in Snowdonia by Steve Ashton

A guidebook to nearly 70 hillwalking routes throughout Snowdonia, including the Eifonydd.
Cwm Silyn and Cwellyn (Eifionydd) Climbers' Club Guides to Wales: Cwm Silyn and Cwellyn (Eifionydd) by Paul Jenkinson and Bob Wightman

A comprehensive guide to the crags of the Nantlle and Cwellyn area. A very nice piece of work.
Welsh Winter Climbs Cicerone Guide: Welsh Winter Climbs by Malcom Campbell and Andy Newton

The only dedicated winter climbing guide to Wales. A bit dated now but nevertheless still relevant. The only problem is finding the right conditions.

External Links

 
Southern Eifionydd
Moel Hebog from the Nantlle Ridge (Photo by Nanuls)

 
Snowdon from Moel Hebog
Snowdon from Moel Hebog (Photo by Nanuls)

Government Bodies and Official Organisations

Snowdonia National Park Authority
Council for National Parks
Association of National Park Authorities
Conwy County Council
Gwynedd County Council
Powys County Council
Countryside Council for Wales
Forestry Commission Wales
Environment Agency
CADW
Royal Commission on Ancient & Historical Monuments in Wales
Gwynedd Archaeological Trust
Snowdonia Society
The National Trust

Hiking, Climbing and Mountaineering Organisations and Companies

British Mountaineering Council
The Climbers Club
UKClimbing
Plas y Brenin National Mountain Centre
Snowdonia-Active.com
Hightreck Snowdonia

Weather

Mountain Weather Wales
Weather from the Met Office
BBC Weather
Weather Channel UK

Tourist Information

Visit Wales
North Wales Tourism Partnership
Local Information from Gwynedd.com
Local Information from Snowdonia Wales Net
North Wales Index
Official Nantlle valley Website

Travel

Welsh Public Transport Information
Uk Train Timetable

Accommodation

Youth Hostel Association in Wales
North Wales Campsites

Maps and Guidebooks

Ordnance Survey
Harvey Map Services
Cicerone Guidebooks
Climbers Club Guidebooks
North Wales Bouldering
Mid Wales Climbing
Cordee Travel and Adventure Sports Bookshop

Wildlife and Conservation

Joint Nature Conservation Committee
Natur Gwynedd
North Wales Wildlife Trust
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Welsh Language

Welsh Language Board
Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg Welsh language pressure group
Cymuned Welsh language pressure group
Yr Urdd (Welsh Youth Association)
Welsh-English / English-Welsh online translator
Welsh-English / English-Welsh Online Dictionary
Welsh-English / English-Welsh Online Lexicon

Images