Rock ClimbingDue 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.
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.
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.
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).
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 Bach
Winter ClimbingMoel 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 ConditionsThis 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 GearThe 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 ThereMoel 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 AccessNo 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.
Camping and AccommodationThere’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.
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
Royal Commission on Ancient & Historical Monuments in Wales
Gwynedd Archaeological Trust
The National Trust
Hiking, Climbing and Mountaineering Organisations and Companies
British Mountaineering Council
The Climbers Club
Plas y Brenin National Mountain Centre
Mountain Weather Wales
Weather from the Met Office
Weather Channel UK
North Wales Tourism Partnership
Local Information from Gwynedd.com
Local Information from Snowdonia Wales Net
North Wales Index
Official Nantlle valley Website
Welsh Public Transport Information
Uk Train Timetable
Youth Hostel Association in Wales
North Wales Campsites
Maps and Guidebooks
Harvey Map Services
Climbers Club Guidebooks
North Wales Bouldering
Mid Wales Climbing
Cordee Travel and Adventure Sports Bookshop
Wildlife and Conservation
Joint Nature Conservation Committee
North Wales Wildlife Trust
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
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