OverviewThis is the highest of the Welsh summits in the vast area known as the Moelwyns Range
Moel Siabod seen from the wooded hills above Swallow Falls near Betws y Coed
Moel Siabod's shapely peak is the northern sentinel of a vast upland area, dappled with lakes and tarns, which sprawl in a south western direction that ends with the Moelwyn summits and Cnicht in the far south west and west.
It is another of Snowdonias high but isolated summits that has a characteristic shape to it. When seen from the East or South Eastern side it is flanked by impressive cliffs but from the West side it has a very gentle look with no major features to get people to want to climb it. It is the highest summit within the area of the Moelwyns Range which is enclosed by the towns of Capel Curig, Betws y Coed, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Porthmadog and Beddgelert. Also being a close neighbour to Snowdon's Yr Wyddfa it often gets overlooked by those wanting to do higher summits.
The highest part of the mountain forms a relatively level, rocky ridge approximately 800 m long, running roughly south-west (from the summit) to north-east. At the north-eastern end of this main ridge there is a fairly steep descent towards Pont Cyfyng. At the south-west edge of the main ridge there is a further, much steeper ridge that branches off to the east, as well as several precipitous cliffs.
The north-west side of the main ridge is relatively gentle and supports a variety of flora and has numerous paths. The south-east side has many sharp drops down to a hanging valley. This valley, fenced in on two sides by the main ridge and the ridge running east from the summit, is at roughly 500 m above sea level and contains Llyn-y-foel (Welsh for lake of the mountain). There is both a steep descent, following a stream that emerges from the lake to the south-east, and a gentle descent, to the north-east, from this valley.
The eastern side of this lovely mountain is flanked by a massive corrie. The pictures below show the size of the natural arena enclosed within these cliffs.
Pictures of the large corrie on Moel Siabods eastern side
The summit is surmaounted by an Ordnance Survey Trig Point
| |The Corrie South | |The Corrie Central | |The Corrie North
The Summit Trig Point. OS-Trig #S7317
When on the summit the views are extensive and encompass many other summits below are just some of them
It is said that when on the summit of Moel Siabod when looking in a certain direction you can see 13 of the 14 Welsh 3000feet summits without having to turn your head...?
As can be seen in all the above photographs Moel Siabod is a worthy summit within the Snowdonia National Park to climb. Because it gets missed out by all those who are off to do summits such as Snowdon Yr Wyddfa, Tryfan and the Glyders also the Carneddau it can be a peaceful and quiet summit to do but with rewarding results in the right weather...! If you are an SP-Member and knock Moel Siabod off your list dont forget to sign the climbers log. More than that if you do it, enjoy it...!
1:50 000 map of Capel Curig and Moel Siabod
Capel Curig is best accessed from the main A5 road. This stretches from Shrewsbury in England and goes through Llangollen as its first Welsh town and you continue on this A5 Road all the way through to Betws y Coed. From Betws y Coed follow the A5 again and within the Capel Curig area there is ample parking for many different routes up. I stop near a bridge with some waterfalls in a small place called Pont Cyfng where my favourite walk up starts from. This is just before entering Capel Curig itself. GUIDELINE...! (Do not park in the Hotel car parks on the A5 Road itself these are for the hotel guests and the hotel owners do not like it)
You can also access Capel Curig on the A5 from Bangor in the west via Bethesda and the Ogwen Valley. If accessing the area from the northern reaches of England for example Manchester etc. You take the M56 from the M6 heading for Chester then there is the A55 Express Way all the way along the North Wales coast. Along this road you will reach Conwy where you take the A470 south to Betws y Coed. Once at Betws y Coed you take the A5 west for Capel Curig.
Below is an embedded Google Earth map for Capel Curig
View Larger Map
The above map has links to find directions how to get there
Red Tape and Open Access
Moel Siabod from Moelwyn Mawr with Snow on its upper reaches
Moel Siabod shrouded in a cloud inversion - picture by tphubbard
Free to rome is available round most of the open areas except on various footpath routes through farmers property especially in the lower reaches. The footpaths in the lower levels all have signs showing the free to rome and where not free to rome logo on the gates and styles.
Although unlikely it is 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.
The signs to look for concerning open access are as follows:-
Open Access Land Left - Non Open Access Right
When To Climb
This summit has many routes up and they can be done in most weather conditions or seasons. The route up the east side via the lake at Llyn y Foel and the scramble to the south of the large corrie and up the ridge of Carnedd Moel Siabod is a Grade-1 scramble and get be very technical in the winter months. The route up from the west and north west such as the national mountain centre are very easy with the climb being very gentle and there not being much change in the scenery. I advise if you like technical routes take the scramble...! Anyday. Just remember in the winter if accessing via the scramble to be prepared with ice axe and crampons. In the winter months the views of the Y Wyddfa summits and the snow that can also collect in Moel Siabod's corrie can be very impressive.
Details for the weather can be obtained from the following link:-
Snowdon Mountain Weather
The Snowdonia National Park Website:-
Snowdonia National Park
Camping...! Plenty of camp sites along side the A5 Road between Betws y Coed and Capel Curig. I dont know there rates as i have never camped in there but i would not think its expensive.
For Bed and Breakfast options there are some lovely Bed and Breakfasts in nearby Betws y Coed one of these being right next to the fantastic rapids where the old road bridge crosses. If you like the soothing sound of rapids roaring away get a room here that looks directly over the river...!
Camping Information For Capel Curig Area:-
www.snowdonia-wales.net/acc/camp/list (Capel Curig)
Bed and Breakfast Information For Capel Curig
Capel Curig B&B
Bed and Breakfast Information For Betws y Coed