Walk • Trek • Travel
A photographic record and journal of our walking, trekking and travelling adventures.
Moel Siabod – Solo Hike
Moel Siabod – Solo Hike

Sunday 15 September 2013

Having had a great wild camp in the Brecon Beacons I made my way to Snowdonia stopping briefly for lunch in Betws y Coed.
I had booked a dormitory bed at the ‘posh’ hostel in Capel Curing known as Plas Curing and upon arriving the only real hassle was trying to find a spot to park in the small car park.
Bizarrely, the place seemed empty. Definitely posh, but empty. I checked in and made my way to the room. The manager told me that I was sharing with two climbers but the room was empty when I got there.
I found my bed and sorted my gear for my next days walk, Moel Siobod, before making my way down to the Tyn-y-Coed for a few drinks.
Even the pub seemed empty!
The next morning I made breakfast in the huge kitchen of the hostel and then sat outside on the large porch to put on my boots and check my pack. I had a fantastic view of Moel Siabod from here and was genuinely keen to get going.
I had heard a lot about Moel Siabod and the scramble up the Daear Ddu ridge and was excited to finally get a chance to do it. I was also a little apprehensive to be doing a Snowdonia scramble route on my own.
The MWIS forecast was for 45 mph winds gusting to 70mph from the north so I was hoping that an ascent from the south would keep me out of the wind at least until the summit.
I made my way from Plas Curig towards Bryn Glo until the bridge the crosses the river, Afon Llugwy. I think this bridge is called Pont Cyfyng and is the road to Capel Tan-y-garth but just as you have crossed the bridge, and ignoring the first track to your right, you take the next track on the right that leads you past buildings which, on the OS Map, are marked as Rhôs and on to the open access area.
The track is easy to follow and as you negotiate the final style, and if the weather gods allow, you get a good view of your objective for the day. Moel Siabod
The track continues past a lake that, on my map, is not named and then through slate spoil and up to another which is part of a disused quarry.
The quarry was a slate and slab Works and was one of two quarries to the east of Moel Siabod on the Gwydir Estate and operated until 1884.
From the quarry, you follow the path come stream to Llyn y Foel. Foel means bare or bald but this lake has another name, Llyn Llygad yr Ych, the Lake of the Ox’s Eye, which I have yet to research properly.
From the quarry, you follow the path come stream to Llyn y Foel. Foel means bare or bald but this lake has another name, Llyn Llygad yr Ych, the Lake of the Ox’s Eye, which I have yet to research properly.
The Daear Ddu ridge is great. You can either take a more exposed route to right or a less exposed route to the left. The right-hand route is rockier and the left-hand route is more grass and vegetation. I opted for the right-hand side although I was acutely aware of the wind coming from the north and whipping around the mountain seemingly trying to push me towards the edge, and the steep drop, on my right.
I stopped for a snack before continuing on to the summit. As I neared the summit plateau I really started to feel the effect of the wind and as I reached the summit plateau proper I had to stay low to the ground and use my hands and knees to reach the trig points. So strong was the wind in fact that, as shown in the video below, I could hardly catch a breath to speak!
After trying to take a photo or two at the summit I made my way over to the summit shelter for a snack and a drink. I had to keep low to stay out of the gusting wind. Then, after a rest, I headed down the northern slope towards the forest. The lower I got, the less the wind was a problem.
I crossed the bridge that is almost opposite the Plas Curig hostel and made my way back there for a warm drink and shower. Other than the wind the weather had been dry so it was an easy decision to walk down to the Tyn-y-Coed for a drink. It was still empty. In fact, other than the bar staff, I had not met or seen another person all day.
Moel Siabod in the distance
The unnamed lake
Foel Quarry Buildings
The Quarry Face at Foel Quarry
The Daear Ddu ridge
The lake with the Daear Ddu ridge
Looking down the Daear Ddu ridge
Moel Siabod view from the summit Trig point
Are you tired of being stuck in the office? Bored of being chained to a desk? Counting down the days until retirement?
Me too!!