Flashback Walks: Moel Siabod 12/10/2014

For my first walk since my arrival at Bangor, I decided to head out to Moel Siabod, just south of Capel Curig. At 2860ft I reckoned it would a good test of my fitness before I began climbing any of the 3000 footers.

I started at the Tyn-Y-Coed Hotel, one mile south of Capel Curig, for those driving parking is fairly amble, though you do have to go into the hotel to pay, it’s about £3,00 for a full day. Walking south along the A5, I took the first turn on my left at a rather quaint stone bridge and, Taking the second turn on my left I found myself walking on a surfaced private lane through pretty woodland, the sun was already fairly high and the clear blue skies would luckily remain with me all day. I followed this lane until a posted detour route led me around Rhos farm and onto the moor behind the farmyard.

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After the farm, the path began to gradually rise and passed through one of the many old Welsh slate quarries that dot Snowdonia, the landscape to my right and left was marked with ruined houses, vast slag piles and craters filled with icy water. Every now and then the path would become rather steep and grass would turn to loose stones, this combined with my lack of fitness meant I was soon huffing and puffing. Fortunately after a second crater the path leveled out and it was an extremely pleasant walk leading towards Llyn Foel.

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Behind Llyn Foel the mountain of Moel Siabod rose up, and on its eastern side lay the rather imposing Deaer Ddu Ridge. However before I could  start that ascent I had to reach it first. Look at the sparkling water of Llyn Foel I decided it would be  nice to walk close to the lakeside, this was a mistake. Soon the path I was following disappeared under thick mud and water. Constantly navigating around the thigh deep water and mud slowed me down considerably, and at one point I discovered the scattered skeletal remains of a sheep lodged in the ooze, at least I hope it was a sheep…

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Eventually I reached the bottom of the Deaer Ddu Ridge, admittedly rather muddier than I had been an hour ago. Unlike other ridges like Crib Goch and Striding Edge which are usually just a single rock face, Deaer Ddu is a tight collection of boulders broken up by a grassy surface that rises up very steeply. Sensible people would keep to the west side of the ridge where the surface is more continuous and rocky, however I am not a sensible person and soon I found myself lost on the east side between the view obstructing rocks, pathless and tired. At this point I had no choice but to just keep heading upwards blindly, at this point the walk became pretty tough as the gradient sharply increased. However thanks to plenty of water and a steely determination I manged to reach the top of the ridge.

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Here the world really seems to fall away. Much to my surprise I found the mountain summit directly at the top of the Deaer Ddu Ridge and let me say if you want to find a good view of Snowdonia National Park, look no further than Moel Siabod. To the south stretches lower Snowdonia and the rest of Wales, but it is the view to the north which is the most breathtaking, it is said from Moel Siabod you can see thirteen of the highest peaks in Wales and such a claim could well be true, my view stretched from Carnedd Dafydd to Moel Hebog. But what drew my eyes the most was the mass of Snowdon, which honestly seemed to fill up my vision.

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After lunch and a phone call to my parents, cause who doesn’t like getting signal on top of a mountain, I began my descent along a col to east of the summit ,at a cross-road I continued forwards as opposed to going left which would have led me back into the forest. This direction took me a more direct  route along a small path the stretched behind the mountain.In places the path descended quite steeply and ,due to the lack of sunlight it receives, was considerably wet and slippery so I had to take a great deal of care coming down it. but fortunately, after more of less keeping with this path I soon found myself back in the fields near Rhos Farm, and walking east I soon joined up with the original path I had walked up. From there it was a simple matter of retracing of my footsteps back to the car park at Tyn-Y-Coed.

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Sitting in my car I couldn’t help but feel incredibly satisfied with how the day had turned out and I was certainly looking forward to more trips into the mountains.

Thus concludes my first tale I guess, if you have stories you wish to share or have any advice about the blog in general feel free to leave a note in the comments and thanks for reading.

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