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Walking in North Wales, the UK - Carnedd Moel Siabod from Capel Curig

A medium length circular walk with an optional ridge and industrial archeaology.





Altitude Gained:



4 hours

Perhaps uniquely for the Snowdonian Mountain range, Moel Siabod stands alone - an isolated peak towards the Eastern end of the range.  And as such, it has to offer some of the best views in the area.

Whilst Moel Siabod may not have quite the adrenalin rush offered by routes such as Crib Goch, the East ridge offers sufficient entertainment, without the crowds.

A group on the famous "Cantilever Stone", Glyder Fach - Easter 2011

Above: Looking across to Moel Siabod from Llyn Foel - Easter 2011
© Mat & Niki Adlam-Stiles, 2011

Walk in brief:

This circular walk taking in the single peak of Carnedd Moel Siabod is mostly on clear paths - although to reach the lower end of the East ridge requires one to cross some boggy ground.

The walk has a ~750m altitude gain, a fair portion of which is gained during the long approach to the main ascent.

Refreshments are available at the Bryn Glo cafe, and also at the two pubs - Cobdens and the Tyn-y-Coed .  The walk is covered by the 1:25,000 Ordnance Survey maps OL17 (Snowdon/Yr Wyddfa) and OL18 (Harlech, Porthmadog & Bala)

The start from Bryn Glo:

As one approaches Capel Curig from Betws-y-Coed, the Bryn Glo Cafe  and layby can be found on the right just before the bridge - Pont Cyfyng.  There is usually plenty of free parking in the layby, and the cafe offers good refreshments.

From the layby (SH736571) walk on the oposite site of the road West towards Capel Curig, and after 100 yards turn left and cross the bridge.  Ignore the first turn right, then shortly after bear right uphill by some houses at the fork.

Derelict quarrymen's buildings at the foot of Carnedd Moel Siabod

Above: Derelict quarrymen's buildings at the foot of Carnedd Moel Siabod
 © Mat & Niki Adlam-Stiles, 2011

At a switchback in the track, a sign keeps you firmly on the footpath, avoiding the farm, before returning you to the old quarry track.  Turn left along the track which rises gradually for about 1km before reaching a lake/reservoir.

En route you will notice many remains of old slate quarrying - including several old buildings and an incline.

As you approach the first lake, a detour along the dam makes for a pleasant picnic spot and some good photo opportunities.  The main route, however, is to keep the lake to your left, following the quarrymens track upwards.  Here a collection of ancient stone buildings and old quarry workings adds to the interest. 

Continue to climb up past the buildings to reach a deep, flooded quarry.  The path ascends steeply for a short while, with the flooded workings on your right.  Continuing along the foot of Moel Siabod a third and larger lake comes into view.  As you approach, you have a choice of ascent routes.

An obvious and clear path on the right keeps close to the foot of Moel Siabod, before ascending the loose gulley.  This direct ascent is easy at first, but can be loose and slippery towards the summit.

Keeping the lake closer to your left, a wide and often boggy path heads towards the foot of the East ridge.  From the foot of the ridge, head right and upwards.  The direct ascent keeps to the high ground, and is a reasonable scramble, exposed in some places.  There is little in the way of a path.

The easiest route runs along the Southern flank a little way below the ridge.  Here a clear path ascends more gently, with the Moel Siabod summit to your right, before doubling back slightly and climbing more steeply.  Eventually, all routes meet at the summit trig point.

From the summit of Moel Siabod, you can enjoy the uninterrupted 360o panorama - perhaps one of the best views in the area.


Descending toward Bryn Glo:

From the summit of Moel Siabod (SH705546) a broad path heads North East along the ridge, before dropping over the left hand side of the ridge and down towards the woods at Coel Bryn-engan.

Follow the eroded path down to bring you to the corner of the forestry, and then into the woods.  From here a network of forestry tracks and footpaths offer numerous return routes.  One option is to keep straight across (down) at each junction to bring you to the riverside at Plas y Brenin.


Far-reaching panoramic views from the summit of Carnedd Moel Siabod

Far-reaching panoramic views from the summit of Carnedd Moel Siabod
© Mat & Niki Adlam-Stiles, 2011

Turning right here before the footbridge will take you on a large track on mostly level ground along the riverside.  A fork right after a little less the 1km allows you to return to the bridge at Pont Cyfyng avoiding a stretch along the main A5, whereas left at the fork will bring you to the A5.  Right along the A5 returns you to Bryn Glo via either of the two pubs - Cobdens has an interesting "hikers" bar at the rear.


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