Daear Ddu Moel Siabod Scramble

Siabod Daear Ddu

Route Information

0 A5, Capel Curig, Betws-y-Coed LL24 0DS, UK


Route Summary:

Relatively straightforward Grade 1 scramble with loads of variety.

Distance: Kms

Ascent: metres


Start and Finish: Pony Cyfyng

Facilities: Pubs and cafes in Capel Curig

Hazards: Scrambling and navigation needed in mist

Public Transport:

Sherpa buses from Betws y Coed and Llanberis


Parking Post Code for Sat Nav: 

Daear Ddu Moel Siabod Scramble

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The Best Route up Moel Siabod has to be scrambling up Daear Ddu. It’s a relatively straightforward scramble that follows the Daear Ddu ridge from Pont Cyfyng, with most of the trickier sections being avoidable.

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The Route 

If ascended along the tourist path that starts at the Plas y Brenin, one would be forgiven for thinking that Moel Siabod is a relatively dull hill, with excellent views towards Yr Wyddfa being the redeeming feature. However, there’s another side to this mountain. A much more interesting, though not overly difficult scramble along Daear Ddu. It can be ascended from Dolwyddelan (see here for a route where we managed to miss out on all the scrambling) or from Pont Cyfyng near Capel Curig.

1 – Park or take the sherpa bus to Bryn Glo car park and follow the busy A5 a couple of hundred metres towards the bridge at Pont Cyfyng. Cross the bridge and follow the minor road, keeping an eye out for the Moel Siabod signpost.

Siabod Daear Ddu

2 – The good track leads steeply uphill, past a few houses and soon relents as it reaches open hillside. In a further kilometre you’ll reach the un-named quarry lake and uphill beyond that a disused quarry pit.

Siabod Daear Ddu

3 – The track becomes a narrow path beyond the quarry, taking you up towards Llyn y Foel. The area surrounding the lake tends to be rather boggy so choose your route with care! The shortest is directly across the northern end of the lake towards the base of Daear Ddu. Of course, this is still technically the same range as the Moelwynion and so the easiest route will no doubt find some bogs that reflect that ease in ooze. Alternatively, you can head off and around the southern end of the lake or contour around the cwm and keep high above the wettest areas.

Siabod Daear Ddu

4 – On reaching Daear Ddu, you’ve now got a sustained but easy scramble over 1km and about 300m ascent. Like most scrambles, they’re almost impossible to describe in a guide. The three of us took totally different routes, depending on what appealed at that moment. The best advice is to keep right and close to the crest, and that there are no problems that are unavoidable. One such was near the summit, involving an easy scramble but with the illusion of some exposure.

5 – The final section is mainly bouldery, and brings you out directly onto the summit from where you can now enjoy that view on a truly worthwhile mountain.

6 – Descent can be tricky as the path isn’t obvious. Your best bet is to follow the summit ridge NE, from where you should be able to pick up the obvious path down to Capel Curig. Or, for an even better end to the route we suggest that you return along the summit ridge to Pont Cyfyng. Our rationale was to descend the quicker route in order to get a quick pint in!

7 – The tourist path needs little in the way of explanation, though a little eroded in places, is straightforward enough and gets you down quickly. You’ll need to pay a bit more attention to the footpath once you arrive at the forestry, where we missed the quickest way as we took the route that was already known to us. Turning right as soon as you reach the wider forestry track will cut a few minutes off the trip, or just descend to Plas y Brenin. Turn right here and you can return all the way to Pont Cyfyng along good tracks and footpaths.

Please rate this

  1. Mark Smith 4 years ago

    Did this 5/9/13 returned via ridge, great fun 1st half then petered out to a scree path. Nice route – we wouldnt have tried it before it was suggested here!

    • Author
      Dave Roberts 4 years ago

      Scree Path? Did you end up to the left of the ridge? The ridge itself takes you over huge boulders to the summit. That’s the beauty of scrambling, it’s different each time and for each person!

      • Mark Smith 4 years ago

        We did most (I think) of the scramble up to the summit and returned via the ridge – also good fun – will be back on a summer day to sample the view, still atmospheric in the mist though… The scree path was the last 1/4 of the route. Anyway it was a good day in the hills!

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