Moel Siabod from Capel Curig and Plas y Brenin
The ‘Tourist’ Route up Moel Siabod doesn’t have the best reputation, but we found it to be a pleasant and varied ascent with excellent views.
|7.9 km||702 m||3-4 hours|
Activivity Type: Hard Walk
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Summits and Places on this Route
Pubs and Siabod Cafe in Capel Curig along the A5. Plas y Brenin also has a bar that’s open to the public and the most convenient to the walk.
Navigation can be tricky on the summit – with the path not being clear to find the summit in mist, or in descent.
Limited in the lay-by near the start. Otherwise you’ll need to park behind Joe Brown.
The Snowdon Sherpa service serves Capel Curig.
Moel Siabod from Capel Curig and Plas y Brenin Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download
Download file for GPS
Moel Siabod from Capel Curig and Plas y Brenin
We think that the best route up Moel Siabod from the Snowdonia village of Capel Curig is via the Daear Ddu scramble, but the route from Plas y Brenin is still a passable half day if you don’t want to scramble and only have a few hours to spare. The best thing about the route up Moel Siabod from Capel Curig is the extensive views in all directions on both the ascent and decent. You can start the walk from the centre of Capel Curig, necessitating a walk on the main road (speed limit 30mph, allegedly) or a better and longer walk is to take the track behind Joe Brown and the car park as far as the farm (Gelli) where you turn left and emerge on the road a 100m up the road from Plas y Brenin. You can also start the walk up Moel Siabod from Pont Cyfyng, by following the riverside paths to join the route below either at the footbridge in leg 1 or the forestry track in section 2.
Moel Siabod from Capel Curig Full Route
1 From the side of Plas y Brenin there’s a gate and a good footpath that leads to a footbridge over the Afon Mymbyr. This first section is a popular location for those who don’t wander far from tarmac to photograph Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) and an essential photo opportunity regardless. Once across the footbridge, the path continues uphill, an old track that’s easy to follow and wide.
2 After around half a kilometre, the track hits a forestry track where you literally need to walk left for 10 paces before you’ll find the continuation of the Siabod path to your right. The path strangely widens up in sections as you ascend, clearly an old track and not a forestry one, but soon enough deteriorates into a rough footpath. Old maps suggest that this is an old quarry track, and there’s a small tip marked on the OS Map which supports this. This section has now been clear felled in places, and has open views across to the Carneddau.
3 You’ll eventually reach a gate with a stile after 1.6km (at SH712 565) which marks the point at which the track enters open hillside. There’s initially a steep pull up, but that relents as the path becomes harder to follow through alternating sections of flat, wet hillside and further steeper ascents.
4 After around a kilometre of what can involve a bit of head scratching in mist, you’ll cross a final style at SH 710 556 which is the start of the final section of ascent. Care is needed to ensure that you don’t reach the end of the path and lose it. While it’s a perfectly clear track for most of the duration, it does become sketchy when you get near the summit. You’ll know this as the summit ridge begins to appear to your left, which you want to keep parallel as this initial section is a bouldery scramble to attain.
5 As the path peters out – if you’re lucky then you’ll be able to follow a very faint path that heads directly towards the summit ridge. If not, then at around SH707 550 the path finishes and you’ll need to veer slightly left towards the summit ridge. If clear, you should keep an eye out for a distinctive upright stone on the skyline. It’s only a small stone and easily missed. Pass this stone, and you’ll find yourself on a flat area with some boggy ground to the left (or right if you’ve veered too far that way!) and a sheer drop down to Llyn y Foel directly ahead.
6 Use the clifftops to follow as a handrail – a navigational handrail rather than one that offers prevention from falling – as there is a faint path that can be followed. It does veers slightly away from the clifftop in places. The ridge scramble of Daear Ddu can be seen down to the left, with the angle making it more like a climb. Eventually the summit trig will come into view, and is easily reached by keeping to the left rather than a direct assault which is more of a clamber.
7 The summit provides a breathtaking view towards Snowdon, Glyderau, Tryfan Carneddau and south over the Moelwynion. There’s a prominent trig point and numerous crags that provide shelter in less salubrious conitions as well as a rather large summit shelter, just off the summit.
Descending Moel Siabod
While the descent is the above in reverse, there are a couple of sections that might need some further explanation. Generally, the path can be loose in places on descent and allow plenty of time to descend.
Finding the Path From the Summit – From the trig point. return along the clifftop, keeping an eye out for a faint path that runs parallel. When you reach a boggy section with some small pools, you’ll need to head left. If you’ve started ascending again on the ridge you’ve gone too far and you’ll need to head back (or chance your luck down the slope instead). Keep an eye for the upright stone, which isn’t so obvious from above, but marks the start of the path.
The remainder of the decent is reasonably straightforward. You will need to take care at a couple of points in the forest as there are a couple of places which were obvious in ascent, but there may be an alternative in descent.
Just before the path joins the forestry track in section 2 above, the path forks. Take the left fork and you’ll be on the track in no time. If you do go right, then you’ll just emerge on the forestry track a little further on – no big deal and just turn left.
Halfway between this forestry track and the footbridge over the Mymbyr, the path hits a junction at SH716 574 where a walled track continue ahead and looks the more obvious decent, instead keep left and you’ll be at the footbridge in a few minutes. The right hand track does lead to the forestry track beyond the footbridge, but we don’t know how passable it is.
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