A few years ago I read an account of walking Moel Siabod in north Wales describing how wonderful it is. He was a walk leader with a school party and explained how he met one of the group years later who conveyed how memorable it had been. Some days are like that: a perfect combination of weather, light, colour, mood, and adventure. The guide said Siabod is a slightly neglected hill, but this is one of the attractions because you don’t find hordes of people walking here. I’ve done the walk about five times and confirm this is the case. You only see a few people walking Moel Siabod.
The Welsh name translates into ‘shapely hill’ which I think is very appropriate and this shows why it’s worth researching Welsh, Scottish and Gaelic language to learn what mountain names mean. They’re often very evocative and descriptive names with an old poetry, from a time when people lived on the land with an intimate connection to nature.
Moel Siabod – or Siabod as it gets called – is near the town of Capel Curig which is on the periphery of Snowdonia and the bigger hills you can find, most notably Snowdon which is 1085 metres high. Siabod is only 872 metres but height isn’t everything. Height can equate to greater views and a more satisfying walk – but not always. In the Pyrenees for example Aneto is the highest peak but Posets is generally regarded as the most beautiful. I made an attempt at Aneto but the glaciation was too pronounced which meant the route I had in mind was impassable. I did however walk Posets and it was one of the highlights of my five trips to the wonderful Pyrenees.
Siabod is indeed a very shapely hill and it stands distinct and separate from the surrounding area. You have big views all around, stretching a great distance over relatively flat areas with a lovely character, and at the summit you enjoy possibly the best distant outlook across to Snowdon. Snowdon is a fine mountain which I’ve walked about six times and seen from every vantage point. The views from Siabod are to savour.
Siabod is not a difficult walk and you can complete it in four or five hours. There’s a ridge ascent which involves some scrambling if you enjoy the athleticism of dealing with boulders. I’ve never been up that way; I always like to walk, stride, and stroll, rather than clamber over rock.
You can also walk from the beautiful Lledr valley and the town of Dolweddylan, which I recommend to expand and complete your understanding of this lovely hill. The route from Capel Curig which is what I show in my video is, however, more scenic and satisfying.