walkhighlands

This board helps you to share your walking route experiences in England and Wales... or overseas.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Moel Siabod disappoints

Moel Siabod disappoints


Postby Pensioner » Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:50 pm

Hewitts included on this walk: Moel Siabod

Date walked: 02/04/2017

Time taken: 3.5

Distance: 9 km

Ascent: 895m

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

I was getting withdrawal symptoms not having done any serious scrambling for well over 6 months. After the wet early spring the forecast of a dry and sunny weekend sent me searching online and thumbing through my guidebooks for a suitable grade 1/2 route. The challenge was where to go? I live in Preston and had done most of the 3 star routes in the Lakes and Wales such as Striding Edge, Sharp Edge, Jacks Rake, Tryfan N Ridge, Crib Goch and Bristly Ridge etc. I was running out of clean good routes within 100 miles. In addition to running out of options I decided that the Lakes would be too busy and happened upon a recommended route named the Daear Ddu ridge on the back of a hill called Moel Siabod near Capel Curig. It seemed to be sustained grade 1 so off I went early one bright sunny Sunday morning. I knew there were roadworks on the A55 at Colwyn Bay which had been causing misery but my sat nav took me off at Abergele and after negotiating some very narrow roads and an altercation with a pick-up truck I arrived at Capel Curig and parked, eventually.

The approach from Pont Cyfyng was along a very boggy track through some atmospheric abandoned quarry workings. The bog became tedious but eventually my objective came into sight and in silhouette it looked rather impressive with the promise of some airy scrambling. After negotiating some more gooey boot sucking gunk I arrived at the bottom of the ridge. The day had held fair with a mix of sun and clouds but it certainly wasn’t the wall-to-wall sunshine forecast by the BBC. I started off over some boulders and soon arrived at an interesting-looking steep smooth corner which could be avoided on the right. This proved to be quite awkward and greasy with a few delicate moves to regain the crest. This was definitely into rock climbing territory and certainly at grade 2. Great I thought “bring it on”. However, unfortunately that was it. The ridge belied its appearance and the rest of it was just a steep walk with a few problems here and there. From above it appeared well defined but apart from the initial steep corner, which can be bypassed, it offered no real interest unless you count some impressive slabs and drop-offs. Its barely grade 1.

After one final scramble section I arrived on the summit rather disappointed and unsatisfied. Well at least it was a great day with extensive views and the brooding sawtooth of Tryfan grabbing the attention to the west. I had even got some exercise and honed my skills in ploutering through bogs! The long boulder strewn summit shoulder yielded a few problems before giving way to long soggy grass slopes leading down to the Capel Curig path on the north side. I use the description “path” reservedly because it was a hazardous mixture of water course, cork screws, slippery bog, rock-ribs, ankle breaking rocks and rock bands. Apart from that it was fine! And to cap it all I spent 30mins crawling through the roadworks on the A55. I would not recommend this route.
Attachments

our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

User avatar
Pensioner
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 22
Munros:282   Corbetts:60
Grahams:17   Donalds:11
Sub 2000:26   Hewitts:51
Wainwrights:40   Islands:35
Joined: Sep 29, 2014
Location: Preston

Re: Moel Siabod disappoints

Postby Mal Grey » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:51 pm

Sorry you didn't enjoy it much, but I think its a fine way to ascend an excellent mountain, its just nothing like Tryfan etc, not much is. I found by picking out the hardest bits I had plenty of modest scrambling to keep me entertained. I agree that its not particularly serious, but wasn't expecting it to be.
User avatar
Mal Grey
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2899
Munros:110   Corbetts:20
Grahams:8   
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:113
Wainwrights:71   Islands:5
Joined: Dec 1, 2011
Location: Surrey, probably in a canoe! www.wildernessisastateofmind.co.uk

Re: Moel Siabod disappoints

Postby Pensioner » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:54 pm

Thanks for your comments Mal. I wouldn't describe Moel Siabod as an "excellent hill" - it's a pretty average hill. But then again I have been spoiled by cutting my climbing teeth in the Western Highlands where there are many Tryfans, Crib Gochs, Jacks Rake and Sharp Edges. A hill like Moel Siabod would not be noticed at all.
User avatar
Pensioner
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 22
Munros:282   Corbetts:60
Grahams:17   Donalds:11
Sub 2000:26   Hewitts:51
Wainwrights:40   Islands:35
Joined: Sep 29, 2014
Location: Preston

Re: Moel Siabod disappoints

Postby mattcymru » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:06 pm

Bit harsh calling Siabod a hill... it is 2861 feet. if you drive from abergele to llanrwst it looks like a huge mountain! :?
mattcymru
Rambler
 
Posts: 26
Hewitts:6
Joined: Jul 27, 2014
Location: Abergele North Wales

Re: Moel Siabod disappoints

Postby Mal Grey » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:25 pm

mattcymru wrote:Bit harsh calling Siabod a hill... it is 2861 feet. if you drive from abergele to llanrwst it looks like a huge mountain! :?


Indeed, and I'm happy to defend it again. My own report is here; viewtopic.php?f=16&t=19310

I obviously look at things in a different way, finding joy in just being out there; Pensioner has made 3 hill reports, each one expressing disappointment with the hill, which is a bit of a shame. I guess its all about expectations, and I get that some folk need the fun scrambly bits to motivate them, but though I love those parts, just being out there is all the reward I need.
User avatar
Mal Grey
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2899
Munros:110   Corbetts:20
Grahams:8   
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:113
Wainwrights:71   Islands:5
Joined: Dec 1, 2011
Location: Surrey, probably in a canoe! www.wildernessisastateofmind.co.uk

Re: Moel Siabod disappoints

Postby Pensioner » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:35 pm

If you've been brought up hillwalking in Scotland as I have all my, life the term "hill" is used in climbing parlance to refer to any Scottish mountain even The Cuillin. The exception is "I'm going up the Ben" which means Ben Nevis. I climbed Cnicht a few weeks after, from which I saw Moel Siabod, and I wasn't impressed with it either. Simon Ingram in his interesting book "Between the Sunset and the Sea" raves about Cnicht as if it's some mythical creation. I couldn't see what all the fuss was about.
User avatar
Pensioner
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 22
Munros:282   Corbetts:60
Grahams:17   Donalds:11
Sub 2000:26   Hewitts:51
Wainwrights:40   Islands:35
Joined: Sep 29, 2014
Location: Preston

Re: Moel Siabod disappoints

Postby dav2930 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:00 am

It's all relative I suppose, isn't it? I guess continentals used to climbing in the Alps wouldn't be that impressed by the West Highlands. And Himalayan veterans might think the Alps a bit paltry. But then again real mountaineers like Bonnington and Hinkes have time and again expressed their deep love and appreciation for the British hills when they return from an expedition. 'Mountains', 'hills' - what does it matter what you call them? A rose by any other name smells as sweet.
User avatar
dav2930
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1346
Munros:237   Corbetts:13
Grahams:12   Donalds:42
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:162
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Feb 13, 2015
Location: Cumbria

Re: Moel Siabod disappoints

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:42 pm

What a curious report.

Frank Smythe, who made the first ascent of a 25,000 ft peak (Kamet, in 1931) knew a thing or two about hills.

He expressed enormous admiration for Cnicht in his book Over Welsh Hills (1941), stating that Cnicht equalled Kamet in beauty.

In my own small way, I've made the first ascents of some 6000m peaks in Argentina, and climbed in different parts of the Andes, the Himalayas and the Alps. I also love the West Highlands, of course. But that in no way diminishes the affection I have for the marvellous Moel Siabod or the stunning Cnicht.

It's about enjoying every hill for itself, not about some scale on which one hill is ranked better than another. The Walkhighlands "user ratings" reflect not some arbitrary scrambling grade, but walkers' experience of enjoyment and affection.
- Cnicht has a rating of 4.68 (higher than that of any Munro)
- Moel Siabod's rating is 4.42 (which is higher than all but 19 Munros)

Let's just enjoy them all. In the words of Hamish Brown - "The hills are bigger than the sum of all our little games".
User avatar
HalfManHalfTitanium
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 892
Munros:95   Corbetts:10
Grahams:2   Donalds:1
Hewitts:148
Wainwrights:103   
Joined: Mar 11, 2015

Re: Moel Siabod disappoints

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:10 pm

By the way, here's another perspective on Moel Siabod - from two non-disappointed adults and two very happy 14-year-old lads. https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=63322
User avatar
HalfManHalfTitanium
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 892
Munros:95   Corbetts:10
Grahams:2   Donalds:1
Hewitts:148
Wainwrights:103   
Joined: Mar 11, 2015

Re: Moel Siabod disappoints

Postby mattcymru » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:04 pm

great stuff! i see the pensioner isnt here. i have seen siabod for many years but still not been up. the great orme is about the most i can amnage at the moment. :?
mattcymru
Rambler
 
Posts: 26
Hewitts:6
Joined: Jul 27, 2014
Location: Abergele North Wales

Re: Moel Siabod disappoints

Postby davekermito » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:25 pm

Surprising report this one Pensioner.

I walked up MS via the Daear Ddu ridge with my 7 year old son and whilst it's not Aonach Eagach it's a fun scramble from start to the fell top finish. The descent along the ridge instead of the tourist path is great fun too, whilst not taxing.

I hope you can find a route that cheers you up soon!
User avatar
davekermito
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 52
Munros:5   Corbetts:2
Hewitts:201
Wainwrights:72   
Joined: Nov 10, 2011
Location: The shadow of the mighty Clent Hills

Re: Moel Siabod disappoints

Postby Sgurr » Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:34 pm

This couple of pensioners really enjoyed Moel Siabod
User avatar
Sgurr
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3709
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:569   Hewitts:139
Wainwrights:160   Islands:58
Joined: Nov 15, 2010
Location: Fife

Re: Moel Siabod disappoints

Postby Graeme D » Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:25 pm

I very much enjoyed Siabod! :D
User avatar
Graeme D
 
Posts: 3494
Munros:220   Corbetts:103
Grahams:64   Donalds:22
Sub 2000:56   Hewitts:36
Wainwrights:27   Islands:6
Joined: Oct 17, 2008
Location: Perth

Re: Moel Siabod disappoints

Postby Pensioner » Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:56 am

Hi HalfManHalfTitanium. I completely agree with your sentiments about enjoying the hills for what they are and resisting the temptation to rank them but given the large variation in mountain form and disposition, the latter is just human nature. My mountaineering achievements are not comparable to yours but I know and appreciate a thing or two about mountains and I wouldn't change my assessment of Moel Siabod and Cnicht.

I too have widely read the mountaineering literature including books by Shipton, Brown, Tilman, Duke of the Abruzzi, Bowman, Unsworth, Bonnington and Borthwick. I recently enjoyed a very evocative book "The Last Hillwalker" by John Burns.

I do not visit or post to this forum often and I am grateful to you for pointing out the tables of user ratings. I couldn't believe that Cnicht has been ranked higher than Blencathra or Helvellyn to name but a few! I mean Cnicht doesn't even shine a light on Sharp Edge or Jacks Rake! Only the last 50m or so onto Cnicht's summit involves any kind of scrambling. In the list of Hewitts 15% are ranked higher than 4.0, whereas 23% of Munros have a user rating greater than 4.0. It is interesting to examine the corresponding Most Climbed tables which I suggest are a better indication of the popularity of these hills. Moel Siabod and Cnicht are respectively placed 121 and 130 out of 316.
User avatar
Pensioner
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 22
Munros:282   Corbetts:60
Grahams:17   Donalds:11
Sub 2000:26   Hewitts:51
Wainwrights:40   Islands:35
Joined: Sep 29, 2014
Location: Preston

Re: Moel Siabod disappoints

Postby Borderhugh » Fri Apr 26, 2019 12:51 pm

Like most folk on this site, I am miffed with your report. Moel Siabod via Daer Dhu is a truly memorable hill. Hills like this fuel my urge to go back to Wales on an annual basis.
User avatar
Borderhugh
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 328
Munros:282   Corbetts:77
Grahams:41   Donalds:44
Sub 2000:13   Hewitts:91
Wainwrights:72   Islands:9
Joined: Feb 4, 2012
Location: Stirling :)

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Next



Walkhighlands community forum is now advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Outside Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests