It's April and the days are well and truly getting lighter for longer now, so while we were in Wales last weekend, we decided to take a walk up Moel Siabod, one of the Eastern most peaks in Snowdonia. Moel Siabod is a great mountain; it's not that high, making it a great hill on which to start off the new season, but at 872 metres it still manages to give you one of the best panoramic views in the whole of North Wales. Such is its position, that from the top on a clear day, you can easily take in the Snowdon group, the Glyders and Carneddau to the West, and the flatter countryside stretching out to the Clywdian Hills to the East. It's also not too difficult a walk, so for anyone wanting to get started going up mountains in Snowdonia, Moel Siabod is ideal.
Luckily, we did have such a clear day, so I took the opportunity to take a few photos to give readers a taste of what's in store should you attempt it for yourself.
As usual, the full set of photos is also on Flickr.
The peak of Moel Siabod sits at the start of the ridge which bears its name and takes you all the way to Cnicht at the other end. It can be approached from almost any direction, but probably the shortest and well-walked route starts at the village of Capel Curig, one of Snowdonia's great centres and home of my favourite cafe in Snowdonia, the Pinnacle.
The summit ridge of Moel Siabod is clearly visible from down here, across the lake.
The path leaves from Plas-y-Brenin, the national mountain centre, and is clearly marked "Moel Siabod".
Immediately, the path crosses the Eastern end of the lake, Llynau Mymbyr, over what is known as Bala Bridge, before entering the forest which covers the lower slope of Moel Siabod.
Down the valley, Snowdon is clearly visible, flanked by its companions in the Horseshoe, Crib-y-Ddysgl and Crib Goch to the right, and Y Lliwedd on the left.
Over the bridge, the path plunges into the forest, which covers the lower slopes of Moel Siabod.
The path meanders through the forest for a while, crossing a few access roads and climbing steadily. Eventually, it emerges into the daylight and then continues upwards, following the edge of the forest for a little way further.
After emerging from the trees, we became aware of how much height we'd gained quite quickly. The retrospective view across the valley is also impressive.
Now, above the tree line, the path continues making a direct line towards the summit ridge.
Unlike some mountains, the summit ridge of Moel Siabod is visible almost all the way up, so you know how much further you have to go!
After not too long, we reach the summit ridge. The main peak is up to the right, but there's also a secondary peak to the left.
Of course, upon reaching the ridge, we get treated to the view East for the first time, in which the countryside is laid out like a carpet.
From here, it's just a short distance to the summit itself.
From the peak, the view of the surrounding mountains is even more impressive than from below. Here is the Snowdon group.
And the Glyders and Carneddau too, with Glyder Fach, Bristly Ridge and Tryfan clearly visible, and the Carneddau beyond.
This photo actually shows quite a nice view from a distance of part of the route of this other walk
A longer lens is able to bring out the detail of the impressive butresses of Tryfan, with its Adam and Eve stones on top.
Finally, we took in a last view of Snowdon, before making our decent along the same path.
This walk was a fairly decent afternoon out, taking us around 1 hour and 45 minutes to reach the summit, and just over an hour to get back down, though we certainly weren't rushing!