After showing Alken ( Thesweatcheat) some of the wonders and delights of my hometown and county we sped our way to Snowdonia, which is somewhat more well endowed when it comes to wonders and delights.
Iv'e seen and felt the presence of Moel Siabod more than a few times, from afar and closer to, but today was the day we got up close and personal.
The weather reports had lied through their teeth at us forecasting mostly sunshine, it was cloudy. Not so much that you couldn't see the mountains, just enough to hide their peaks, and whilst it didn't rain it did hale at us once and on top of the top it was, it's fair to say a bit nippy.
We started at the outdoor pursuits center at Plas y Brenin, with it's rather nonsensical dry ski slope. Crossing a bridge over the edge of the eastern of llynnau Mymbyr, the water comes rushing out of the llyn as if anxious to get out, little knowing Swallow falls or anything.
Then it's through some old moss covered woods and out on to the north east slopes of Moel Siabod proper. After the dark under the trees the mind craves a view, and the first to offer itself is Pen Llithrig y Wrach, its behind us all the time growing slowly further away but getting bigger all the same.
Then the big mountains come into view, Yr Wyddfa and its near neighbours, the Glyders and the Carneddau, the pointy bits are just higher than the cloud line, but it doesn't really matter, like a good scary film it's what you don't see rather than what you do see that gets you.
Contrary to the majority of cairns round here is Dyffryn Mymbyr, nestling neatly next to a river the Nantgwryd at the bottom of the valley, but from half way up the mountain it more than strains the eyes to find it. The same can be said of the Cefn Glas cairns on the other side of the mountain to the west, an estimate box of two hundred yards is needed, its there somewhere, finger points downwards vaguely.
The Nant y Llys longcairn is similarly lost in distance and bad light to the west. So it would seem that the mountain should be seen from the cairns but the cairns melting into the background need not be seen from the mountain, mountain rules all.
Fifty meters north of the cobbled frozen trig point, is our destiny for the day, Moel Siabod's bronze age cairn. It's been reshaped by walkers unknown, surprised maybe by a cold wind ? But rather fortuitously and sadly there is a big flat stone inside the cairn resting, nay slumped uselessly against the cairn material, it's presumed to be the large cist cover that lay above our ancient mountain lover, it's broken, but only two small pieces have come off and it's still able to bring me out of myself, to, for an instant lose myself in the moment. But it is pretty damn cold and my fingers are hurting, bringing me back to reality, wonderful Snowdonian reality, the icy wilderness above it all.
Seeing it all spread out before you , these mountains can become infectious, from the top, we could i'm sure feel the connections being formed in our minds, the list getting longer, as we looked around it was i'm going up that one, that one then that one.
The intrepid Postman's recent TMA discovery of cists within the Dyffryn Valley prompted renewed Gladman musings on the status of Moel Siabod within the prehistoric Central Snowdonian landscape.
These cists mirror other examples at Cefn Glas on the other flank of this mighty 2,860ft peak, which, together with the summit cairn - certified by Coflein, but with no available details - would seem to indicate significant prehistoric ritual focus upon this mountain.
To be honest I don't find this at all surprising since Moel Siabod has always had a special significance for me, particularly since it is clearly visible from my usual campsite near Capel Garmon and was one of the first mountains I climbed. A beacon invoking awe and wonder in the modern day traveller, by all accounts it would appear to have served the same function for the locals millenia ago. Only more so.
A straightforward plod from the Plas y Brenin activity centre will gain you the summit. The outstanding views and vibe should take over from there.
Although cited by The British Museum as "..Found 1784 in a bog near Meol Hebog while cutting peat" I'm pretty certain from other sources [e.g Grahame Clarke's 1940-published 'Prehistoric England (sic!)] that this magnificent shield was found upon Moel Siabod. Coflein quotes the findspot at SH71005520... putting it at the head of the excellent ridge Daear Ddu, overlooking the natural lake Llyn y Foel. Can there be a more appropriate location? It is tempting to think it belonged to whoever was laid to rest (in whatever form) within the nearby cairn.