The Siabod Half Round

Paul Hodges

Challenges guide - Biography
My first introduction to mountains was a family holiday to Snowdonia in 1976, I remember spending long summer days by the Black Waterfall near Dolgellau (26 years later I bought a house less than half a mile away from it) as well as ascending Snowdon (I hate to admit by train), even in the summer of ’76 it was cloudy on top!

We want you to enjoy are surroundings, whether you are new to the area, experienced hill walker, novice or full on adrenalin junkie we think we’ve got a walk that will interest you & introduce you to some hidden gems. These walks are tailored to all levels of fitness & provide you with a wide choice of scenery & surroundings, to help you select a walk that suits you we have graded them on a star rating for Exersion Levels, Exposure, Scenery & Wildlife & explain these below.
Paul Hodges
The Siabod Half Round

A foreword to the below challenge is inserted here to reflect on my feelings as I attempted this ‘shortened’ walk for the first time on an absolutely glorious Sunday afternoon in March 2012.

My intention for the The Siabod Half Round was to introduce a walking challenge that was more doable than The Siabod Challenge but still demanding enough to give a real sense of satisfaction. However as I  charged around the route stopping only for food & water I began to realise that without question the best thing about this circuit  are the breath taking views of the Snowdon Horeshoe, the gradual appearance of Tryfan to lift the spirits as you trudge up the Glyder Miners track & then the views of Tryfan from various angles across a plateau of water pools on the homeward journey. To fail to take these in & admire their majestic qualities simply in search of a fast time seemed to me to become more & more ludicrous as my journey wore on.

Therefore I would strongly recommend to anyone that your initial circuit of this route should be on a clear day & at a normal pace, for guidance I would estimate 8 to 9 hours should be allowed & only progress to The Challenge at a later date if your adrenalin requires you to do so.

The challenge is to complete The Siabod Half Round (approx. 15 miles & 5,400 feet of height gained)  in 3 to 4 Season Boots & with all recommended walking kit/supplies in a time faster than I have achieved. This is currently 4 Hours & 54 Minutes

If successful there will be a free drink & piece of cake of your choice waiting for you at our Café, but whatever your time there will of course be a very warm welcome & congratulations from Dorina & Gaby!

So welcome to our Siabod Half Round Challenge, if you are still reading this you are probably an enthusiast & enjoy the prospect of a long day in the hills to push and challenge yourself. This walk is essentially a shortened version of The Siabod Challenge but would also be an ideal walk for preparation for some of the more difficult & famous challenges that North Wales has to offer such as The 1000m race & the ultimate (for walkers at least) 3000’ Challenge. To complete it you would have scaled three peaks over 2000’ including Moel Siabod itself as well as the 3000’ Glyder Fach & taken in some less commonly seen  but spectacular views of the Moelwyn, Snowdon, Glyderau & Carneddau Mountain Ranges.

It should go without saying that you should be properly equipped with gear & skills as well as levels of fitness to not only enjoy the challenge but also avoid getting into un-necessary difficulties. This is still a demanding walk whatever the weather conditions.

To help us update our Challenge leader board & for safety we would ask that you check in & out with Dorina at the start & finish. We would also ask you to consider our optional entry fee of £1 donated to The Mountain Rescue Team, this can be deposited in the collection jar on our counter.

I wish you luck & please do not beat my time by too much or too often, my pride is too easily hurt.


Guidance Timings

I list below my split times simply to help you draw your own conclusions as to whether it’s better to ease off & enjoy your surroundings or whether to slog on for that drink & cake.

Siabod Summit: 0:51:12

Pen y Gwryd Hotel: 1:25:42

Glyder Fach Summit: 2:28:17

Y Foel Goch Summit: 2:54:20

Gallt Yr Ogof Summit: 3:03:17

The Moel Siabod Café: 3:53:16


Minimum Suggested Kit List

  • Map & Compass
  • Waterproofs
  • Bivvy Bag or shelter
  • Head Torch
  • First Aid Kit
  • Additional Spare Food & Water

NB. In an emergency: Call 999, ask for The Police & then Mountain Rescue

Siabod Half Round

Target 4:53:51, Record 4:53:51, Recent Challenger Adam Green 05/03/13

Date Name Time
22.07.12 Fraser MacKay 6:06:35
05.03.13 Adam Green 7:25
03.05.12  Neal Maxwell  7:27:00
20.04.12 Martin Donaldson DNF – Snow storm on Siabod summit
Paul lowered these times during training for the Welsh 1,000 metre peak race’ in 2013 Paul Hodges 3:53:16
09.09.15 Stephen Walburn 6:26 (Siabod in 1.28, Pen y Gwryd 2.27, Glyder Fach a slow 4.15)
11.05.17 Stephen Walburn 6:18.54
Exertion Rating 5 out of 5 Exposure Rating 5 out of 5 Scenery 5 out of 5 Nature 5 out of 5
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