Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Jenny Hatfield and Rick Salter complete the Marilyns


Congratulations to Jenny and Rick who on the 25th September 2016 completed the Marilyns on Cruinn a’Bheinn (NN 365 051) above Loch Lomond in Scotland.  In doing so Jenny became the 1st female to complete the Marilyns and Rick the 9th male.

Rick and Jen complete the Marilyns on Cruinn a'Bheinn

They were joined by a number of friends for the summit celebrations and copious amounts of Champagne, whiskey and cake kept the throng happy as blustery showers blew in from the west.


There are currently 1,556 Marilyns in Britain and the listing forms one of the toughest challenges for any hill bagger.  The celebratory chant was led by list author; Alan Dawson, who compiled the listing of Marilyns which was first published by Cicerone Press in 1992 in The Relative Hills of Britain book.

A Marilyn is a hill of any height that has a minimum 150m of drop.

Rick and Jen’s Marilyn completion has been covered by numerous online websites, including:









Monday, 26 September 2016

Mapping Mountains – Significant Name Changes – 100m Twmpau


The Pimple (SJ 299 472)

This is the forty second post under the heading of Significant Name Changes, and the following details are in respect of a hill that was surveyed with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 on the 20th October 2015.

The hill is part of the group of hills associated with Moel y Gamelin, this range of hills are situated in the north-eastern part of north Wales.  The hill is positioned above the B 5426 and B 5605 and is situated on the northern outskirts of Rhosllanerchrugog.

The Trimble GeoXH 6000 gathering data at the summit of The Pimple

Prior to the survey with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 the hill was not classified as it had not appeared in any known listing of hills.  The listing this hill is now a part of is named Twmpau (thirty welsh metre prominences and upward) and its height and classification was confirmed by the survey with the Trimble.
    
Extract from the current Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 Landranger map

Extract from the Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Explorer map

Therefore, although there is no change in this hill’s listed name it is worth categorising under the heading of Significant Name Changes as the name this hill is now listed by comes from local enquiry. 

The Pimple is a locally known name for the summit of the hill and is known as such by the family who live in the house directly below the hill to the west beside the area of the hill’s bwlch.  The house used to be the old office of the mine that operated on a part of the hill, and the family confirmed that this name has been in use for generations and that their family have lived in this house for five generations.



The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Moel y Gamelin

Name:  The Pimple

Previously Listed Name:  Previously not classified 

Summit Height:  153.5m

OS 1:50,000 map:  117

Summit Grid Reference:  SJ 29984 47262 
 
Drop:  25.2m





Myrddyn Phillips (September 2016)





Saturday, 24 September 2016

Mapping Mountains – Significant Name Changes – 100m Twmpau


Bonc yr Hafod (SJ 311 469)

This is the forty first post under the heading of Significant Name Changes, and the following details are in respect of a hill that was surveyed with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 on the 20th October 2015.

The hill is part of the group of hills associated with Moel y Gamelin, this range of hills are situated in the north-eastern part of north Wales.  The hill overlooks the A 483 and is positioned on the north-eastern outskirts of Johnstown and Rhosllanerchrugog.

The large stone construct at the entrance to the car park at the base of Bonc yr Hafod


Bonc yr Hafod (SJ 311 469)

The hill appeared in the 100m P30 list on Geoff Crowder’s v-g.me website under an invented name of Bryn-y-hafod, with an accompanying note stating; Name from house to the South, with Hafod House being a large residence to the south of the hill.  The listing this hill is now a part of is named Twmpau (thirty welsh metre prominences and upward) and its height was confirmed by the survey with the Trimble. 


Bryn-y-hafod
    150c
    SJ312469
    117
  256
    Name from house to the South
  

During my early hill listing I thought it appropriate to invent a name for a hill if no name seemed to appear for it on Ordnance Survey maps of the day.  My preference was to use farm names and put Pen, Bryn or Moel in front of them and in this instance I prefixed the name of a large house with that of Bryn.  This is not a practice that I now advocate as with a little research either conducted locally or historically an appropriate name for the hill can usually be found and in this instance the name the hill is now listed by comes from the updated details on current Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Explorer maps.

Extract from the current Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Explorer map

Therefore the name this hill is now listed by is Bonc yr Hafod, and this was derived from the current Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Explorer map.  



The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Moel y Gamelin

Name:  Bonc yr Hafod

Previously Listed Name:  Bryn-y-hafod
 
Summit Height:  152.7m

OS 1:50,000 map:  117

Summit Grid Reference:  SJ 31182 46940 
 
Drop:  43.9m





Myrddyn Phillips (September 2016)










Friday, 23 September 2016

Mapping Mountains – Trimble Surveys – Long Mynd


17.09.16  Burway Hill (SO 440 942, previously Trimbled))

Burway Hill (SO 440 942)

Sometimes it’s amazing what can be fitted in to a day, especially so when not really planned, just follow the old adage and go with the flow and see where it takes you.  Saying that, we did have a rough plan as a browse around Church Stretton followed by a visit to the Green Dragon in Little Stretton for a lunchtime meal had been planned, after that and if the weather was favourable a small wander to the top of Burway Hill and down the other side of the Long Mynd had been discussed, but again; it’s amazing what can be done in a day.

I picked Huw and Debs up in Welshpool and continued to Oswestry to pick Lou up and it was then onwards to Church Stretton, a quaint market town in Shropshire that nestles below the Long Mynd.  The day was beautifully warm with late summer blue skies and vivid colours.

After our browse around a few shops we headed to the pub where Lou had booked a table, the day out was a part of Lou’s birthday weekend and unbeknownst to her a celebratory cake and bubbly were sneaked in to the pub’s kitchen to be delivered to our table after our meal; the surprise seemed to go down well.

Cake and bubbly

Burway Hill is a convenient view point as the minor road known to cyclists as The Burway climbs to within a few metres of the hill’s col where two or three cars can be parked.  It is only a short detour from the col to the summit and well worth the visit as the views are expansive. 

I’d visited this hill twice before, once with Charlie Leventon when it was Trimbled, and a few weeks ago with Lou, it seemed to have left an impression as she wanted to visit again.

Once appropriate foot wear had been donned I led the budding mountaineers over the col to a sheep track that skirted the hill’s south-western slopes, these are steep and plunge down in brackened fashion to the Townbrook Valley below.

One of the budding mountaineers was not happy at all with the thought of imminent death caused by the steep terrain and refused to go any farther, Huw offered to head back and take the standard route to the summit with the panicking mountaineer in tow.

That's steep and it's full of snakes and I'm not going any farther

This left me and Debs to investigate the sheep track, I thought this would skirt the steep upper southerly slopes and wind its way around the picturesque crags that cling to the upper part of the hill, it didn’t, it just stopped where the crags shot upward, I looked back at Debs and asked if she was OK with going up the rock, she was all for it, and therefore up we went.  It felt good to get hands on rock with warm sunshine cascading down on the land. 

Debs proving to be an enthusiastic scrambler

Within a few minutes we’d popped out on the summit ridge and made it to the top just before Lou and Huw joined us.  After the customary summit photos we headed down the eastern ridge toward the minor road and back to the car.

Lou and Huw nearing the summit

With Lou at the summit of Burway Hill

Huw, Debs and Lou at the summit of Burway Hill

It was lovely to be out on a hill in such fine weather, we didn’t really have much of a plan for the rest of the day but quite fancied visiting the Midland Gliding Club which is situated high on the southern flank of Pole Bank; the high point of the Long Mynd.

We spent about 45 minutes at the gliding club watching gliders being shot in to the air and gently using the thermals on the west facing ridge of the Long Mynd.  The club was officially set up in 1934, with the first recorded flights as early as 1930.  Today the members were very welcoming and within a few minutes Huw was seated in one of the gliders and being shown the instruments, I soon followed.  The last time Lou and I had visited the gliding club a darkening sky heralded heavy rain pushing in from the west which overcame up as we drove over the Striperstones road, today the sky was settled with blue radiating above and stunning views west to the Stiperstones, which looked invitingly becalmed with their nobbled rock outcrops following the skyline.

Huw in one of the gliders at the Midland Gliding Club high on the Long Mynd

The view of the Stiperstones from the gliding club

Leaving the gliding club we retraced our route back on the minor road and descended north-west toward Ratlinghope and the Bridges, here we stopped as the Horseshoe Inn looked too tempting to drive past. 

The Horseshoe Inn at the Bridges

The late summer’s sun was now low in the sky casting long shadows and giving succulent colour.  There was still warmth and we sat with drinks and an assortment of crisps and peanuts whilst an eclectic mix of customers drank and played outside.

Late summer in a wine glass

Lou, Debs and Huw at the Horseshoe Inn at the Bridges

I pottered about for a few minutes beside the River East Onny, which gently flows beside the minor road next to the pub, children played in the water whilst parents soaked in the sun and drank beer, whiling away an hour in good company with good conversation is sometimes the best thing in the world to do.

The River East Onny

It wasn’t that far to continue to Bishop’s Castle which is a haunt for many a person living around this part of border country.  As we drove in to the town cars were parked on every spar bit of tarmac, we were fortunate to find parking close to the centre of town and could hear the music blasting out as we opened the car doors; we’d arrived during the celebrations for the town’s Michaelmass Fair.

There was a great atmosphere in the town with a band playing beside the Town Hall, and a multitude of people on the street dancing, smiling and drinking.  Rarely does Bishop’s Castle disappoint and tonight it was in full swing. 

People on the street at the Michaelmass Fair in Bishop's Castle

As the light slowly ebbed from the sky we listened to the band before heading for a drink in the Three Tuns.  Leaving the others with their drinks I ventured out to indulge myself in the atmosphere as traction engines chugged up the street and the lantern procession made its way through the town.

All that remained were visits to The Dragon in Montgomery followed by more drinks in The Oak in Welshpool.  A great day and thanks to Lou, Huw and Debs for the company.


The result of the Trimble survey of Burway Hill from February 2014 appears below:


Survey Result:

Burway Hill

Summit Height:  402.8m

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 44061 94220

Col Height:  373.1m

Col Grid Reference:  SO 43986 94261

Drop:  29.7m (Sub-Four status confirmed)






Thursday, 22 September 2016

Mapping Mountains – Significant Name Changes – 100m Twmpau


Bersham Bank (SJ 311 481)

This is the fortieth post under the heading of Significant Name Changes, and the following details are in respect of a hill that was surveyed with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 on the 13th October 2015.

The hill is part of the group of hills associated with Moel y Gamelin, this range of hills are situated in the north-eastern part of north Wales.  The hill is positioned above the busy A 483 and is situated on the southern outskirts of Rhostyllen, which is a south-western suburb of Wrecsam (Wrexham).


Bersham Bank (SJ 311 481)

Prior to the survey with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 the hill was not classified as it had not appeared in any known listing of hills.  Therefore, although there is no change in this hill’s listed name it is worth categorising under the heading of Significant Name Changes as the name this hill is now listed by comes from local enquiry.  The listing this hill is now a part of is named Twmpau (thirty welsh metre prominences and upward) and its height and classification was confirmed by the survey with the Trimble. 
  

Extract from the Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Explorer map indicating the position of the hill with Colliery (disused)

Bersham Bank is the preferred locally known name for this hill and it is derived from the Bersham Colliery whose waste makes up this artificial hill.  The second element of the name is one given to local hills that are the product of mine spoil.


The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Moel y Gamelin

Name:  Bersham Bank

Previously Listed Name:  Previously not classified 

Summit Height:  153.6m

OS 1:50,000 map:  117

Summit Grid Reference:  SJ 31159 48116
  
Drop:  c 51m





Myrddyn Phillips (September 2016)





Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Mapping Mountains – Significant Name Changes – 100m Twmpau


Caergwrle (SJ 306 571)

This is the thirty ninth post under the heading of Significant Name Changes, and the following details are in respect of a hill that was surveyed with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 on the 13th October 2015.

The hill is part of the group of hills associated with Moel y Gamelin, this range of hills are situated in the north-eastern part of north Wales.  The hill is positioned above the southern outskirts of the small town of Caergwrle, whose name would have been originally taken from the hill fort / castle on top of this hill.

Caergwrle (SJ 306 571)

The hill appeared in the 100m P30 list on Geoff Crowder’s v-g.me website under an invented name of Castle Hill, with an accompanying note stating; Name from remains of castle, with the remains of the castle being situated on the summit area of the hill.  The listing this hill is now a part of is named Twmpau (thirty welsh metre prominences and upward) and its height was confirmed by the survey with the Trimble. 
  

Castle Hill
    137m
    SJ307572
    117
  256
    Name from remains of castle


During my early hill listing I thought it appropriate to invent a name for a hill if no name seemed to appear for it on Ordnance Survey maps of the day.  My preference was to use farm names and put Pen, Bryn or Moel in front of them and in this instance I used an invented name based on the remains of a castle.  This is not a practice that I now advocate as with a little research either conducted locally or historically an appropriate name for the hill can usually be found and as the name of Caergwrle is directly linked to the castle on the summit of this hill it is appropriate to use this name for the hill.

The name this hill is now listed by is Caergwrle, and this was derived from current Ordnance Survey maps.   



The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Moel y Gamelin

Name:  Caergwrle

Previously Listed Name:  Castle Hill 

Summit Height:  137.8m

OS 1:50,000 map:  117

Summit Grid Reference:  SJ 30670 57148  

Drop:  41.9m





Myrddyn Phillips (September 2016)





Monday, 19 September 2016

Calf Top – Geographical Article


Geographical, the official magazine of the Royal Geographical Society recently published an article on the survey of Calf Top and its elevation in height to 2,000ft and its reclassification to Hewitt status.  The original article and a link to it on the Geographical website appear below.


Cumbria claims Britain’s newest mountain as persistence pays off
The steep southern slopes of Calf Top, Britain's newest mountain

As a Cumbrian hill in the Yorkshire Dales is offically declared a mountain by a mere six millimetres, Geographical talks to summit mapper Myrddyn Phillips about what defines a mountain.
Last week, the Ordnance Survey made a mountain out of an old hill – Calf Top in the Yorkshire Dales. The beige loaf of a mount, dusted occasionally with snow, surpassed the mountain threshold by just six millimetres. A quarter of an inch. One third of a five pence coin.

‘A hill needs to be 609.6 metres, or 2,000 feet, above sea level to be classified as a mountain,’ says Welsh hill walker and mountain expert, Myrddyn Phillips. Phillips spent two hours collecting height data on the peak in question in 2010 and again in 2016. Calf Top did not register as tall enough the first time, measuring a tantalisingly close 609.579 metres. ‘The result was so close to the threshold that the OS advised us to go back and gather a further four hours of data,’ he says explaining that the longer an amount of time is spent on a mountain candidate, the more accurate the data becomes. ‘However, we are only talking tiny margins of improved accuracy,’ he clarifies.

Luckily, a small margin was all Calf Top needed. When Phillips came down the summit for a second time, it clocked in at 609.606m. ‘That was thrilling’ he says, ‘as we never know what the results are going to be until they are post-processed. For the known height to be changed six years after the first assessment felt like a job well done.’

Why is 609.6 metres the magic number between mountainous glory and hilly ignominy? For such a precise measurement, the answer is actually somewhat arbitrary as there is no universal distinction between the two. In the US, mountains are generally defined as rises over 1,000 feet, though there are many ‘mounts’ that are smaller. ‘Meanwhile, the UK’s 2,000 feet has mainly historical merit,’ says Phillips. ‘There has been a long tradition of list authors cataloguing the 2,000ft mountains of England and Wales and referring to these as such. Calf Top has become the 317th.’

In Scotland, where the Highland fault line has created thousands of peaks at much higher elevations, there is less need for a distinction between the two. ‘In Scotland, the word “hill” can be used in a generic way to encompass everything that is of significant height,’ says Phillips. ‘Even Everest is just a big hill.’