Sunday, 30 March 2014

The History of Welsh Hill Lists

The History of Welsh Hill Lists – Part 2

The Early Years

1912 John Rooke Corbett

Only a year after the ‘Twenty-Fives’ had been published an update to the list appeared.  During the intervening year members of the Rucksack Club had scrutinised maps of the time and come across seven omissions from the original list.  Five of these are in England, including the infamous Pillar Rock and The Knowe on Harter Fell, which was believed to be the only twenty-five Mr Minor had not been up.

Although input had been received from a number of club members the update was assigned to John Rooke Corbett with his initials J.R.C. appearing at the end of the article.  The update to the ‘Twenty-Fives’ appeared on page 166 in the 1912 publication of the Rucksack Club Journal Vol II, No. 2 and is entitled ‘Excursions’.

After an introductory paragraph with the lead heading of Twenty-Fives, the mountains are listed.  These are indented from the text of the article and only appear in name, with no height given.  Some have a brief explanation to their whereabouts.  Of the seven listed only two are in Wales, these are Cader Berwyn, on the Berwyn Ridge; and Pen-y-Nantllyn, between Gader Fawr and Waun Fach.  Corbett explains that there is a case for the inclusion of Gallt-y-Gogof, which the Ordnance Surveyors had given a height of 2,499 feet above sea level.  He explains that the mountain could be thought of as being 2,500 feet high at low tide as unsatisfactory, as it is always low tide at some point on the coast of Britain and high tide at some other point.  Other thoughts are also expressed as it was countered this peak should be included if any person more than two feet high was to stand on its summit, then the greater part of their anatomy had attained the required altitude.  The conclusion being that the peak might be counted as a Twenty-Five if when standing on the top, the person should leap at least one foot into the air.

The 1912 one page update to John Rooke Corbett's 'Twenty-Fives'

The 1912 article set a precedent that many a hill list author over subsequent years would follow, as it is the first update to a hill list that ever appeared, it would not be the last to the list known as the ‘Twenty-Fives’, but for that we will have to wait another seventeen years.  After Corbett’s 1912 update to his original list fourteen years were to pass before the next list appeared.

Next installment due on the 30th May 2014

For the Preface please click {here}

For Part 1 please click {here}

For Part 3 please click {here}

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