Sunday, 11 January 2015

Mapping Mountains – Trimble Surveys – Carnedd Wen

11.01.15  Cae Hir (SO 141 964) and Pen y Gaer (SO 139 976)   

Cae Hir (SO 141 964)
A grey, grey day with lots of greyness, wetness and a bit more greyness just for good measure, Mark had originally suggested heading to the northern Pumlumon but the forecast for greyness and wetness meant that the plans were quickly re-arranged.

This re-arranged plan was excellent and meant a wander around a couple of P30’s relatively close to where I live, and one which I had not visited before, it also meant that Mark could bag his first new Hump of the year, so all were happy.

The forecast for rain was not until mid-afternoon so we hoped that arriving at the base of the hill my 11.00am would not get us too wet later in the day.  The hills Mark had picked are both given a map height of 299m, one being a Hump and the other a marginal none Sub-Hump.  Neither was in any great hurry to leave or enter their respective classification as with c 103m and 87m of drop respectively it would be a surprise if either were re-classified.  But with each given a map height of 299m one or the other, or both, could be reclassified from the 200m Twmpau list and become fully fledged 300m Twmpau hills.  Oh the excitement!

We parked at SO 135 969 just to the east of Llwyn Coch were a track enters a wooded area.  There is sufficient space here for at least two cars to be pulled over to the edge of the track / lane and still leave sufficient space for vehicles using the forest track.

It was a wee bit blowy as we left the car, so much so that I donned over trousers and Gortex coat to keep myself nice and warm.  Descending to the small community of Llwyn Coch we left the lane and headed toward the first hill of the day on a right of way which had an uncanny knack of heading straight for lots of slimy, muddy, gunky stuff.  Once through all the mud we headed up over steepening fields to the high point of Cae Hir, whose name is derived from the Tithe map for the land where the summit of this hill is situated.

Mark heading for Cae Hir, the first of the two 299m map heighted summits of the day
Pen y Gaer from the ascent of its neighbouring Hump
As the Trimble gathered data the grey and bleak mass of wet stuff edged its way eastward.  Once the allotted five minutes of data were collected we headed back from whence we had come as the first of the day’s showers sped down upon us.  Thankfully this did not last long and as we arrived back at the lane the raindrops had stopped.

Gathering data at the summit of Cae Hir
Our next objective was Pen y Gaer, as its name suggests this hill has the remains of an ancient hill fort surrounding its summit.  We headed up the road and diverted on a right of way which brought us towards the farm which is named after the hill; Pen-y-gaer.  It was only a short distance from here up to the high point.

The local farm is named after the hill, not uncommon in Wales
Although the horizon was one of bleakness waiting to unload more moisture it was also one of tranquility, a rolling landscape of pastoral fields and small communities and as the Trimble gathered its data I took a few photographs and admired the beautiful land I live in.  We then headed down into a wood full of soft steep ground which in a few minutes took us down onto the forest track which led back to the car.

Mark heading for the summit of Pen y Gaer
Gathering data at the summit of Pen y Gaer
As bwlch data was needed to give an accurate drop figure for the first hill of the day (the Hump) we walked up the road to the track which led to a farm named Bryn-y-cil.  I’d investigated this spot with a Google car the previous evening and the critical bwlch looked as if it was situated on the track.  Once at the track, this is what we found, and once five minutes of data were collected the Trimble was packed away.

Gathering data at the probable critical bwlch of Cae Hir
However, another possible bwlch position lay around the other side of an intervening lumpy, bumby thing, so we needed to investigate this to complete the day’s survey.  As we found access over a fence lower on the road to the valley that went up on the other side of the lumpy bump, Mark wisely asked for the car keys and left me to survey yet another field.

I walked up the small stream valley until the water ceased and continued over a gate until the land met from both the valley to valley direction and from that of the hill to hill direction, and as the Trimble started gathering its all important data the rains came sweeping across the landscape and I got a teensy weensy wet.  Ho Hum.

Gathering data at the alternative bwlch position of Cae Hir
As I gathered the Trimble up and made my way back to the car the rain continued and I arrived back a little wet.  Thankfully the rain then stopped and I had time to change before we headed back to Welshpool for a meal in the Old Station and tea and cheesecake at the Phillips household.

Survey Result:

Summit Height:  296.4m (converted to OSGM15) (200m Twmpau status confirmed)

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 14104 96457

Bwlch Height:  195.5m (converted to OSGM15)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SO 14030 97241

Drop:  100.9m (Hump status confirmed)

Dominance:  34.04% (Lesser Dominant status confirmed)

Pen y Gaer

Summit Height:  300.0m (converted to OSGM15) (200m Twmpau reclassified to Trichant)

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 13997 97677

Drop:  88m

Dominance:  29.33%  

For further details please consult the Trimble survey spreadsheet click {here} 

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