Monday, 6 April 2015

Mapping Mountains – Trimble Surveys – Clee Hills

05.04.15  Titterstone Clee Hill (SO 591 779) and Hoar Edge (SO 597 769)   

Titterstone Clee Hill (SO 591 779)
The Clee Hills form a small chain of 500m hills in the southern part of Shropshire, with the 540m Brown Clee Hill (SO 593 867) being the highest in the county.  I’d wanted to visit these hills for many years as their domed profile and the various masts decorating their summits can easily be picked out from a number of the easterly mid Walian hills.

I decided on two walks leaving the highest hill for another visit.  As I wanted to take in each connecting col and Trimble it, I started from beside Cleeton Gate; a house positioned north-east from the summit of Titterstone Clee Hill.

The weather forecast predicted murky low cloud around the Midlands with the old adage of ‘west is best’ being a perfect summary of the day, and as I drove south from Welshpool in glorious morning sunshine the bank of low cloud soon enveloped the land as I approached Ludlow.  However, the murk was so low that the high Clee summits were clear – YYIIPPPEEE!!!

There are three possibilities for the position of the critical col of Titterstone Clee Hill, contour interpolation suggests that all three are similar in height, I only had time and inclination to investigate the more southerly of these and as I left my car I followed a soggy mud splattered path across the moor which headed away from the first summit of the day toward this col.

Beyond the moor the path became enclosed and very muddy, I left the mud in favour of a closely cropped grassy field and examined the col from a couple of positions, once happy with the chosen spot I placed the Trimble on the ground and gathered the customary five minutes of data.  As the Trimble did its stuff Titterstone Clee Hill rose directly to my south with its assortment of towers and masts skimming the skyline, these were slowly being swallowed by the bank of low cloud as it ebbed westward from its easterly murky depths.

Gathering data at one of the options for the critical col of Titterstone Clee Hill
After visiting the col I retraced my steps to the hill’s northerly flank and plodded upto the summit, the cloud that had played with the masts had now gone and was replaced by relatively warm sunshine and blue skies.  The summit of this hill has a trig pillar with an embedded rock two metres from the base of the trig being the high point of the hill.  As the Trimble gathered data I admired the northern edge of the hill which has a series of attractive broken rock outcrops, I also chatted with a number of people who were quickly appearing from all directions.

The summit of Titterstone Clee Hill
Gathering data at the summit of Titterstone Clee Hill with Clee Burf (SO 593 842) in the background
To the south of Titterstone Clee Hill is a Sub-Four named Hoar Edge which I wanted to survey, a short walk from the trig pillar over grass brought me to the access road to the large Radar Station on the summit area, this road led down past the quarried southern section of the hill to a large expanse of bog which has two main paths crossing it, this was the connecting col between Titterstone Clee Hill and Hoar Edge. 

The Radar Station on Titterstone Clee Hill with Clee Burf in the background
Once at the col I found a spot for the Trimble and waited in the sunshine whilst it gathered data, during this a number of cars were heading up the high access road to a parking area and viewpoint, this was just to my west and is an obvious starting point for a quick bag of the hill as it is only about 58m below the summit of Titterstone Clee Hill.

Gathering data at the critical col of Hoar Edge.  Can you spot the Trimble?
Titterstone Clee Hill from the connecting col with Hoar Edge
Once the Trimble was packed away I followed the path across the bog as it gained height onto the summit area of Hoar Edge, this is undulating with a number of small embedded rocks scattered across it, it also has two ancient cairns on its southern extremity, these proved lower than the summit.  I took data from three points just to be on the safe side.

Gathering data at one of the summit options of Hoar Edge with Titterstone Clee Hill in the background
By now I was over heating with the spring sun adding a good dollop of sweat to proceedings, I retraced by steps back toward the connecting col and walked down a path which gave access across the reed infested bog toward a small copse of trees and the continuing path down to my awaiting car.  One walk completed, next stop Clee Burf.

Survey Result:

Titterstone Clee Hill

Summit Height:  533.2m (converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 59137 77948

Col Height:  300.2m (converted to OSGM15)

Col Grid Reference:  SO 59596 79734

Drop:  233.0m

Dominance:  43.70%

Hoar Edge

Summit Height:  478.9m (converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 59750 76932

Col Height:  455.7m (converted to OSGM15)

Col Grid Reference:  SO 59889 77386

Drop:  23.1m (400m Sub-Four status confirmed)

Dominance:  4.83%

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

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