Monday, 18 May 2015

Mapping Mountains – Trimble Surveys – Pegwn Mawr

16.05.15  Pt. 436.3m (SO 062 850) 

Pt. 436.3m (SO 062 850)
I’d visited this hill once before in August 2006 when it had taken me six minutes to go up and down and this included a couple of minutes on top admiring the view!  Making such ascents when bagging hills seems to be the norm, their aesthetic beauty is still appreciated but the bagging mentality dictates that the quicker the individual visit, the more hills can be bagged.  Having the Trimble has opened up all sorts of possibilities including visiting the respective hill and also taking in the area of its bwlch, this means that different approaches have to be considered, it also means that the bagging mentality of as many hills as possible is thrown out of the proverbial window.  This is not a bad thing, but I realise that it is an acquired taste and the waiting process during which the Trimble gathers data is not everyone’s idea of a hill walk.

The bwlch for this hill is to the south of its summit, map information positions it conveniently on a track as it makes its way from a narrow lane over the bwlch toward its summit.

As I left the A483 and navigated toward where the track left the narrow lane I hoped that during the day I would encounter a local farmer, as two of the hills I planned to visit are listed by the point notation in the Pedwarau listing.  As I approached where I hoped to be able to park a four wheel drive vehicle was parked next to a barn, with the driver just getting into it to drive off, I parked opposite and indicated for him to wait.

As I got out of my car I quickly put on my one skin summer walking jacket as a chill wind blew across the land.  Brian Davies had farmed these hills all of his life, as his father and grandfather before him had done so.  We chatted for about ten minutes and I furiously scribbled down as much of the information that he kindly gave me before the cold wind numbed my fingers.  He gave me names to the two hills I was most interested in, these are listed as Pen Craig Dugwm and Pen Llyn Dŵr in the original P30 listings that were published on Geoff Crowder’s website, both names were unfortunately invented by me, I now know better.  These names, as well as the list they originally appeared in, were duplicated / collated by Mark Jackson for his Tumps listing, so their use is unfortunately perpetuated in the Tumps.

Brian Davies with his dogs
After everything was scribbled down I asked Brian if it was all right for me to visit the summit of the hill, and checked where I could park and thanked him for his time.  All this information will be sent to Aled who will collate it and these names will join others that Aled has found for these hills and they will appear in the 2nd edition of Y Pedwarau which is due for publication by Europeaklist in 2016, until then they will still appear under the point notation, including in this blog post.

I parked my car on the grass verge next to the gate which gave access onto the track, as I walked toward the hill I saw a dark silhouette of an animal running across the field just above the position of the hill’s bwlch.  My first thought was big, wild cat, but its movement was not that of a feline, and it was too big for a fox, I noticed that one or two of the sheep were looking at it but did not make a move to run away, I wondered if it was a deer.

The nearer I got the animal bounded back and forth gracefully across the field; it was in fact a Roe Deer, seemingly trapped in the enclosed field.  Where it had come from is anyone’s guess, I stopped and watched it for a number of minutes as it stopped and watched me, before bounding off again.  It is a rarity to see deer on the Welsh hills, and especially so on such an open hill whose moor and heath has been reclaimed as a grazing field for sheep.

An unusual sight on the Welsh hills
The Roe Deer spent much of the time running back and forth in the field and only once stopped to look at me
The Deer is just about to run over the track that continues toward the summit
As the deer disappeared from view I walked down to the area of the bwlch and found the ground beside the track to be where the critical bwlch lay, as the Trimble gathered data I walked beside a reedy pool which is positioned next to the track and gave a touch of rawness to this reclaimed land.

Gathering data at the critical bwlch
The pool at the bwlch
The track leads on toward the summit of the hill, but does not go to it, however after one or two stretches over barb wire fences I arrived at the top, this is rounded and gives excellent views northward down the Severn valley with the outline of the Breiddin perched above the surrounding land.

Surveying companions
The view north from the summit toward the distant Breiddin
Gathering data at the summit
After packing the Trimble away I retraced my inward route back over the area of the bwlch to my car.  It had been a leisurely hour, having seen a different aspect of this hill than the one that a six minute bag affords.

Survey Result:

Pt. 436.3m (Point notation based on result from later survey)

Summit Height:  436.1m (converted to OSGM15) (436.3m converted to OSGM15 and confirmed from later survey)

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 06254 85018 (SO 06252 85015 confirmed from later survey)

Bwlch Height:  406.1m (converted to OSGM15) (406.2m converted to OSGM15 and confirmed from later survey)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SO 06027 84367 (SO 06027 84366 confirmed from later survey)

Drop:  30.0m (Pedwar status remains) (30.2m confirmed from later survey and Pedwar status confirmed)

Dominance:  6.92% (confirmed from later survey)

This hill has been re-surveyed, for the post relating to the second survey of this hill please click {here}

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

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