Saturday, 2 May 2015

Mapping Mountains – Trimble Surveys – Fforest Glud

25.04.15  Crugina Hill (SO 106 524), Pt. 430.7m (SO 089 525) and Aberedw Hill (SO 084 507)   

Crugina Hill (SO 106 524)

Today was going to be a special day as Carole Engel was finishing Y Pedwarau – The Welsh 400m P30s and the opportunity to join her on her last Pedwar was one not to be missed.

As Carole’s walk was over a planned 16 miles taking in six Pedwar hills with over 3,000ft of ascent we decided to reduce our mileage and concentrate on four of these hills and plan our walk so we would be waiting for Carole on the summit of Aberedw Hill, which she had chosen as her last Pedwar.

The forecast for the day was not good as the high pressure system that had bathed Wales in glorious weather for the last couple of weeks had now been replaced by westerly lows heralding the arrival of rain.  As I drove south from Welshpool with Mark and Aled in the car the showers erupted between spells of dryness and the occasional glimpse of sunshine.  Nearing Builth Wells prolonged periods of heavy rain fell from the sky, it seemed we were going to get a good soaking.

We left the car on the grass verge of a narrow country lane just before the road end at the farm of Blaenmilo-uchaf.  Our onward route went through the farm yard and followed a track toward the remains of a small quarry before doubling back on itself and cresting the central of three ridges that make up the compact group of summits around Aberedw Hill.

I’d only been on these hills once before, two summers ago when the sun shone and I’d walked 12 miles over four Pedwar hills and one 300m Twmpau hill, before whizzing down to the Hay Festival to meet Melanie Osbourne at the stand that the Ordnance Survey had there that year.  My memory was of open hills with easy underfoot walking conditions.

The gravelled track we were on soon gave way to a green and earthen track which is one of many such paths on the Radnorshire hills.  Ahead through the dulled browns of bracken lay Crugina Hill which was going to be my first hill of the day, but the second for Mark and Aled, as they were heading on a ‘there and back’ to visit the trig pointed summit of Wylfre (SO 116 520).  This would leave me scampering around the hills Trimbling as many as I could before they caught up with me.

I left them just before the bwlch between the two hills and headed left upto the summit of Crugina Hill; once I had knelt on my knees and judged where the high point of the hill was placed I set the Trimble up and patiently waited until the allotted data collection was complete.

Gathering data at the summit of Crugina Hill

By now Mark and Aled were at the summit of Wylfre, thankfully they stopped on top for quite some time which enabled me to scamper off to the bwlch connecting Crugina Hill with the northerly part of Aberedw Hill which we currently have listed by the point notation in Y Pedwarau.  The bwlch lay on a meeting of green tracks and once data had been safely stored I whizzed off upto the next summit.

This next hill has a 432m spot height on a small ring contour and two other small ring contours at 430m.  Whilst each was Trimbled I looked out toward the three Tumuli on the summit of Aberedw Hill, from memory the central one is lower with the other two having a 451m spot height on Ordnance Survey maps, if time permitted I hoped to Trimble each in turn.

The position at SO 089 525 proved the higher of the three potential summit positions that were surveyed with the Trimble and is a summit relocation for this Pedwar hill

As I gathered data from the third potential summit of this hill, Mark and Aled were standing on the second summit and catching me up, so once the Trimble had done its stuff I packed it away, looked west at a darkening skyscrape of ominous murk and quickly scampered off toward the connecting bwlch with Aberedw Hill. 

Mark and Aled on the new summit of the Pedwar at SO 089 525 as I finish off surveying the third summit

Grey murk massing out to the west

The hill I had just left is currently listed as a marginal Pedwar with just c 30m of drop so each of the three potential summits required Trimbling as did any potential point where its critical bwlch may lie.  I Trimbled two points at the bwlch, one on the edge of a green track and the other close to where the spot height for the bwlch appears on the map.  As the second bwlch data set was being gathered Mark and Aled caught up with me.  It was good to see them again after about 90 minutes on my own.

Gathering data at the critical bwlch of Pt 430.7m (SO 089 525)

We walked upto the trig point which is perched on the furthest north-westerly of the three summit tumuli of Aberedw Hill.  As the Trimble gathered its data Mark and Aled sat on the easterly side of the tumulus and waited for the arrival of Carole.  Meanwhile I headed toward the remaining two tumuli to try and get data from them before Carole bagged her last Pedwar.

Gathering data at the summit of Aberedw Hill

I decided to head for the furthest south-easterly tumulus next, leaving the central one to be Trimbled last.  As the last minute of data were being collected from this second tumulus I spotted four figures making their way up the hill from the north.  By the time I’d packed the Trimble away and re-joined Mark and Aled at the trig tumulus Carole, Anton, Alan and Alex were standing at the summit of the 451m map heighted south-easterly tumulus and were soon walking toward the trig where we waited.  The central tumulus could wait for its Trimbling until after the celebrations.

Gathering data at the south-easterly tumulus

(R - L) Anton, Carole, Alex and Alan nearing the summit of Aberedw Hill

It was great to see Carole again who I hadn’t seen for a number of years, and also good to meet Anton for the first time as well as Carole’s friend; Alan.  All had come down from Huddersfield and were accompanied by Alex who had travelled by train to Knighton and bagged hills on the way as he walked from Knighton to the pre-arranged starting point for Carole’s walk.

Although I’d met Carole before on some of the Hillwalkers’ meets in the Lakes I had only had the pleasure of one conversation with her, and this took place a number of years ago on the telephone, I’d forgotten what a fantastically ebullient person she is.  It was her day and she took over proceedings in the nicest way that one can imagine and her sheer joy and enthusiasm was a joy to behold.

As she touched the trig atop Aberedw Hill she had completed her journey around the Pedwarau hills, many of which she had visited with Anton, who was now beside her, a fitting completion for Carole as Anton had completed the Pedwarau only last year.

Carole completes Y Pedwarau - The 400m Hills of Wales.  (L - R) Aled Williams, Alex Cameron, Anton Ciritis, Carole Engel, Alan Greenwood and Mark Trengove

Lots of photographs were taken (mainly by me!) beside the trig with Carole full of smiles and laughs, before we settled down on the grass just below the trig where Alan opened the customary bottle of Champagne for a celebratory drink.

Nothing quite like meeting for a hill completion celebration

Carole had earned her Champagne having completed the 452 hills that make up Y Pedwarau

Alex, Aled and Mark celebrating Carole's completion of Y Pedwarau

It was also good to have Aled as co-author of the Pedwarau list and Mark as Editor there for the celebration, and as Carole told us about the day’s walk and some of those horrendously long tussock laden Pedwar walks that Anton had previously planned we all settled down to enjoy the moment.

By now a celebratory Curly Caterpillar cake and a box of Pringles had been given Carole and she was happily cutting the cake up between sips of Champagne, these summit celebrations really are good fun!

The Curly Caterpillar is just about ready to get devoured

We sat in the sun shielded from the breeze as darkening clouds massed in the west with lots of anecdotes being told and smiles and laughter all round.  As the last of the Caterpillar was eaten it was time to make a move, I took a few photos of Carole and Anton together, two of the three Pedwar completers, before we all packed our gear and got ready to descend the hill.  

Carole and Anton, two of the three people who have completed Y Pedwarau - The 400m Hills of Wales

Carole, Anton and Alan were heading north-west to their awaiting car whilst Alex came with us so Mark could take him from Welshpool toward Flint to catch a late train home, and we headed off south-eastward to the high narrow lane where my car waited.  Before leaving I took a few more photos to remember the day by, shook Anton’s and Alan’s hand and gave Carole a hug. 

Parting of the ways after the celebration

It was great to be with Carole as she completed the Pedwarau and many congratulations to her for becoming the third person to do so and the first female completer.

Survey Result:

Crugina Hill

Summit Height:  415.0m (converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 10665 52414

Bwlch Height:  382.0m (converted to OSGM15)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SO 10104 52429

Drop:  32.9m (Pedwar status confirmed)

Dominance:  7.94%

Pt. 430.7m

Summit Height:  430.7m (converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 08911 52554 (summit relocation confirmed)

Bwlch Height:  400.6m (converted to OSGM15)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SO 08214 51546

Drop:  30.1m (Pedwar status confirmed)

Dominance:  6.98%

Aberedw Hill

Summit Height:  451.4m (converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 08443 50777

Drop:  c 227m

Dominance:  50.29% (Dominant status confirmed)

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

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