Wednesday, 30 September 2015

The History of Welsh Hill Lists

The History of Welsh Hill Lists – Part 11

The Early Years

1954 – Ted Moss

Only two years later and Ted Moss updated his list again and so in 1954 the Rucksack Club Journal published a one page article entitled “More Welsh Two-thousands”.

The latest update was initiated by the publishing of the new Seventh Series Edition of the Ordnance Survey One-Inch map.  All the contours on the new map had been re-drawn.  This resulted in many changes.

Front cover to the 1954 Rucksack Club Journal

Eight new Welsh Two-Thousands were added to the list.  Two of these are of particular note – Pumlumon Fach, which Moss called Pumlumon Fach, N.W. Top and Allt Lwyd in the Brecon Beacons – both receiving their first ever listing.

Moss passes comment on the anomalies between the old Popular Edition One-Inch map and the new Seventh Series Edition; “The new map is no more consistent than the old one, for several prominent peaks have no contour rings on it.  Pen Helig, for instance, unmistakably a peak on the ground and with two contour rings on the old map, has none on the new,” and “Allt Lwyd had no contour ring on the popular edition but has two rings on the new map”.

The last update that Ted Moss produced for his Two-thousands

Study of the new maps showed that seventeen tops had lost their contour rings.    Moss decided not to list these and ends his article emphasizing that; “It is of course, convenient to use the map as a standard but the claims of many tops can really only be decided on the spot”.

Ted Moss had been a doyen of early hill list compilation.  This second update to his 1940 list proved to be the last.  It is also the last time Ted Moss will lead an active part in our story.  It is only fitting that the first person to have published a list to the 2,000 ft mountains of Wales, and the first known person to complete an ascent of all 612 of these mountains, should have the last word in this particular segment of Wales’s hill list story, as Moss’s experience gained and memories held come forth in his writing and quite eloquently sums up his feeling for these hills:

“To those who prefer the dull routine of well-remembered and too-often accomplished ascents, the peak-bagger is one who dashes soullessly from top to top and whose memory of the day can be summed-up in a tick on a list.  But to me collecting tops in a list provides a framework for widening experience in the fascination of fresh country, unknown hills, and other natural beauties.  The pursuit of two-thousands has taken me to many places I should otherwise never have visited; it has, in fact, taken me into some of the most God-forsaken spots in this country as well as to some of the most delectable”.

“After years spent in the wilderness one can return with renewed interest and appreciation to the choice beauties of the more popular places.  And when I am asked what I am going to do now that I have finished the two-thousands I reply that for the time being I am going to please myself what I do.  For in the later stages the game almost became my master.  The remaining tops were too often in my leisure thoughts as I calculated the map miles and feet of ascent, the most efficient grouping, the number that could be sandwiched into a week-end.  I almost felt guilty when I went rock-climbing.  But if I am pressed for an answer to the question my reply is that I am going to collect stamps with pictures of mountains on them!”

Next instalment due on the 30th November 2015

For the Preface please click {here}

For Part 1 please click {here}

For Part 2 please click {here}

For Part 3 please click {here}

For Part 4 please click {here}

For Part 5 please click {here}

For Part 6 please click {here}

For Part 7 please click {here}

For Part 8 please click {here}

For Part 9 please click {here}

For Part 10 please click {here}

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