Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Mapping Mountains – Trimble Surveys – Y Berwyn

18.09.15  Mynydd Tŷ Cerrig (SJ 147 405)  

Mynydd Tŷ Cerrig (SJ 147 405)
The chance to experience the tranquil surrounds of being on a summit when the last lingering colour of the sinking sun sparkles out and dims, and the land becomes bluish grey and the evening is overtaken by night is something to immerse oneself in.  And that opportunity arose again today with another evening walk planned with Mark.

We met at Glyn Ceiriog and left one car at the community centre and drove to a T-junction high on pot holed country lanes that are as rough as any badly eroded forest track, and left the car squeezed off the road at SJ 167 380.

The hill we planned to visit is named Mynydd Tŷ Cerrig, I’d only been on this hill once before on 29.06.03 when I’d set out at 6.40am and ascended from the north visiting Moel Fferna and descending to this hill, writing in my log journal ‘beautiful, peaceful, sunny morning, just me and my thoughts’.  This evening’s visit was a contrast as the morning’s awaking was going to be replaced with the evening’s fading.

As we left the car to walk north-westward up the remainder of what the map constitutes as a paved public road, a cloud bank out to the west gave hope of a spectacular sunset, and hopefully our arrival on the top of this hill would be timed to give sufficient light to Trimble the summit but also enjoy the last rays of light as the sun sank behind this westerly cloud bank.

Mark on the track leading to Mynydd Tŷ Cerrig

Very soon the remnants of road dissipated to a track which gained us quick and easy progress into the Ceiriog Forest.  This conifer plantation takes in much of the southern land of the West – East ridge that descends from Moel Fferna to Y Foel, with some of this land now springing young trees replacing those already matured and felled.

We had our first proper view of Mynydd Tŷ Cerrig once out of the forest and onto this West - East ridge, at this point the forest track butts against a paved and smooth road that descends the western flank of the hill down toward Glyndyfrdwy, this was the ascent route on my previous visit.  This first view was sublime as our hill was cloaked in early autumnal heather, a-bloom and subtly coloured purple with a sprinkling of rogue conifer trees gaining hold and adding colour contrast and height to a vivid picture.

Rogue conifers adding colour contrast and height to an already vivid scene

A vehicle track on the moor branches off from the section of paved road and descends towards the hill’s bwlch, hiding amongst the heather were occasional white faces poking up to glance our way as we continued toward the hill.

Submerged in heather an occasional white face glanced our way

By now a pinkish tinge highlighted delicate cloud as it slowly ebbed down toward the summits of the Clwydian hills, but the beauty of our surroundings was the immediate land, all of which was awash in purple.  Even during daylight hours when the sun is high, heather can take on a gentle colour feel when its bloom sways and joins and continues as one, this was accentuated this evening as a low sun cast evening glow across an already vivid and delicately rich landscape.

We left the green track to investigate the bwlch and soon found where we judged the hill’s critical bwlch to be positioned, as I placed the Trimble on top of my rucksack and measured a 0.47m offset, Mark continued toward the hill’s summit.  This left me marvelling at the colour as long shadows cast out across the bwlch.  The rucksack and Trimble seemed alien in this landscape, supplanted to somewhere they did not belong as the purple heather was now contrasted with lower shadowed black as the sun sank ever deeper, this contrasted with the blue and yellow of rucksack and Trimble, both portrayed an element of vividness but it was not natural, and although contrast can be enjoyed and can indeed add to landscape, this evening belonged to the natural environment and not man-made objects supplanted into it.

Gathering data at the critical bwlch of Mynydd Tŷ Cerrig

Long shadows cast out at the bwlch

The Trimble set up position at the bwlch

As I packed the Trimble away, Mark was waiting near to an attractive rock outcrop which the sun delicately picked out as it now sank behind the western cloud bank.  Emerging from under this cloud it again sprang out in a bright and vivid orange glow.

Evening light on Mynydd Tŷ Cerrig

Beside the attractive rock outcrop on our way to the summit

Mark went ahead and found the high point and I soon followed and had the Trimble positioned on top of my rucksack within a couple of minutes, as it gathered its allotted five minutes of data we watched the sun sink on the western horizon behind the northern ridge of Moel Fferna.

Slowly it sinks

Gathering data at the summit of Mynydd Tŷ Cerrig

Slowly the richness of colour expanded outward with steaks of intense white at its heart, with yellowed underglow highlighting darkening clouds with the clear sky taking on an ethereal deep blue colour. 

Intense white light highlighting yellowed underglow on evening cloud

As the last of the data were collected I switched the Trimble off, took a couple of photographs and joined Mark as we both stared toward the ever changing colour.  The intenseness of colour had been replaced with a stunning greyness where day’s warmth was now evening’s chill and swathes of meandering mist descended to the summit of Moel Fferna and hugged its upper realm.  It is only rarely that photographs do justice to a natural scene as it takes skill and an eye for composition to capture beauty, mine do not do this, but a few are shared in this post.

Delicate grey mist rests on the summit of Moel Fferna

As we left the summit of Mynydd Tŷ Cerrig dusk was upon us, we were soon back on the forest track heading down to the car and chatted our way into night and darkness.     

Survey Result:

Mynydd Tŷ Cerrig (significant name change)

Summit Height:  476.2m (converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SJ 14798 40529

Bwlch Height:  444.1m (converted to OSGM15)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SJ 14714 40121

Drop:  32.1m (Pedwar status confirmed)

Dominance:  6.75%

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

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