Sunday, 21 February 2016

Mapping Mountains – Trimble Surveys – Cleeve Hill

13.02.16  Spring Hill (SP 115 348)  

The summit of Spring Hill (SP 115 348)

The criteria used to define a hill are an interesting concept; that need for definition, the need to quantify and make sense, a need to create order.  Nowadays defining one hill from another usually relies upon prominence; prominence being the minimum height gain between summit and connecting col along the watershed.  Over recent times Prominence has evolved in to Relative Height and also Dominance, the intricacies of which are not for this blog post.  These concepts give order to an otherwise unruly mass of never ending bumps on the landscape, their use can define hill separation, and in their own right are eloquent and simple, and they are also ingenious as their use fulfils the unusual need for definition.

However, dependent upon one’s inclination a summit listed under the criterion of Minimum Prominence, Relative Height and Dominance can be no more than a few minutes’ walk from the nearest public road, this can be thought of advantageous in many instances, and of course the convenience of the nearest public road to the summit of the hill can be nullified if wanting a more extended walk from an adjoining valley, but the convenience of public roads should not be underplayed as bagging mentality sometimes dictates that the nearest one to the summit is the one from which the walk starts.

Using near roads to bag summits can be fun, but sometimes it's not too physically taxing.  Perhaps this is one of its appeals?

Other definitions to define hills can add mileage to a bagger’s mentality; Y Pellennig – The Remotest Hills of Wales, is an example, as this listing qualification partly depends on the summit of the hill being a minimum 2.5 km from the nearest paved public road.  Although this form of definition is a welcome one, it is a rarity. 

And so we come to today’s little wander, which took 22 minutes in all to walk to the summit, assess the lay of land, set the Trimble up, measure its offset, wait for it to attain its 0.1m accuracy before data should be logged, gather five minutes of data, pack the equipment away and wander back down next to the edge of a muddy field to the awaiting car, and in the process get stung my nettles. 

Gathering data from the summit of Spring Hill

It was a pleasant 22 minutes as the walk was literally grabbed out of a planned afternoon visiting the Cotswold town of Broadway, with a planned visit to Broadway Tower which is an unusual structure built on a ridge overlooking the fertile and eloquent towns of the Cotswolds.  It was only after being told that the tower was positioned on a ridge that I went looking for the high point of this ridge, online, and it turned out to be a mile or so south of the tower, adjacent to a stone wall, in a field.

When there, the breeze blew, the sky was grey, rain spotted which turned to wet snow later, the cold edged into my fingers and I stood awaiting the last of the 300 points allotted for the Trimble to gather, looking down at my red plastered muddy wellies as the chill breeze continued.  During this Lou waited patiently in the car playing Candy Crush and slowly got cold, I thanked her afterward for being patient as the wants of the male of the species is sometimes an unusual thing to encounter.

Those 22 minutes were fun and the chill was invigorating, the data gathering part seemed periphery to this appeal for the need to bag a summit where one was not expected to be bagged, the mud, nettles, steel tape for measurement offset, unusual yellow and black surveying implement, breeze blown rain drops and chilled fingers all added to the novelty.  It was fun and was followed by the refinement of Broadway and its shops and deli’s.  

Survey Result:

Spring Hill

Summit Height:  319.5m (converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SP 11510 34803

Drop:  121m

Dominance:  37.87%

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

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