Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Mapping Mountains – Trimble Surveys – Hafod Ithel

13.05.16  Foel y Mwnt (SN 193 520)

Foel y Mwnt (SN 193 520)

The land around Mwnt entices one in with quiet lanes seemingly disappearing into themselves and a gentle way of life.  Nothing ever moves in Mwnt, except for an occasional local and holidaymaker, with life slow paced on all but a rare occasion.

Mwnt is only a small community that was once an ancient Parish and my reason for visiting it was because of its hill, which is named Foel y Mwnt.  This hill is steep sided and placed next to the sea as it laps inland against its northern coast.  It overlooks Mwnt beach which nestles in its secluded cove, beautiful in appearance it portrays welcome and sun drenched days when laziness and quietness are sought.  The beach is serenely positioned and was included in a 2011 Daily Mail article as the top of its list of Europe’s top ten loveliest hidden beaches.  Although not knowing what the other nine beaches were, I would not argue with their listing as it is rather wonderfully situated.

Mwnt beach - beautifully situated

When I arrived at the car park the sun shone down upon a land becalmed in its warmth.  The ascent of Foel y Mwnt is a relatively easy affair with three paths heading towards its slopes; I chose the central one which directed itself straight for the summit. 

As I crossed the bwlch I stopped and looked at Eglwys y Grog (Church of the Holy Cross) which is probably a 14th century construction and which is now white washed.  This Church is like the beach, and to an extent also like the hill, as it nestles in its spot, looking unobtrusive and in keeping with the position it finds itself in.  I thought it looked rather Irish, probably more so Celtic.  Inside it was peaceful and old, with a welcoming touch.

Eglwys y Grog (Church of the Holy Cross)

As I headed toward the central path a single figure stood close to the summit and proceeded to slowly walk eastward, and sat looking out with binoculars in hand to the land below.  By the time I reached the top I was sweating and it took me a minute or so to reclaim my breath before saying hello.  We introduced ourselves and commented on how wonderful the hill was; Rodney Gotto said that he’d visited it on a number of occasions, and as I set the Trimble up we talked about the equipment and its function and this led us onto hill surveying.  During the time that the Trimble gathered its all-important five minutes of summit data we chatted about the distance that we had travelled to get to where we now were, and Rodney said that he had come from Welshpool, I had a sudden double take and asked him; ‘from where?’ ‘I live in Welshpool’, came the reply, well I had to giggle and soon we were talking about local people that we both knew and where we both lived.

Rodney Gotto - a resident of Welshpool

Gathering data at the summit of Foel y Mwnt

Picking the Trimble up from its position aligned to the highest part of the hill I looked westward down the coast beyond the glistening sea toward Ynys Aberteifi (Cardigan Island) and thought back to my visit from September of last year, which had proved another marvellous island experience, with it being late in the day as the sun sank ever deeper and illuminated colour bounced across the land.

Ynys Aberteifi (Cardigan Island)

After I packed the Trimble away we walked down the hill together taking the path that curves around its eastern side as our preferred descent route.  We said our goodbye’s at the bwlch and Rodney sauntered back to his car whilst I assessed the lay of land and took a further two data sets from the area of the bwlch.

Gathering data at the bwlch of Foel y Mwnt

The Trimble set-up position at the critical bwlch of Foel y Wynt

Afterward I visited the Church and then made my way back to my car to change and check the map for my onward route to the west of St David’s for my night time sleeping spot.  As I arrived at St Justinian’s the sun ebbed downward and blazed golden across the sky, a fitting end to a wonderful day.

The end of the day

Survey Result:

Foel y Mwnt

Summit Height:  77.0m (converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SN 19347 52072

Bwlch Height:  33.6m (converted to OSGM15)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SN 19489 51974

Drop:  43.4m

Dominance:  56.40%

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