Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Mapping Mountains – Trimble Surveys – Y Berwyn

20.07.16  Coed y Bwlch (SJ 224 304)    

Coed y Bwlch (SJ 224 304)

Coed y Bwlch is a quiet hill and rather unassuming but gives a tranquillity all its own, and this evening as the light radiated out of a full sky highlighting the soft textures of adjacent hillsides I felt content in the knowledge that I was in the company of two loves from my life, one present and one past.

We’d debated where to visit, and Coed y Bwlch was the third suggested candidate and it didn’t disappoint.  It is easily ascended as there is sufficient space to pull a vehicle on to the side of the lane that passes over this hill’s bwlch, which also gives itself to part of this hill’s name, the other word in its name comes from the Larch wood situated at its summit, and it is this and its view that gives the hill its character.

I’d visited Coed y Bwlch twice before and each time it has left me with the same feeling of it being a special little hill, one that is probably seldom visited, but alone it stands looking west out to the higher Berwyn, and this evening the light and its texture played upon the landscape giving the adjacent hills softness and splendour.

From where we left the car a gate gives access to a field which rises to join a vehicle track through the grass, veering rightward as it gains height.  As we joined the track evening sheep calls meandered through the air as the sound of countryside pervaded the landscape. 

The vehicle track heads south-westward and crests the western flank of Coed y Bwlch, it is from here that the view opens out with the hill named as Gyrn Moelfre on Ordnance Survey maps butting up from the valley below, this evening this hill looked positively radiant in profile and form as its pastoral flanks rose upward, further west the high Berwyn were flanked in evening cloud, their upper ridge immersed in the upcoming night time battle where light fades and darkness prevails.

The hill named as Gyrn Moelfre on Ordnance Survey maps

The green track then headed south-eastward gaining height to the first windblown Larch trees, their higher branches stilted eastward and their lower bows drooping at varied angles.

On the track leading to the first windblown Larch trees

As we reached the summit area the sun played from behind the western sky, occasionally glimpsing through the delicately coloured cloud, with rays of light highlighting the greens of grazing fields.

Sometimes the process of surveying is secondary, and especially so on a hill that had previously been Trimbled, but I was there and so was the Trimble and it felt silly not to gather a five minute data set.  As it slowly ebbed down to the 0.1m accuracy level before data should be logged I stood away from the equipment and watched as the sun illuminated the grasses at the base of the Larch tree that constitutes the high point of the hill. 

Gathering data at the summit of Coed y Bwlch

As the two girls wandered back up toward me after admiring the westerly view I pressed ‘Log’ and gathered a five minute data set.  They waited patiently as a slight chill started to set in.

Admiring the westerly view

Evening light

That magical evening light that radiates landscape only showed itself on our downward route as the immediate grasslands turned an emerald green, bright and almost iridescent they gleamed out with the background lands slightly shadowed in nature, curvaceous to the eye they formed a beautiful shape full of slender colour similar to a projected image as a backdrop, a dreamland where passage seems secondary to nature’s beauty.

Back through the Larch wood on our descent

Descending the track

Magical evening light

A dreamland where passage seems secondary to nature's beauty

It had been a lovely evening, visiting one of the special little hills of Y Berwyn, and thanks to Lou and Helie for the shared experience.

Lou and Helie

Survey Result:

Summit Height:  414.0m (average of two surveys, 1st survey 07.06.15 and converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SJ 22414 30480

Drop:  86.1m (average of two summit surveys, 1st survey 07.06.15 and converted to OSGM15)

Dominance:  20.80%

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