Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Mapping Mountains – Trimble Surveys – Pumlumon

05.11.16  Drosgol (SN 717 885)    

Drosgol (SN 717 885)

Drosgol is an unassuming little hill that is situated amongst the eastern lands of the Pumlumon range.  These lands descend west to fertile grazing fields before towns are encountered and the natural barrier of the sea.  These hills can portray a remote and slightly wild persona where meeting another person on them is somewhat of a rarity, they are all the better for it.

Today’s walk was a special occasion as Rob Woodall had chosen Drosgol as his last 300m P30 in the whole of Wales and England with their respective totals being 1332 and 1130.  In old money these can be considered the 1,000ft hills.

The meeting point was arranged to the south-west of the hill, at the end of a narrow paved lane that confidently aimed due east from the confines of Tal-y-bont, where adequate parking was found on a gravelled area adjacent to a disused mine.  When I arrived Adrian Dust was waiting beside his car, he’d already visited a number of hills earlier in the day and had his sights set on Moel Golomen; a 317m map heighted hill on the ridge to the south of the Afon Cyneiniog.

The upper reaches of the Cyneiniog valley with Moel Golomen in the background

We chatted for a while before Adrian set off, I then took shelter in my car as a brisk shower sped south across the hills.  Once the rain had stopped I set off down the continuation of the narrow lane to a green path that climbed steadily toward the summit of Drosgol.  I’d set off an hour before the meeting time of 3.00pm as my right knee was still proving problematic and I also wanted to survey the hill’s bwlch and its summit before everyone reached the top.

As I gained height I found a sheep track contouring round the western side of the hill toward the bwlch which nestled between Drosgol and its higher neighbour; the Sub-Pedwar of Llechwedd Cwm Byr.  Arriving at the bwlch I positioned the Trimble on top of my rucksack to give it elevation above its immediate surrounds, measured a 0.45m offset between its internal antenna and the ground at its base and proceeded to gather five minutes of data.  Except for an occasional flurry of wind, all was quiet and undisturbed.

Looking toward the critical bwlch of Drosgol

After packing the equipment away I slowly plodded up to the summit and took two data sets, with the second being at the top of an attractive rock bluff.  As the Trimble gathered its customary five minutes of data the sun burst through the thickened grey blue sky giving depth to the landscape, the near forestry radiated its autumnal colours as delicate yellows merged with those of orange as the predominant greens flanked their surrounds.

Gathering data at the critical bwlch of Drosgol

The wooded colours of autumn

Gathering data at the summit of Drosgol

Once the surveys for the day were complete I had a bite to eat and waited on a rocky hummock and watched as small figures emerged on the upper ridge, all heading toward the summit.  Alex was first to arrive with Adrian and Jon, closely followed by Matthew and Rob.

Heading for the summit

The next half hour or so gave us magical light as the late afternoon sparkled.  Once everyone had arrived Rob headed toward the summit and stood on top, another fine achievement completed amongst many that he has done.

Adrian admiring the view

Rob heading for the summit

Whiskey and cake were passed round as we stood on top and basked in the late afternoon sunshine.  Photos were taken and a few minutes of video.  These celebrations are special events, shared amongst good hill walking friends who gather in appreciation of a person’s determination and enthusiasm to finish a list of hills.

Rob and friends on the summit of Drosgol

Rob on the summit of Drosgol having completed the Welsh 300m P30s

As the sun ebbed behind a large bulbous cloud out to the west we headed back to the valley and the awaiting cars, I slowly made my way down at the rear trying to protect my knee and stopped on occasion to photograph and admire the delicate sun burst and cloudscape forming out to the west, a beautiful scene to end the day.  

A beautiful cloudscape to end the day

Survey Result:


Summit Height:  367.6m (converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SN 71769 88547 

Bwlch Height:  326.2m (converted to OSGM15)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SN 71621 88808

Drop:  41.4m

Dominance:  11.26%

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