Saturday, 7 April 2018

Mapping Mountains – Trimble Surveys – Cadair Idris

Rob Woodall Completes the Welsh Mainland Tumps

18.02.18  Pared y Cefn Hir (SH 661 148, [bwlch only SH 658 144]), Ffridd Bellau Nant y Gwyrddail (SH 665 139, previously Trimbled) and Ffridd Las (SH 660 139, previously Trimbled)

Ffridd Las (SH 660 139)

Today was quite a momentous one in the annals of hill bagging as Rob Woodall completed the Welsh mainland Tumps, a staggering undertaking with 2,271 hills listed as of the time of completion.

The hill Rob chose for this completion remains unnamed on Ordnance Survey maps, and is known as Ffridd Las by the farmer who grazes sheep on the hill, it is listed as Pen Llynnau Cregennen in the Tumps.

The farmer who grazes Ffridd Las lives at the small farm house of Ffridd Boedel, which is situated beside and directly below the hill to its north-west, and on my way to the lakeside car park where Rob had suggested we all meet, I called at this house and met Carys Lloyd.  We chatted for a number of minutes and I explained my interest in upland place-name research, she kindly suggested I call back nearer lunchtime as her husband; Arwyn, would be in and could help me.

A few minutes later I drove in to the lakeside car park adjacent to the double lakes of Llynnau Cregennan, the day looked fair until early afternoon when light rain was forecast.  This at least was more favourable when compared to recent weather reports as persistent rain and hill mist had been forecast for the morning and remainder of the day.

The positioning of Llynnau Cregennan are beautiful as they sit nestled in the landscape with the looming profile of Pared y Cefn Hir overlooking to the north-east and the higher satellite peaks of Cadair Idris to their south-east.  But it is Pared y Cefn Hir that stands out, butted skyward it defies its relatively lowly height.  Whilst Ffridd Las is almost inconsequential in comparison, a grassed domed small hill beside the minor road that skirts the lakes.  However, this is the appealing factor of the Welsh P30s as they take in small and high hills alike, rock strewn giants and mere grassed grazing fields, well-trodden paths and seldom visited places, and it is their variety that encourages investigation.

Pared y Cefn Hir and the northerly of the Llynnau Cregennan

Rob had suggested extending his walk over Pared y Cefn Hir and its adjacent hill of Bryn Brith, before visiting Ffridd Bellau Nant y Gwyrddail, followed by his last hill; Ffridd Las.  I decided to bi-pass the first two hills of the walk and join the festivities on the last two; this would give me time to visit the small farm house of Ffridd Boedel where I hoped to meet Arwyn Lloyd and confirm the name of the hill that Rob was finishing on.

As the party set off toward Pared y Cefn Hir I remained in the car park chatting with Gordon Adshead who, like me, planned on visiting the last two hills at his leisure.  The morning was ideal for such a walk with the tops clear of clag and a gentle winter light adding substance to the beautiful landscape.

As Rob and friends began to get strung out on their way up Pared y Cefn Hir I sauntered down to the larger and more northerly of the double lakes and watched as a cloud blanket cascaded over the cliffs of Mynydd Moel, a slow and delicate ebb of morning mist following the upper contours of the hill.

Rob and party heading up Pared y Cefn Hir

Although I hadn’t planned on doing so I realised that with time on my hands I could gather a data set from the critical bwlch of Pared y Cefn Hir, this is positioned at the outflow of the northern and larger lake.  This position had been surveyed in November 2012 when along with John Barnard and Graham Jackson we spent two days surveying the summits of Pared y Cefn Hir and Bryn Brith and three potential positions of the higher of these two hills connecting bwlch.

Gathering data with the Leica GS15

As I approached the outflow I looked up and Rob and friends were just cresting the summit ridge of Pared y Cefn Hir, I positioned the Trimble on the upper part of the concrete surround at the outflow to the northern lake, thankfully the concrete surround was just wide enough for the Trimble to be positioned without any possibility of being dislodged.

After measuring the offset between the Trimble’s internal antenna and the gravel and rock at the base of the water I stood back and waited for it to attain the 0.1m accuracy level before data should be logged, this was achieved relatively quickly and after pressing ‘Log’ I wandered away from the equipment’s quiet beeps and happily contented myself with taking photos across the water to the grassed and curved profile of Ffridd Las.

The bwlch of Pared y Cefn Hir

Initially I planned on collecting five minutes of data, but as I had no time constraint I thought ten minutes would be sufficient.  During data collection a couple walked my way on the narrow minor road, they stopped and we chatted, by the time they headed off over 20 minutes of data had been gathered, I then decided that a 30 minute data set would be good!

Gathering data at the critical bwlch of Pared y Cefn Hir

Once data were stored and the Trimble packed away I walked up the road to Ffridd Boedel where Arwyn met me in his slippers, after explaining my interest in the names of adjacent hills he put his boots on and we spent a contented 30 minutes above his farm talking about the hills, their names, the ffriddoedd and his life as a farmer.

Arwyn Lloyd of Ffridd Boedel

I only left when we spotted the large party descending Pared y Cefn Hir and taking the path heading east around the northern shore of the larger lake, realising that they were not heading up the minor road where I planned on joining them I thanked Arwyn for his time and then headed toward the summit of Ffridd Bellau Nant y Gwyrddail.

As I approached the summit of Rob’s penultimate Welsh mainland Tump the strung our party were rounding the shore of the southerly lake and heading up the south-west flank of the hill.  They were soon on the summit.

Approaching the summit of Ffridd Bellau Nant y Gwyrddail

At the summit of Ffridd Bellau Nant y Gwyrddail

All that remained was the walk back down from the summit of Ffridd Bellau Nant y Gwyrddail and the short walk over toward the summit of Ffridd Las, the last hill of many for Rob, all 2,271 of them!

Rob was greeted at the summit of Ffridd Las by 14 people with the customary arch of ceremonial walking poles leading toward the high point of the hill; this was a fitting end to an unprecedented achievement.  We stood and sat beside the summit sampling a variety of cake toasting Rob’s latest amongst many incredible achievements.

At the summit of Ffridd Las

Rob completes the Welsh mainland Tumps on the summit of Ffridd Las

Visiting the Welsh P30s is something that I have enjoyed for many years, their variety seems to have no bounds, and they have brought me so many enjoyable experiences, with each one however small in height or grand in stature bringing its own unique charm and ambiance.  To have visited them all on the mainland must be such a fulfilling experience and my congratulations go out to Rob for being the first person to have done so.    
Survey Result:

Pared y Cefn Hir

Bwlch Height:  233.7m (converted to OSGM15, Trimble GeoXH 6000)  233.7m (converted to OSGM15, Leica GS15)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SH 65822 14423

Drop:  149.4m

Dominance:  39.00%

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