Friday, 28 February 2014

Mapping Mountains - Hill Reclassifications - Y Pedwarau

390m Double Sub-Pedwarau - additions

Within the publication of the Y Pedwarau (Europeaklist May 2013) there were 16 hills that failed to qualify for the main 400m P30 list by 10 metres or less of height and by ten metres or less of drop.  These hills are known as the 390m Double Sub-Pedwar hills.  These 16 hills are listed below with the page they appear on in the Europeaklist booklet, height, name, 1:50,000 map number, summit grid reference and drop being detailed.

Page 11    c 393m    Pt. c 393m    116    SH 955 525    c 25m

Page 16    395m    Pen y Bwlch-coch    124    SH 751 159    26m

Page 19    396m    Banc y Gorlan    136    SH 922 037    c 29m

Page 19    394m    Allt y Genlli    136    SN 985 950    27m

Page 19    396m    Bryn y Gadair    136    SN 956 942    c 22m

Page 20    390m    Pen y Gaer    136    SN 908 868    c 26m

Page 20    391m    Mynydd Ponterwyd    135    SN 734 813    c 22m

Page 23    395m    Birches    136, 148    SO 184 790    c 27m

Page 23    391m    Rhos Hill    137, 148    SO 259 695    c 28m

Page 25    395m    Dunn’s Rhos    136, 148    SO 177 684    c 26m

Page 26    392m    Bryn Mawr    135, 147    SN 773 721    c 24m

Page 26    399m    Dyrys Du    147    SN 803 509    c 20m

Page 27    c 394m    Banc Melyn    146    SN 547 401    c 28m

Page 28    c 390m    Allt y Gest    147    SN 897 528    c 26m

Page 31    391m    Pt. 391m, Cefn Bach    160    SO 003 387    c 22m

Page 33    391m    Mynydd Maendy    170    SS 962 896    c 23m

Since the publication of the Y Pedwarau by Eurpopeaklist a further 12 390m Double Sub-Pedwar hills have been identified.  These hills will appear in the 2nd edition of the Y Pedwarau when hopefully published by Europeaklist, the details for each of these new additions appear below:

Cardinal Hill:  Mwdwl Eithin 
Summit Height:  c 390m

Name:  Boncyn Nadroedd

OS 1:50,000 map:  116 
Summit Grid Reference:  SJ 027 540

Drop:  c 23m

Cardinal Hill:  Mwdwl Eithin 
Summit Height:  399m

Name:  Derwydd Bach

OS 1:50,000 map:  116
Summit Grid Reference:  SJ 017 503

Drop:  c 27m

Cardinal Hill:  Arenig Fawr 

Summit Height:  392m

Name:  Ffridd Felen

OS 1:50,000 map:  124, 125 

Summit Grid Reference:  SH 855 388

Drop:  c 21m

Cardinal Hill:  Craig Berwyn 

Summit Height:  c 395m

Name:  Pt. c 395m

OS 1:50,000 map:  117 

Summit Grid Reference:  SJ 249 402

Drop:  c 21m

Cardinal Hill:  Carreg y Big
Summit Height:  396m

Name:  Carreg y Frân 

OS 1:50,000 map:  125
Summit Grid Reference:  SH 961 140

Drop:  20m

Cardinal Hill:  Carreg y Big
Summit Height:  399m

Name:  Ffridd Dyfnant 

OS 1:50,000 map:  125 

Summit Grid Reference:  SH 997 164

Drop:  21m

Cardinal Hill:  Mynydd yr Hewyrch 

Summit Height:  393m

Name:  Pt. 393m

OS 1:50,000 map:  124 

Summit Grid Reference:  SH 796 120

Drop:  24m

Cardinal Hill:  Garreg Lwyd 

Summit Height:  398m

Name:  Craig Cefn Llech 

OS 1:50,000 map:  136, 147 

Summit Grid Reference:  SN 952 771

Drop:  23m

Cardinal Hill:  Glascwm Hill 

Summit Height:  394m

Name:  Pt. 394m, The Begwns

OS 1:50,000 map:  148, 161 

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 144 445

Drop:  c 20m

Cardinal Hill:  Clepyn Melyn 

Summit Height:  393m

Name:  Pt. 393m

OS 1:50,000 map:  147, 160
Summit Grid Reference:  SN 998 432

Drop:  c 20m

Cardinal Hill:  Clepyn Melyn 

Summit Height:  399m

Name:  Pt. 399m

OS 1:50,000 map:  160
Summit Grid Reference:  SO 027 385

Drop:  c 21m

Cardinal Hill:  Werfa 

Summit Height:  399m

Name:  Craig Rhiw Berfa (later deleted)

OS 1:50,000 map:  170 

Summit Grid Reference:  SS 946 906

Drop:  c 21m 

Myrddyn Phillips and Aled Williams (February 2014)

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Mapping Mountains - Hill Reclassifications - Y Pedwarau

Pt. 452.4m (SJ 229 443) - 400m Sub-Pedwar addition

There has been a new addition to the 400m Sub-Pedwar ranks through a recent survey with the Trimble GeoXH 6000.  As research via local enquiry and historical documents has not, as of yet, found an appropriate name for the hill, it is being listed by the point (Pt. 452.4m) notation.  The hill is Pt 452.4m (SJ 229 443) and it is situated in the Moel y Gamelin range of hills on the southerly ridge of Mynydd Eglwyseg (SJ 231 464).

The hill will be added to the Y Pedwarau list in the 2nd edition that will hopefully be published by Europeaklist.  The list of Pedwar hills is also available from the Haroldstreet website.

The full details for the hill are:

Cardinal Hill:  Cyrn y Brain

Summit Height:  452.4m (converted to OSGM15)

Name:  Pt. 452.4m

OS 1:50,000 map:  117

Summit Grid Reference:  SJ 229 443

Drop:  22.6m (converted to OSGM15)

The summit cairn on the new 400m Sub-Pedwar; Pt 452.4m (SJ 229 443)

For details on the survey that promoted this hill to 400m Sub-Pedwar status please click {here}

Myrddyn Phillips and Aled Williams (February 2014)

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Mapping Mountains – Trimble Surveys – Bryniau Clwyd

26.02.14  Mynydd Eglwyseg (SJ 231 464) and Pt. 452.4m (SJ 229 443)

Mynydd Eglwyseg (SJ 231 464)
The beauty of light and colour, days on the hill can sometimes give unexpected moments when radiantly rich colour is back dropped by luxuriant grey where the deepness of colour makes you marvel.  Today was one of those days.

The forecast predicted an occasional rogue shower in the afternoon, but as it sounded as if it was going to be mainly dry I packed the Trimble and headed off for Mynydd Eglwyseg (SJ 231 464), the only Dewey in the Bryniau Clwyd that I hadn’t visited for a second time.

Google Maps had indicated that a number of ‘passing places’ are situated on the narrow road north of Llangollen as it makes its way towards the World’s End (that must sound rather dramatic for those that don’t know the area).  I chose one ‘passing place’ to park in that had another within a hundred metres or so, hoping that by doing so any cars meeting one another could easily reverse to the next ‘passing place’.

To the east of this narrow road are Creigiau Eglwyseg, this is a fortress of limestone cliffs with few indents for the walker.  One way through is indicated on the OS 1:25,000 map as a black dotted line heading directly east from just below the house of Bryn Goleu (SJ 219 454).  I’d wanted to investigate this path for many years and by combining the summit of Mynydd Eglwyseg with that of the hill situated at SJ 229 443 it would give an alternate descent route down through another stream gully at SJ 225 441.

I made my way up beside the stream above Bryn Goleu on a good path that gained height quickly.  Above were terraced blocks of limestone cliffs which are a favourite haunt for the rock climber but are out of bounds during nesting times.  I’d only visited this hill once before with Huw in September 2002, when we did an extended two car walk over all the 500m hills from Moel Morfudd (SJ 159 457).  My memory was of a torturous heather bound pathless hill, it hasn’t changed in the intervening years.

The upper part of the stream gully above the house of Bryn Goleu
Once above the cliffs the scenery changed from dramatic to wild as the vertical limestone had been replaced by miles of undulating almost featureless heather.  One or two sheep tracks made their way in to the morass; fortunately I found what looked like the remains of a vehicle track that contoured around the hillside.  This gave good progress until the time I had to leave it and strike out for the high point.  A few minutes of stumbling heather bashing brought me to the summit, this consists of a domed bit of land, almost certainly an ancient tumulus that is heather free and has the start of a small cairn on it.  The Trimble was set up and wedged in place with a couple of small rocks and I busied myself noting how many satellites had been locked onto, the margin of uncertainty associated with its placement, the time the equipment had started to gather data, what terrain constituted the summit, the hill name, was it the summit or the bwlch and how long the data collection was going to be for.  This procedure is followed for every survey – oh the joys of hill walking!  Mind you that Barnard chap really goes to town when the G&J team are out on a survey, he catalogues everything that moves, and also many things that don’t!

The view north from the summit of Mynydd Eglwyseg 

The view south from the summit of Mynydd Eglwyseg
As the Trimble was reaching its allocated ten minutes of data collection the hills to the south started to disappear behind a grey winter shower which was heading my way.  I quickly packed the Trimble away and as the first rain drops drove in I donned waterproofs and continued on the small path that connects the upper ridge of this hill.  I soon came across snares that had been laid across the path.  These had been pre-warned as I’d looked on the Hill Bagging website the night before and Douglas Law had posted ‘Watch out for snares’ on his visit dated 17.09.12.  This is the first time I’ve ever come across any snare on a hill in Wales, there were three or four of them, all positioned immediately next to or on the small path itself.  I pity the animal that is caught in one and also the person who laid them.

One of a series of snares on the path just below the summit of Mynydd Eglwyseg

An unwanted addition to the hillside, a snare on the path just below the summit of Mynydd Eglwyseg
After the shower whizzed off to the north the downhill heather stomp began.  Soon I was deposited next to a fence with a lovely green field in front of me, oh the beauty of green fields!  I decided to keep to the heather for another five minutes as a small path was leading me to the start of a stream gully, when this was reached I turned 180º and marched up in to the field and followed the valley to valley direction of the land until it met the hill to hill direction of the land.  This turned out to be beside an ancient stone circle which is marked as a Cairn on the map.  This is also next to a minute contour ring on the OS map that implies that there is a hummock hereabouts; it turned out to be a sink hole.  The Trimble was set up at the spot I judged to be the critical bwlch and gathered 11 minutes of data.  This is the bwlch for the next hill I was heading toward, if having a minimum of 20m of drop it would enter the ranks of Sub-Pedwar hills, it currently has an estimated drop of c 19m.

Pt. 452.4m (SJ 229 443) a new Sub-Pedwar?
The stone circle (SJ 228 451) at the bwlch of Pt. 452.4m
From here to the summit of the next hill was all on close cropped grass – yummy!  This hill’s name is given the Pt. notation as we have found no appropriate name for it.  It’s crowned by a fairly large cairn.  The Trimble was set up on an embedded rock next to the cairn which I judged to be the highest ‘natural’ ground of the hill.  During this time another shower was pushing north, by the time the Trimble had achieved its required 0.1m of accuracy before pushing ‘Log’ to start data gathering, the sky was turning a luxuriant dark grey, the deepness of colour almost reached black, one of those colours that you just want to dive in to and immerse yourself in.  I stood and watched as a rainbow cast itself over the cairn and the dark heather of Mynydd Eglwyseg.  It was all rather scrumptious!

The dark heather of Mynydd Eglwyseg
The Trimble GeoXH 6000 at the summit of Pt. 452.4m (SJ 229 443)
Once the Trimble was packed away I headed due west and found a good path that descended steeply past a small rock strewn waterfall.  I slithered down on my backside as the rock was slippy and only got up when feeling safe to do so, this didn’t help as within a few seconds I went flying as vibram soled boot touched something it didn’t like and deposited me beside the water.  Thankfully rounded stomachs can sometimes be an advantage and it seems that this time the impact was cushioned somewhat.  Soon the steep path led down beside bushes of gorse to the narrow lane and after a further ten minute walk I was back at the car.  An excellent little circuit.

Survey Result:

Mynydd Eglwyseg

Summit Height:  512.1m (converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SJ 23158 46420

Drop:  88m (Non Subhump status confirmed)

Dominance:  17.18%

Pt. 452.4m

Summit Height:  452.4m (converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SJ 22903 44310

Bwlch Height:  429.9m (converted to OSGM15)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SJ 22811 45134

Drop:  22.6m (400m Sub-Pedwar addition confirmed)

Dominance:  4.99%

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

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Mapping Mountains – Trimble Surveys – Moel Hebog

22.02.14  Pen yr Allt (SH 567 418), Y Fedw (SH 557 413) and Foel yr Erw 

(SH 560 418)

Foel yr Erw (SH 560 418)
Another excellent day in the company of Aled investigating two 200m hills and a prospective new 300m P30 above Prenteg near to Tremadog, we met in Porthmadog and drove to a pull in spot (SH 565 419) on the high, narrow lane that joins Prenteg with Cwm Ystradllyn.

Above us rose Pen yr Allt (SH 567 418) with a rather steep profile when viewed from the lane, we slowly made our way up beside a delicate rocky rib, as height was gained we could see down towards Llyn Du (SH 562 424) an expanse of water with moorland protecting its outer limits.  Across the narrow lane was our last objective; Foel yr Erw.

Llyn Du (SH 562 424) with Crib Nantlle in the background
Aled had suggested these hills as he wondered if Pen yr Allt would make P30 status and as Y Bengam and Foel yr Erw have no spot height on current maps we could at least attain an absolute height for each with the Trimble and also determine which of the two is higher as each has an uppermost c 280m ring contour.

The summit area of Pen yr Allt has four c 340m contours with a fifth a little farther to the north on the Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 map.  As we approached the top the wind increased in strength, but with the sun out it felt pleasant.  However, the forecast was for rain to push inland from the west of Wales during the afternoon.

The high point of Pen yr Allt is a large boulder with the remains of an untidy cairn on it.  We looked out on the land where each of the other c 340m contours lay, all were lower.  The Trimble was set up on the very highest point and wedged in place with small rocks.  During the 17 minutes of data collection we retired behind a rock out of the wind and had a good chat.

The Trimble GeoXH 6000 on the high point of Pen yr Allt (SH 567 418)
Aled at the summit of Pen yr Allt
Once the Trimble was put back in its bag Aled led the way toward the connecting bwlch where we gathered 18 minutes of data.  The bwlch is positioned near to a stone wall with the land beyond continuing up to Moel Ddu (SH 579 442).  A few minutes later and we were back at the car driving further down the lane where we parked close to Ty-newydd, no longer an apt name as it was in a state of disrepair.

The Trimble at the bwlch of Pen yr Allt
By now the sky had lost its blue and banks of grey were rolling in from the sea.  All higher peaks were now cloaked under the cloud and it seemed as if the predicted rain was going to overtake us before we had finished the walk.

From Ty-newydd a footpath led us in to a bog, which we did our best to avoid.  The second hill of the day; Y Fedw is a little gem with two or three false tops leading up to a marvellous viewpoint.  Even with the higher peaks under cloud the view was excellent, looking out over Porthmadog and the Traeth Mawr with the Cambrian coast sweeping southward.  Out to the west was the expanse of grey sea and away to the north were the imagined peaks of Moel Hebog and Crib Nantlle.

Looking toward the summit of Y Fedw (SH 557 413)
The Trimble was set up on a large erratic that Aled did his best to move, we again wedged small rocks either side of it to stop the wind taking it air borne.  Aled lay next to it just in case quick reflexes were needed to save it from being deposited in the Irish Sea.

Any sign that the Trimble was going to end up airborne and Aled was going to grab it!
From here we scrambled over another high stone wall making sure that no rocks were disturbed, this led us to the bwlch between Y Fedw and Foel yr Erw and another data set was gathered with the Trimble.

At the bwlch between Y Fedw and Foel yr Erw
The next part of the walk was on a good little ridge leading toward the rocky summit of Foel yr Erw.  By now the wind was quite strong; I looked for any loose small rocks that could be wedged beside the Trimble to protect it from being blown off the highest rock.  None were found, but thankfully it found a position securely wedged in place without the aid of any rock and remained in place even with the wind doing its utmost to dislodge it.

Foel yr Erw (SH 560 418)
The Trimble GeoXH 6000 gathering data at the high point of Foel yr Erw
We debated what way to head off the hill; the most direct was through what looked like a large bog, whist the easiest was over fields to the narrow lane.  The latter option was not ideal as two vehicles were parked at the point where we’d be aiming for.  The two vehicles had three sheep gatherers beside them.  Aled quickly looked at the map and suggested a footpath that led down to a house at SH 561 415.  By the time we’d walked there two of the sheep gatherers had arrived and were unloading feed for a number of sheep. 

Fifteen minutes later we walked away with a mound of local place-names, with confirmation that our first hill of the day is known locally as Pen yr Allt (a name that appears on the OS enlarged Geograph map south-eastward of the summit) and the third hill we visited is known as Foel yr Erw, which is the name that appears on the map.  Ffridd names were given as well as alternate names and even a high cwm name in the Carneddau (one of the gatherers used to work on the hills of the Carneddau).  We then gathered a data set from the bwlch for Foel yr Erw and with all three hills having their name confirmed and with each also having their summit and adjoining bwlch Trimbled, we walked down the lane to the car very happy, and even the rain kept off.  Great!

Survey Result:

Pen yr Allt

Summit Height:  344.6m (converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SH 56773 41894

Bwlch Height:  317.4m (converted to OSGM15)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SH 56774 42418

Drop:  27.2m (Sub-Trichant status confirmed)

Dominance:  7.89%

Y Fedw

Summit Height:  280.1m (converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SH 55732 41332

Bwlch Height:  243.7m (converted to OSGM15)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SH 55841 41402

Drop:  36.4m

Dominance:  12.99%

Foel yr Erw

Summit Height:  280.2m (converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SH 56036 41878

Bwlch Height:  236.4m (converted to OSGM15)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SH 56510 41829

Drop:  43.8m

Dominance:  15.62%

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