Friday, 29 September 2017

Mapping Mountains – Hill Reclassifications – Y Trichant


Bwlch y Cefn Bank (SO 123 608) – Pedwar reclassified to Trichant

There has been a reclassification to the listing of Y Trichant due to analysis of LIDAR data by Aled Williams and subsequently confirmed via a survey with the Trimble GeoXH 6000.  Y Trichant is the title for the hills in the 300m height band of the Twmpau (thirty welsh metre prominences and upward) and takes in all Welsh hills at or above 300m and below 400m in height that have a minimum 30m of drop, with the introduction to the re-naming of this list appearing on Mapping Mountains on the 13th May 2017.

Prior to analysis of LIDAR data this hill was listed as a Pedwar with c 52m of drop based on the 400m summit spot height that appears on the Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 Landranger and 1:25,000 Explorer maps and an estimated bwlch height of c 348m based on interpolation of bwlch contouring between 340m – 350m.  The criteria for Pedwar status are all Welsh hills at or above 400m and below 500m in height that have a minimum 30m of drop, the list is a joint compilation between Myrddyn Phillips and Aled Williams and it commenced publication on Mapping Mountains on the 30th January 2017. 

The name of the hill is Bwlch y Cefn Bank and it is situated in the Elfael range of hills with its Cardinal Hill being Gilwern Hill (SO 098 582) and is placed in the Region of Mid and West Wales (Region B, Sub-Region B1).  The hill is positioned above the A 44 road which is to its east and to its north, and the Afon Ieithon (River Ithon) which is to its north-west, with the small community of Llandegley to the north north-east of the hill.

As the summit of the hill is not a part of designated open access land permission to visit should be sought, for those wishing to do so the land to the north-east and the south-west of the hill is a part of designated open access land, and a public footpath crosses between each just to the south-east of this hill’s summit.

The reclassification of Bwlch y Cefn Bank to Trichant status is due to the analysis of LIDAR data by Aled Williams.  LIDAR (Light Detection & Ranging) is highly accurate height data that is now freely available for much of England and Wales.

Aled’s analysis of LIDAR data gives the hill the following details:


Bwlch y Cefn Bank

Summit Height:  399.0m

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 12367 60871

Bwlch Height:  347.1m

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SO 12752 60893

Drop:  51.9m


Therefore, the 399.0m LIDAR data produced for the summit position at SO 12367 60871 and the 347.1m LIDAR data produced for the bwlch position at SO 12752 60893 gives this hill 51.9m of drop, and as the summit height is below 400m and in the 300m height band it is sufficient for this hill to be reclassified to Trichant status, with the details from the Trimble GeoXH 6000 survey being 399.9m (converted to OSGM15) summit at SO 12369 60880 and 347.2m (converted to OSGM15) bwlch at SO 12752 60893, giving this hill a summit height below 400m.


The full details for the hill are:


Cardinal Hill:  Gilwern Hill 

Summit Height:  399.9m (converted to OSGM15)

Name:  Bwlch y Cefn Bank

OS 1:50,000 map:  148

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 12369 60880

Drop:  52.7m (converted to OSGM15)


Bwlch y Cefn Bank (SO 123 608) is now included in the Y Trichant listing of hills


My thanks to Aled Williams for sending the details of this hill to me



Thursday, 28 September 2017

Mapping Mountains – Hill Reclassifications – Humps


Coed y Cefn (SN 950 682) – Subhump addition

This is the fifteenth in a series of Hill Reclassification posts that detail hills whose status has been altered in the listing of the Humps (HUndred Metre Prominences) through map study and / or surveys that I have conducted.

Coed y Cefn (SN 950 682)

The hill name used in this and forthcoming posts is that used in the listing of Humps, therefore individual names and their composition may not match those that are used in listings I am directly associated with.  However, I am of firm belief that listed hill names used by other authors should be respected when giving detail within other people’s lists, however inappropriate some hill names may be considered.

This and forthcoming posts are retrospective as many of these hill reclassifications were initiated from studying the Ordnance Survey enlarged mapping that is hosted on the Geograph website, and for the reclassifications that affected the Humps the email I posted on the RHB Yahoo Group forum in relation to this hill was dated 12.06.13.

The listing of Humps was published in book format by Lulu in 2009 and entitled More Relative Hills of Britain, its author; Mark Jackson gives credit to a number of people who contributed toward the formation of this list, these include; Eric Yeaman, Alan Dawson, Clem Clements, Rob Woodall, Bernie Hughes, Pete Ridges and others.  When the list was published in book format there were 2987 Humps listed with their criteria being any British hill that has 100m or more of drop, accompanying the main list is a sub category entitled Subhumps, with the criteria being any British hill that has 90m or more and below 100m of drop.

More Relative Hills of Britain by Mark Jackson

The details for the reclassification appear below:

There has been an addition to the listing of the Humps (HUndred Metre Prominences) due to consulting the Ordnance Survey enlarged mapping that is hosted on the Geograph website, with these details being posted on the RHB Yahoo Group forum on 12.06.13.

Prior to this notification Mark Jackson had listed this hill with c 89m of drop based on a c 341m estimated summit height and a bwlch height of 252m taken from the spot height that appears on the Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Explorer map.  However, the Ordnance Survey enlarged mapping hosted on the Geograph website gives this hill a 342m summit spot height and when coupled with its 252m bwlch spot height it gives this hill 90m of drop, which is sufficient for it to be classified as a Subhump.

Extract from the Ordnance Survey enlarged mapping hosted on the Geograph website showing the 342m summit and 252m bwlch spot heights

The hill appeared under the name of Ochr-cefn in the Tumps prior to this notification, with this name having appeared in the 300m Welsh P30 list published on Geoff Crowder’s v-g.me website and which was derived from buildings situated to the west of the hill’s summit.  When this notification was posted on the RHB Yahoo Group forum brief details relating to the hill’s name were included, due to this post the name of the hill now appears as Coed y Cefn.

The hill is adjoined to the Elenydd group of hills and is situated overlooking the A 470 road, the Afon Gwy (River Wye) and the town of Rhaeadr Gwy (Rhayader) which are all towards the east of the hill.

The addition of this hill to Subhump status was accepted by Mark Jackson and the listing of the Humps was updated accordingly.

Coed y Cefn was subsequently surveyed with a Trimble GeoXH 6000 on the 14.04.15, resulting in this hill having a 342.2m (converted to OSGM15) summit height and a 251.3m (converted to OSGM15) bwlch height, with these values giving this hill 90.8m of drop.


Gathering data with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 at the summit of Coed y Cefn


The full details for the hill are:


Name:  Coed y Cefn

Summit Height:  342.1m (as listed in the Humps, 342.2m converted to OSGM15)

OS 1:50,000 map:  136, 147

OS 1:25,000 map:  200

Summit Grid Reference:  SN 95081 68222 (as listed in the Humps)

Drop:  90.8m (converted to OSGM15)



Myrddyn Phillips (September 2017)

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Mapping Mountains – Hill Reclassifications – Y Pedwarau


Bwlch y Cefn Bank (SO 123 608) – Pedwar reclassified to 390m Sub-Pedwar

There has been a reclassification to the listing of Y Pedwarau due to analysis of LIDAR data by Aled Williams and subsequently confirmed via a survey with the Trimble GeoXH 6000.  Y Pedwarau is the title for the list of 400m hills of Wales and takes in all Welsh hills at or above 400m and below 500m in height that have a minimum 30m of drop, the list is a joint compilation between Myrddyn Phillips and Aled Williams and it commenced publication on Mapping Mountains on the 30.01.17.

Accompanying the main Y Pedwarau list are five categories of sub hills, with this hill being reclassified to the 390m Sub-Pedwar categoryThe criteria for 390m Sub-Pedwar qualification is all Welsh hills at or above 390m and below 400m in height that have a minimum 30m of drop.

Prior to analysis of LIDAR data this hill was listed with c 52m of drop based on the 400m summit spot height that appears on the Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 Landranger and 1:25,000 Explorer maps and an estimated bwlch height of c 348m based on interpolation of bwlch contouring between 340m – 350m.

The name of the hill is Bwlch y Cefn Bank and it is situated in the Elfael range of hills with its Cardinal Hill being Gilwern Hill (SO 098 582) and is placed in the Region of Mid and West Wales (Region B, Sub-Region B1).  The hill is positioned above the A 44 road which is to its east and to its north, and the Afon Ieithon (River Ithon) which is to its north-west, and with the small community of Llandegley to the north north-east of the hill.

As the summit of the hill is not a part of designated open access land permission to visit should be sought, for those wishing to do so the land to the north-east and the south-west of the hill is a part of designated open access land, and a public footpath crosses between each just to the south-east of this hill’s summit.

The reclassification of Bwlch y Cefn Bank to 390m Sub-Pedwar status is due to the analysis of LIDAR data by Aled Williams.  LIDAR (Light Detection & Ranging) is highly accurate height data that is now freely available for much of England and Wales.

Aled’s analysis of LIDAR data gives the hill the following details:


Bwlch y Cefn Bank

Summit Height:  399.0m

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 12367 60871

Bwlch Height:  347.1m

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SO 12752 60893

Drop:  51.9m


Therefore, the 399.0m LIDAR data produced for the summit position at SO 12367 60871 and the 347.1m LIDAR data produced for the bwlch position at SO 12752 60893 gives this hill 51.9m of drop, and as the summit height is below 400m it is insufficient for this hill to retain its Pedwar status, with the details from the Trimble GeoXH 6000 survey being 399.9m (converted to OSGM15) summit at SO 12369 60880 and 347.2m (converted to OSGM15) bwlch at SO 12752 60893, giving this hill a summit height below 400m.


The full details for the hill are:

Cardinal Hill:  Gilwern Hill 

Summit Height:  399.9m (converted to OSGM15)

Name:  Bwlch y Cefn Bank

OS 1:50,000 map:  148

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 12369 60880

Drop:  52.7m (converted to OSGM15)


The total for Y Pedwarau is now 442 hills with ten additions, and fifteen reclassifications to either 400m Sub-Pedwar status or 390m Sub-Pedwar status since publication of the list by Europeaklist in May 2013.

The overall total for the 400m Sub-Pedwarau remains at 218 with 27 hills being added and 22 hills being taken out of this category since publication of the list by Europeaklist in May 2013, whilst the 390m Sub-Pedwar total increases by one to 38 hills.

The list of Pedwar hills is available from the Haroldstreet website (January 2014) with all subsequent changes detailed on the Mapping Mountains site, with the list also having commenced publication on Mapping Mountains on the 30.01.17.

For the additions, reclassifications and deletions to Y Pedwarau reported on Mapping Mountains since the May 2013 publication of the list by Europeaklist please consult the following Change Registers:









Bwlch y Cefn Bank (123 608) is now included in the 390m Sub-Pedwar listing of hills

For details on the survey that confirmed this hill's 390m Sub-Pedwar status

Myrddyn Phillips and Aled Williams (September 2017)

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Mapping Mountains – Summit Relocations – Tumps


Tumps – Summit Relocations

The Tumps (thirty & upward metre prominences) are all hills in Britain that have a minimum drop of 30m, irrespective of their height.  The list was collated by Mark Jackson and was reliant upon the duplication of many other lists that already existed such as the accumulated listings of the Simms, Deweys, Donald Deweys, Highland Fives, Y Pedwarau, The Fours and Y Trichant, and the posts that have appeared on Mapping Mountains detailing the summit relocations specifically for this list appear below presented chronologically in receding order.







Mapping Mountains - Summit Relocations - Tumps

Elbury Hill (SO 869 558) – recommended summit relocation from Leopard Hill (SO 872 555) - 2nd summit relocation

Survey post for Elbury Hill and Leopard Hill


There has been a recommendation of a Summit Relocation to a hill listed in the Tumps which was initiated by a survey with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 and which took place on the 29th January 2018 in good dry conditions, with no breeze and clear visibility.

The criterion for the list that this recommendation affects is:

Tumps – All British hills with 30m or more of drop.

The list was duplicated, compiled and collated by Mark Jackson and first published in 2009, with the word Tump being an acronym meaning Thirty & Upward Metre Prominences.

The name of the hill is Elbury Hill and it is placed in Central and Eastern England Region 39, with its Parent Hill being Walton Hill (SO 942 798).  The hill is positioned overlooking the city of Worcester and has the B 4637 road to its south-east which is named Tolladine Road in its upper section.

As the summit of the hill is not a part of designated open access land permission to visit should be sought, however the summit area of this hill and that of Leopard Hill are used for recreation purposes, with Elbury Hill having a number of benches positioned around the periphery of its summit for people to sit and admire the view.

The qualifying Tump is currently Leopard Hill (SO 872 555) which is given a 98m summit spot height on contemporary Ordnance Survey maps.  To the north-west of Leopard Hill are further areas of land that have in the main escaped urban development, these are Elbury Hill and Gorse Hill.  Elbury Hill is given a 98m summit spot height on the Ordnance Survey Interactive Coverage Map hosted on the Geograph website, whilst Gorse Hill is given a 92m summit spot height on this same map.

The summit area of Leopard Hill is crowned by a metal fenced water tower, whilst the summit area of Elbury Hill has two large metal fenced compounds housing covered reservoirs, with land between being open.

The summit of Leopard Hill

The summit of Elbury Hill

The summit of Elbury Hill is shown with a triangular symbol on the Ordnance Survey Six-Inch map published in 1886, which is given the height of 323ft (98.5m) on the Six-Inch map published in 1905.  The latter map has a covered reservoir marked to the north of the triangular symbol, whilst the map from 1886 just has the symbol; this implies that the 323ft (98.5m) height was taken to natural ground before the covered reservoir was constructed.  The TrigpointingUK website details a block that replaced a pillar in 1970 and which is adjacent to a mast that stands in one of two covered reservoir compounds, this mast is also recorded in the OS Trig Database at SO 86872 55812, unfortunately a height is not recorded for it.  The 323ft (98.5m) height would have been to the old pillar which is given the position of SO 86915 55816 in TrigpointingUK.

Extract from the Ordnance Survey Six-Map map published in 1886

Extract from the Ordnance Survey Six-Inch map published in 1905

The survey with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 produced the following results:

Leopard Hill:  97.197m (converted to OSGM15) summit at SO 87270 55534

Elbury Hill:  97.435m (converted to OSGM15) summit at SO 86900 55854


Although the recommendation is to swap the position of the col and therefore the drop value and status as Tump of these two hills, the height difference produced by surveying with the Trimble GeoXH 6000 is not great.  However, the resulting data is the best available at hand, with the caveat that higher ground may exist close to where the Trimble was placed on Leopard Hill and that higher ground may exist in the southern compound close to, or at the position of the high mast on top of Elbury Hill.  The added complication are the covered reservoirs on Elbury Hill and whether the open ground between the two compounds can be thought of as being natural.


The full details for the hill are:

Parent Hill:  Walton Hill

Summit Height:  97.4m (converted to OSGM15)

Name:  Elbury Hill

OS 1:50,000 map:  150

Summit Grid Reference (recommended New Position):  SO 86900 55854 
Drop:  c 53m



Myrddyn Phillips (March 2018)






Mapping Mountains - Summit Relocations - Tumps

Caus Castle (SJ 337 077) - 1st summit relocation

Survey post for Caus Castle

Significant Height Revisions post for Caus Castle


There has been confirmation of a Summit Relocation to the listing of Tumps (thirty & upward metre prominences) instigated from a survey with the Trimble GeoXH 6000.  This is the first post under this heading that affects a hill list where I am not the author, and these details are retrospective as the Trimble survey that resulted in this summit relocation was conducted on 21st April 2015.

The survey was conducted in the hills of Shropshire close to the English – Welsh border and  the hill is positioned with the small community of Westbury to its north-east and Worthen towards the south.  It was surveyed on a bright and warm day in late April in the company of Charlie Leventon, who had suggested visiting the hill. 

The name of the hill is Caus Castle, and its summit height had been listed as 223m and its position at SJ 33700 07800, this position is on a slight rise but ground to its south-west is significantly higher.

The new summit position for this hill is at the top of an old motte which rises impressively from its wooded surrounds, and is approximately 80 metres south-westward from where the slight rise that constitutes the position of the 223m Ordnance Survey spot height is positioned on the ground.


The full details for the hill are:

Cardinal Hill:  Corndon

Summit Height:  233.6m (converted to OSGM15)

Name:  Caus Castle

OS 1:50,000 map:  126

Summit Grid Reference (New Position):  SJ 33713 07792

Drop:  53.2m (converted to OSGM15)


The Trimble GeoXH 6000 gathering data at the new summit position of Caus Castle, the position where the 223m spot height appears on current Ordnance Survey maps is out of sight behind and below the Trimble

For details on the survey that relocated the summit of this hill please click {here}

Myrddyn Phillips (April 2015)

Monday, 25 September 2017

Mapping Mountains – Hill Reclassifications – Humps


Garth Hill (SS 872 903) – Subhump reclassified to Hump

This is the fourteenth in a series of Hill Reclassification posts that detail hills whose status has been altered in the listing of the Humps (HUndred Metre Prominences) through map study and / or surveys that I have instigated.

This and forthcoming posts are retrospective as many of these hill reclassifications were initiated from studying the Ordnance Survey enlarged mapping that is hosted on the Geograph website and the Ordnance Survey Six-Inch base maps available online, and for the reclassifications that affected the Humps the email sent to DJM&M was dated 15.10.12 and the details of this hill were then forwarded to Mark Jackson via email on the 06.12.12.

The listing of Humps was published in book format by Lulu in 2009 and entitled More Relative Hills of Britain, its author; Mark Jackson gives credit to a number of people who contributed toward the formation of this list, these include; Eric Yeaman, Alan Dawson, Clem Clements, Rob Woodall, Bernie Hughes, Pete Ridges and others.  When the list was published in book format there were 2987 Humps listed with their criteria being any British hill that has 100m or more of drop, accompanying the main list is a sub category entitled Subhumps, with the criteria being any British hill that has 90m or more and below 100m of drop.

More Relative Hills of Britain by Mark Jackson


The details for the reclassification appear below:

There has been a reclassification to the listing of the Humps (HUndred Metre Prominences) due to consulting the Ordnance Survey enlarged mapping that is hosted on the Geograph website and the Ordnance Survey Six-Inch base maps available online, with these details being sent to Mark Jackson on 06.12.12.

Prior to this notification Mark Jackson had listed this hill with c 99m of drop based on the 257m summit spot height that appears on the Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 Landranger and 1:25,000 Explorer map and an estimated bwlch height of c 158m based on bwlch contouring at 10m intervals.  However, the variety of heights on both summit and bwlch on a number of Ordnance Survey different scaled maps indicated that this hill has 100m or more of drop which is sufficient for its reclassification to Hump status.

Extract from the Ordnance Survey Six-Inch map published in 1884

The hill is adjoined to the Y Cymoedd range of hills and is situated overlooking the A 4063 road and the Afon Llynfi which are to its west, with the town of Maesteg to the north-west of the hill.

The reclassification of this hill from Subhump to Hump status was accepted by Mark Jackson and its new classification augmented in to the listing of the Humps on the 08.12.12.


The full details for the hill are:


Name:  Garth Hill

Summit Height:  259m (as listed in the Humps)

OS 1:50,000 map:  170

OS 1:25,000 map:  166

Summit Grid Reference:  SS 87293 90322

Drop:  101m (as listed in the Humps)



Myrddyn Phillips (September 2017)

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Mapping Mountains – Trimble Surveys – Arenig


01.07.17  Pen y Foel Ddu (SH 753 394), Foel Cynfal (SH 749 395), Pt. 548.6m (SH 743 393), Graig Wen (SH 739 394), Moel y Croesau (SH 748 383) and Pt. 369.5m (SH 739 374)

Pt. 548.6m (SH 743 393) with Arenig Fawr in the background

I’ve often looked over to my left when travelling the minor road beyond Llyn Celyn that skirts the wilds of the Y Migneint and heads toward Llan Ffestioniog, and often thought that an approach to the hills taking in Graig Wen looked a boggy and pathless affair, and therefore always shied away from making an ascent from this side, however this was the ascent route suggested by Aled and with a second car left at the entrance to Bryn-celynog it would give an opportunity to visit and Trimble a number of hills, including two marginal Uchaf hills, one of which had been on Aled’s radar for a number of months.

A green track confidently leaves the minor road and looks as if it’s heading straight up toward the hills, unfortunately it abruptly ends with a narrow path continuing next to the course of a fence line, this also soon peters out with only the remnants of sheep paths to follow.

Heading toward the first hill of the day

The fence line led us to ground beside the quietly situated Llyn Cors-y-barcud, which today was a tranquil spot nestled and forgotten amongst its reed grass and bog.  A grassed ridge of sorts headed up and I slowly followed Aled toward the first summit of the day.

Llyn Cors-y-barcud

Aled heading toward Pen y Foel Ddu

Pen y Foel Ddu is the last hill of any subsequent prominence on the eastern side of this compact group, I’d visited this hill in September 2005 when immersed in my basic levelling surveys (BLS) with the resulting drop value being 50ft 6˝ (15.4m).  There is an overgrown cairn at the summit and I quickly set the Trimble up on my rucksack which was positioned on its back as there was a brisk breeze blowing, measured the offset between its internal antenna and the ground below and joined Aled away from the equipment for its five minutes of allotted data collection.

Gathering data at the summit of Pen y Foel Ddu

The next three hills and their respective bylchau and summits came quickly and at each we assessed the lay of land and gathered another five minute data set.  After surveying the summit of Pen y Foel Ddu the next point to gather data from was its bwlch, this consists of a browned water laden bog, and data were gathered from the northern and southern extremities of its watery ground.  Whilst assessing these points a grouse shot up from immediately beside us, a busied flap of wings and off it went, I’ve experienced this on the hill many times over the years, but then three young grouse shot up in all directions, quickly followed by two others and finally a single youngster shot up and away, they flew off in all directions with some of the youngsters following each other and others just skimming the moor grass and coming to rest beyond our eyesight.  This all happened so quickly and straight at our feet, the mother later had the attentions of a hawk which flapped down for the kill, it again shot off heading this time toward Aled and rested in the grass close by using it and also probably us for cover.

Gathering data at one of two points surveyed for the critical bwlch position of Pen y Foel Ddu

Pen y Foel Ddu and its water laden bwlch from the ascent of Foel Cynfal

Heading west the next summit belonged to Foel Cynfal, a relatively flat topped hill without a spot height on any map that I’ve seen.  Once at its summit the ground was assessed and the point judged the highest chosen, and the Trimble set up to gather data.  As I waited beside Aled for the 300 datum points to be stored, the morning’s blue sky had changed slightly with bulbous clouds occasionally blocking the warmth and colour given by the sun, and with a forecast of rain sweeping in from the west at approximately 4.00pm – 5.oopm we knew we could not linger if we were to get back to the awaiting car, dry.

Gathering data at the summit of Foel Cynfal

The next bwlch was positioned to the west and the steep grassed slopes leading down to it helped in assessing its critical point, I headed to its northern extremity and as this looked like the boggied outflow we concentrated our assessment on its southern side, and again the Trimble was set up and gathered its allotted five minutes of data.

Gathering data at the critical bwlch of Foel Cynfal

Our next hill lay on the land heading toward Graig Wen and it was a hill that I’d surveyed with my old wooden staff in September 2005, resulting in its inclusion in the fledgling Uchaf list, I remembered that it has two tops and these were on display as we followed sheep paths and contoured up on ground toward it.  We judged the first top which is the more northerly as the higher.  I set the Trimble up on my rucksack which was laid on its back as the breeze whipped across the hill.  This summit is a fine one and it would be sad to see it go from the Uchaf list if proven to have less that 15m of drop, before heading down to its connecting bwlch we walked to the southern top and peered back and agreed that this was lower.

The land leading toward the two tops of Pt. 548.6m (SH 743 393)

Looking back toward Foel Cynfal


Gathering data at the summit of Pt.548.6m (SH 743 393)

The connecting bwlch proved more expansive than those previously encountered but assessing the lay of land from a number of directions and vantage points helped in judging the placement for the Trimble.  Once five minutes of data were stored the equipment was packed away and we headed up toward the cairned summit of Graig Wen.

Gathering data at the critical bwlch of Pt. 548.6m (SH 743 393)


Pt. 548.6m (SH 743 393)


Pt. 548.6m (SH 743 393) with Arenig Fach in the background on the right

I positioned the Trimble on the highest rock of the cairn having moved one or two to accommodate proper placement, then measured the offset to the highest ground at its base and sat with Aled waiting for five minutes of data to be collected.  By now a ribbon of grey cloud was emerging way off on the western horizon heralding the forecast rain, so once the Trimble was packed away I followed Aled back along the broad eastern ridge and down to a land of bog and wilderness.

Gathering data at the summit of Graig Wen

We aimed for a dry hummock close to where pylons crossed this land, this according to LIDAR data that Aled had analysed is where the critical bwlch of our next hill; Moel y Croesau, lay.  I felt knackered when we arrived but the ten figure grid reference obtained from Aled’s analyses soon led me to the correct Trimble placement and again the customary five minutes of data were gathered.

Gathering data at the critical bwlch of Moel y Croesau

The following ascent to the summit of Moel y Croesau seemed to go very quickly, and once there we used the LIDAR placement to zero in on one of two high points.  I soon assembled the Trimble on top of my rucksack which was again positioned on its back.  Our route down was via a gravelled track that heads through these hills that once must have given access to the small mines dotted beside the Afon Llafar. 

Emperor moth caterpillar


Gathering data at the summit of Moel y Croesau


Llyn y Garn with Moel Llyfnant in the background

The gravelled track led down to the remains of the old farm house of Dolddinas and the blue skies of earlier had now been replaced with white cloud as the westerly rain front edged ever nearer.  The track now turned in to a greened path that led up toward Llyn Hiraethlyn, as the high point of this greened path was only just below a Trichant we headed up to claim a new hill for both of us.  Once at the summit the Trimble was quickly set up to gather data, and away to the west the rain front was now depositing its wet stuff on a part of the Moelwynion, so we knew that we hadn’t beaten it and in all likelihood we were going to get wet.

One summit left to visit with Moel y Croesau in the background


The rain massing beyond Trawsfynydd


Gathering data at the summit of Pt. 369.5m (SH 739 374)


The Trimble set-up position at the summit of Pt. 369.5m (SH 739 374)

Following a fence line steeply down beside the remains of a grassed over stone wall led us down to the connecting bwlch.  Thankfully the bwlch was tight and therefore minimum assessment was necessary, as I packed the Trimble away after its data collection the first wind-blown raindrops fell and we quickened the pace on the continuation of the green track that we had left to head up and bag the Trichant.

Gathering data at the critical bwlch of Pt. 369.5m

The path led past the expansive Llyn Hiraethlyn, which must be another forgotten lake seldom visited and yet tranquilly placed.  Contouring the land beyond the path led down toward the old railway line that once went to Y Bala, by now the drizzled raindrops had disappeared east and a slight bright spell developed and remained with us as we headed under the old railway line and down across summer growthed fields with views of Y Garn and past the old farm house of Bryn-celynog to my car.

Llyn Hiraethlyn


Pt. 369.5m (SH 739 374)


Passing under the old railway that once went to Y Bala


A fine view of Y Garn

We’d visited six hills in all and surveyed each summit and five bylchau with only the bwlch for Graig Wen remaining un-Trimbled, with this compact group of hills making a fine circuit and one that portray a wild scene of landscape.  



Survey Result:


Pen y Foel Ddu

Summit Height:  531.2m (converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SH 75395 39452

Bwlch Height:  514.6m (converted to OSGM15)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SH 75250 39548

Drop:  16.6m (Uchaf status confirmed)

Dominance:  3.13%




Foel Cynfal

Summit Height:  545.5m (converted to OSGM15)  

Summit Grid Reference:  SH 74998 39546

Bwlch Height:  517.4m (converted to OSGM15)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SH 74884 39528

Drop:  28.1m (500m Sub-Twmpau status confirmed)

Dominance:  5.16%




Pt. 548.6m

Summit Height:  548.6m (converted to OSGM15) 
 
Summit Grid Reference:  SH 74389 39398

Bwlch Height:  532.4m (converted to OSGM15)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SH 74328 39295

Drop:  16.2m (Uchaf status confirmed)

Dominance:  2.95%




Graig Wen

Summit Height:  555.6m (converted to OSGM15) 
 
Summit Grid Reference:  SH 73910 39474

Drop:  141.0m (prospective Submarilyn addition)

Dominance:  25.38%




Moel y Croesau

Summit Height:  490.6m (converted to OSGM15)  

Summit Grid Reference:  SH 74812 38345

Bwlch Height:  456.4m (converted to OSGM15)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SH 75052 38555

Drop:  34.2m (Pedwar status confirmed)

Dominance:  6.97%




Pt. 369.5m

Summit Height:  369.5m (converted to OSGM15) 
 
Summit Grid Reference:  SH 73944 37497

Bwlch Height:  338.8m (converted to OSGM15)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SH 74077 37523

Drop:  30.7m (Trichant status confirmed)

Dominance:  8.31%