Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Mapping Mountains – Trimble Surveys – Beacon Hill

03.07.18  Cefn Llanbister (SO 116 733)

Cefn Llanbister (SO 116 733)

Cefn Llanbister is one of those hills that nestles in its place in the world, not making a dramatic fuss like higher hills, or wanting attention from the masses, it stands quietly with its summit a part of common land, visited by local dog walker’s and the occasional passing hill bagger.  It is not a hill that stands out, but it is one of many that is peaceful to visit and gives tranquil surrounds and contentment, and especially so on such a beautiful morning, where blue skies predominated and the early morning warmth was to be savoured, whereas what would become the mid afternoon heat would be soul sapping.

I approached from the village whose name the hill takes on and headed over a roughed field where cattle had marked the ground with gauged hoof prints amongst high summer grasses, this led to a still stream and an opposing grassed bank leading to a gate and a narrow lane in to the hills.

Leaving the lane a track headed east toward what now looked like holiday homes at Upper Caerfaelog, crops swayed in the morning light breeze, delicately being turned this way and that, I stopped beside a gate and luxuriated myself in the colour of green and blue with this delicate movement almost mesmeric.

Blues and greens of summer

Reaching Upper Caerfaelog a rusted tractor stood under a tree, abandoned and now a fixture planted in place and time.

Tractor outside Upper Caerfaelog

The track I was on is just one of many in Radnorshire that lead purposely but gently in to the county’s hills, these are wondrous to find and tell of a time long gone, but still there if necessity calls.

I continued following the track east, only diverging from it to bi-pass a herd of cattle, who inquisitively approached when I was on the their other side, their eyes bright, big and invitingly beautiful, they stood and looked my way, I did likewise, but at them.

The track led toward the critical bwlch adjoined to Cefn Llanbister which is placed off the common land in a forgotten field under a small tree.  As the Trimble slowly ebbed down to its 0.1m accuracy level before data should be logged I sat beside another tree in the sunshine and immersed myself in the wonders of life, where little stirred and no other person knew where I was, this I found a lovely feeling of abandonment, with little outside stress or pressure and where the it and the now were prerequisites to my immediate life.  I spent over 30 minutes in this field as the Trimble took about 20 minutes to attain its accuracy level and I then decided to gather a ten minute data set, and all of this time was one of quality.

Gathering data at the critical bwlch of Cefn Llanbister

Leaving the bwlch I re-joined my inward track which led up toward the continuation of the lane where I had earlier parked.  The lane led toward another track that swung left across the common land making up the summit of this hill.

I had LIDARed this hill the previous day and the ten figure grid reference produced for its summit led me to the hill’s high point, which was on a narrow green path amongst a mass of gorse. 

LIDAR image of Cefn Llanbister

I set the Trimble up and waited for another ten minute data set to be gathered and stored.  A breeze blew lightly during data collection, and I stood, without much care, looking, enjoying, and happy.

Gathering data at the summit of Cefn Llanbister

Once the allotted data were gathered I closed the Trimble down, packed it away and followed the green path to an earthen track back on to the lane, and then down to Llanbister where I stopped and chatted with a couple who were finishing building there new house, ten or so minutes later I walked the few metres to my car and thought what a lovely way to spend a morning, being undisturbed on a hill. 

Survey Result:

Cefn Llanbister

Summit Height:  377.5m (converted to OSGM15) (significant height revision)

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 11690 73303 (summit relocation confirmed)

Bwlch Height:  335.3m (converted to OSGM15)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SO 12399 74601

Drop:  42.2m

Dominance:  11.17%

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