Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Mapping Mountains – Trimble Surveys – Bryniau Clwyd

07.07.14  Cyrn y Brain (SJ  208 488)

Cyrn y Brain (SJ 208 488)
Early mornings when the world seems asleep and gentleness pervades the landscape can be a refreshing and cathartic experience.  Such mornings can give a welcome opportunity for unencumbered thought.  The stillness of such mornings and the beauty of our landscape are inherent in giving this opportunity a foundation to flourish.  The hours after sunrise atop Bwlch Oernant in the hills of Bryniau Clwyd was such a morning, I hoped the pleasantness of surrounding and the stillness of beauty would afford me time to reflect upon life’s direction.

To the west of this bwlch is a ridge culminating at its highest point atop Moel y Gamelin, a fine hill of shape and view and one I had visited twice this year.  To the east of this bwlch are hills whose access is initially easy but thereafter the continuation toward Mynydd Eglwyseg is through pathless moor of heather, a beauty all unto itself but one only experienced once before, and that was enough for me!

As I set off from the car park opposite the Ponderosa Café it was with a slight heavy heart, unknowing what the next few hours had in store as a planned meeting had been arranged between friends of many years, the outcome of which may mean a parting of the ways or continued progress to the future.  I hoped for the latter but was unsure if this was attainable.

Melancholy can be an interesting emotive state to find oneself; it can be rather fulfilling but does have its draw backs if its departure becomes overdue.  As I followed the narrow path amongst undergrowth radiant with grass and heather toward a gravel track that would gain height toward the summit of Cyrn y Brain, I let my mind disappear in thought and welcomed the release of burden.  Away to the north rose Moel Fama, a seemingly singular hill, proud and aloof, a still outline in the morning’s sun.  To my west above the bwlch was Moel y Faen, another fine hill, last visited only three weeks ago where I stood with a good friend and watched as evening’s light overtook a sinking sun and myriad colours aplenty lit up a darkened sky.

Moel Fama, the northern sentinel of Bryniau Clwyd
Moel y Faen rising above Bwlch Oernant
As I gained height I found another large furry caterpillar, the species unknown to me, but one that is frequently seen on hills in Wales this time of year.  Its colours and individual hairs shone with a diffused light as I knelt and took its photo.  Now trapped in pixels I bade its farewell and continued toward the summit.

A large furry caterpillar
Although I’ve gained knowledge and had fun with the Trimble it does seem to have coursed a re-balancing of a dynamic that is yet to settle.  This is unfortunate but is not unexpected, my contentful but melancholic state was due to this situation and another that overlook me 18 months ago.  A life spent scrambling for balance, happiness, fulfilment and a shared goal can sometimes take you on a journey of wonder, at other times life’s journey can be full of unwelcome surprises and heartache.  I suppose not knowing from one day to the next is part of the fun.

As I placed the Trimble on its improvised Tupperware and draughts board tripod I contented myself with capturing its image and storing it neatly on the memory card next to the furry caterpillar and the view of Moel Fama and that of Moel y Faen, all residing within memory and soon to be reduced in size and re-captioned in dimension.  These to be positioned next to text and loaded as an entry on a blog, a diary of events of life’s great tapestry.

Gathering data at the summit of Cyrn y Brain
The upward route was soon reversed and as I approached the bwlch I thought about the additions to a seemingly stable relationship that can sometimes have consequences that are not fully unexpected, but nonetheless they can be hard to deal with and lead to new chapters in that ever joyous experience that is life. 

After arriving back at the car I met Richard Edwards who was just setting out to round up his sheep

Survey Result:

Cyrn y Brain

Summit Height:  564.6m (converted to OSGM15)
Summit Grid Reference:  SJ 20820 48875

Drop:  164.0m (converted to OSGM15)

Dominance:  29.05%

For details on the survey of this hill's bwlch

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

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