Friday, 30 January 2015

The History of Welsh Hill Lists


The History of Welsh Hill Lists – Part 7

The Early Years
1911-1940

1940 – Ted Moss


Ted Moss was a Textile Research Chemist during his years of list compilation.  With his 1939 publication the English list was now complete.  Moss then turned his attention to Wales, the result appeared one year later in the 1940 edition of the Rucksack Club Journal.  Entitled The Two-Thousands of Wales, it consisted of five pages and proved to be the first published comprehensive list of the 2000 foot mountains of Wales.  Moss used the same criteria as his 1939, and Simpson’s 1937 English lists, that is, all tops of 2000 feet and over marked by a separate contour ring on the one-inch Ordnance Survey Popular Edition map.  In addition, a few tops not honoured with a separate contour ring but which had distinct rises were also included.  This followed Corbett’s single contour ring criterion of 1929 but with one important difference, Moss followed his own 1939 English list where he divided the mountains into major tops and minor tops.  Of the 237 mountains listed, thirty seven were identified by Moss as minor tops; these were represented in their respective group listing in italics and inlayed from the text margin to separate them within the text from the other 200 major tops.  By doing this Moss harkens back to Munro with his separate mountains and subsidiary tops.

Front cover of the 1940 edition of The Rucksack Club Journal
After a half page introduction the listing starts with the name of mountain group and number of tops within each group, the latter being in brackets, followed by the mountain’s name, height and O.S. reference.  In all seventeen groups are listed, of which the Carnedd Group with twenty nine tops appears first, eight are listed as minor tops.  Making their first appearance in any published hill list are Carnedd y Ddelw, Drosgl, the northern top of Creigiau Gleision and Craiglwyn which is listed as Creigiau Gleision Point S (ii).  Next is the Glyder Group which comprises fourteen mountains, four of which are minor tops.  The Snowdon Group follows with the first list appearance of Foel Gron, Llechog and Gallt y Wenallt, Moss lists all ten tops as major.  Eleven mountains make up the Nantlle Group, of which one is listed as a minor top; Y Garn is listed for the first time.  The Festiniog Group comprises eleven major and three minor tops with new appearances in published form by Ysgawell Wen, its southern top which is listed as Ysgawell Wen Point S, Moel Penamnen, Graig-ddu and Manod Mawr which Moss lists as Clogwyn Candryll.  The first group that Moss opens up is the Arenig Group which he lists as having twenty five tops, only two points in this group had ever appeared in a published list before, one being Arenig Fawr, Moss’s group consists of fourteen major tops and eleven minor, entering a published hill list for the first time are Foel Goch, Carnedd y Filiast, Waun Garnedd y Filiast which Moss lists as Carnedd y Filiast Point N.E., Carnedd Llechwedd Llyfn is listed as Gylchedd, Arenig Fach, a top to the south of Arennig Fawr which is listed as Arenig Fawr Far S. top Point S (i), Moel Llyfnant, Gallt y Daren, Foel Boeth, Dduallt and Rhobell Fawr.  The third page of the article continues with the Rhinog Group comprising eight major and three minor tops, none of which had ever appeared in a published list.  Twenty five tops make up the Berwyn Group, of the sixteen major tops and nine minor tops the following mountains are all new published listings:  Moel Fferna, Cefn Dylif which Moss lists as Blaen Llynor Point N, Tomle, the southern top of Foel Wen which is listed as Foel Wen Point S.E., Mynydd Tarw, Godor, its northern top named Godor Point N.W. and finally Post Gwyn.  The ninth group is the most extensive with nineteen major tops and ten minor tops making up the Aran Group.  Only four of the twenty nine tops had ever been listed in a publication, all of the heather bound Hirnant hills were making their first appearance in a published list, other newcomers include Foel Rhudd, Llechwedd Du named Craig Ty-nant by Moss, Foel Hafod Fynydd listed as Craig Cwm-du, Pen yr Allt Uchaf listed by Moss as Drysgol Point S., Gwaun y Llwyni named Camddwr in the list and lastly Waun Camddwr which Moss lists as Camddwr Point W(ii).  The list continues with nine major tops in the Cader Idris Group, Gau Graig, Tyrau Mawr named Craig Las by Moss and Craig y Llyn all make their first entrance into a published hill list.  The Corris Group consists of what are sometimes referred to nowadays as the Dyfi Hills and Tarrens, Moss lists five major tops and three minor ones, none had entered a hill list publication before.  Moss’s next listing was to the Plynlimon Group, nine tops in all with just one listed as minor, none had appeared in a comprehensive published hill list.  The thirteenth group comprised the wilds of central Wales with both Drygarn Fawr and Gorllwyn receiving their first ever published listing.  Another four listings made up the Radnor Forest Group.  Moss now lists South Wales with thirteen tops within the Fforest Fawr Group; only one point is listed as a minor top and only one point, Fan Brycheiniog which Moss lists as Carmarthen Van had ever appeared in a hill list publication before.  The penultimate listing is to the Brecon Group which comprises eleven major and one minor top, appearing in published format for the first time are Y Gyrn, Fan y Big which is listed as Craig Cwm-oergwm, Craig Gwrelyg listed as Craig Cwareli and the hill often listed as Cefn yr Ystrad which Moss lists as Unnamed Top.  The last group comprises eleven major tops in the Black Mountains, except for Waun Fach and Pen y Gadair Fawr, none had ever been represented in a published hill list.

Double page spread from Ted Moss' 1940 list to The Two-Thousands of Wales
Nothing like this had ever appeared before.  No subsequent Welsh 2000 foot hill list compares with Moss’s comprehensive listing of so many new tops.  Huge tracts of land were opened up, the Rhinogydd group being an example, the mountain range extends for almost twenty miles from Barmouth in the South to the Afon Dwyryd / Vale of Ffestiniog in the North, not a paved road is crossed and it makes up one of the longest and toughest mountain range traverses anywhere in Wales, yet before Moss, no comprehensive published listing of these mountains existed.  No other Welsh 2000 foot hill list can compare in quantity to Moss’s 237 tops, but Moss’s chosen criterion means that many tops are rather inconsequential when found on the ground.  Moss rather humorously sums up the problem when he passes comment on the two Craig Berwyn tops:  “Of which it can only be said that they are not hollows.  Has anyone succeeded in locating both these elusive tops?”

Even though many peaks would disappear from future compilations, Ted Moss’s 1940’s list proved to be the first listing of the 2000 foot mountains of Wales to be published.

After completing Simpson’s list on the 2nd May 1947, Ted Moss became the first known person to complete his list of the 237 Welsh Two-Thousands, when on the 10th August 1950, his notes of the day record, he completed a six hour, ten mile walk incorporating 4000 feet of ascent over eight hills within the Fforest Fawr group.

Ted Moss on Kinder Scout.  Photo: Frank Solari
Ted Moss later completed his 1939 list and thus became the first person to finish the 612 combined 2000 foot mountains of England and Wales (614 when the totals of the two countries are combined, but because of the position of the border as it crosses the Black Mountains, Moss purposely included two mountains in each list), when on the 22nd July 1951 he completed six hills within the Swaledale and Mickle Fell groups, although, as with his Fforest Fawr walk of the previous year, his notes of the day do not confirm his 612th and last mountain.  The mountains visited are known but not in what order, the firm candidate for this honour, though, is Bink Moss.  Wouldn’t it be more than appropriate if this was so?

Ted Moss’s 1940 publication ‘The Two-Thousands of Wales’ is a fitting culmination to the end of the first part of the history of Welsh hill lists.  Already three important designated minimum height criteria had been used and a 100 foot minimum re-ascent value had been attempted.  Yet, what published list compilers had not attempted, but were working toward, was a minimum re-ascent value of 50 feet.  That is, until our next author and publication.  But this is another ten years away, and will be dealt with in the next part of The History of Welsh Hill Lists.

Next installment due on the 30th March 2015


For the Preface please click {here}

For Part 1 please click {here}

For Part 2 please click {here}

For Part 3 please click {here}

For Part 4 please click {here}

For Part 5 please click {here}

For Part 6 please click {here}

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Mapping Mountains – Trimble Surveys – Pen Llŷn


17.01.15  Moel Bronmiod (SH 412 455), Gurn Goch (SH 407 475), Gurn Ddu (SH 405 466) and Gurn Ddu (SH 401 467)   

The potential new 400m Sub-Pedwar (SH 405 466)
As we opened the car doors a freshening wind hit us, a few minutes later with boots on and all necessary gear sorted and we were off, heading up toward the summit of Moel Bronmiod, an outlying Pedwar adjacent to Gurn Ddu.

The circuit of hills had been suggested by Mark, as Andy wanted to increase his Welsh Marilyn count with a visit to the highest hill of the day; Gurn Ddu.  We parked toward the end of a narrow lane at SH 407 449 where a couple of cars can be left on an earthen track that is adjacent to, but below, the narrow lane.  This parking place is only recommended for four wheel drive vehicles as you could get into difficulty trying to get back onto the lane if the ground was muddy and wet.

Looking out toward Garn Ganol with Garnfor prominent on the right
A gate led onto a track that headed up on the western side of Moel Bronmiod, our first hill of the day.  As the track bisected a stone wall we headed up beside it toward the summit.  Toward the west the shapely profile of Garn Ganol and Garnfor stood out with highlighted dappled greens of walled fields as foreground to an ancient landscape of cultivation.

Nearing the summit of Moel Bronmiod
Bounded by walls - an ancient land
The summit of Moel Bronmiod consists of a number of large bounders, I placed the Trimble on the highest point and we all then sat sheltering from the wind as the Trimble gathered its five minutes of allotted data.  I kept glancing toward it hoping that it was still attached to the rock as the wind whistled past, thankfully it stood steadfast.

Gathering data at the summit of Moel Bronmiod
As we left the summit I took a few photos as patches of cloud gave shadowed perspective onto field and hill, this remained with us for a number of hours with dramatic winter colour, quite stark in nature, with the profile of hills being cast as black shadowed silhouettes and their lower slopes highlighted in bleached moor grass colour.  This light only happens in the winter months, when it does it should be savoured.

The dark silhouette of Gurn Ddu
Two points for the position of the critical bwlch of Moel Bronmiod were surveyed, the first was quite a distance from where the critical bwlch lay, the second was in a bog and as the Trimble gathered its data, Mark, Andy and Alex sauntered off to a fence and stone wall where they patiently waited.  This point of the hill was a flat land of bleached winter grass, dulled beige in colour; it stood stark and naked against a backdrop of steep sloped hills, quite a wonderful place.

Gathering data at the critical bwlch of Moel Bronmiod
Stark winter colour, Gurn Goch from the critical bwlch of Moel Bronmiod
We now had a choice, either head for a potential new Sub-Pedwar on the way to Gurn Ddu, or gain height contouring northward toward Gurn Goch, we decided on the latter.  Arriving at the bwlch between Gurn Ddu and Gurn Goch I set the Trimble up and watched as Mark and Andy headed up to the next summit, Alex soon followed and I was left to my own surveying devices. 

Heading toward Gurn Goch
The critical bwlch of Gurn Goch
As I gathered the Trimble up and packed it safely away in its case I plodded up in pursuit and joined them at the summit, this again was rocky with large erratic boulders strewn around the summit area.  The Trimble was placed on what looked to be the highest of these boulders and we sat and chatted.

Gathering data at the summit of Gurn Goch
Once the data set was complete we headed back down to the connecting bwlch and walked up to the easterly top of Gurn Ddu, this is rather overshadowed by its higher and more dramatic neighbour, but it has an interesting summit with a number of ancient cairns on it, as well as a bisecting solid stone wall marching up and over the hill.  This hill is given a 491m summit spot height on Ordnance Survey maps with a 472m spot height appearing on the enlarged Geograph map at the area of the bwlch, that’s 19m of prominence according to current maps, with 20m of prominence this hill would enter the ranks of 400m Sub-Pedwar hills, we’ll have to await the result of the survey to find out if it does enter the ranks of subs.  Both summit and bwlch were Trimbled.

As the Trimbling was being done Mark and Andy made their way upto the summit of Gurn Ddu whilst I walked up with Alex once the Trimble had done its stuff and it had been packed away.

By now the sun was low in the western sky giving dramatic effects on the land with dark profiles of hills against lowering light being accentuated with flashes of green.

Winter light
The ascent from the potential 400m Sub-Pedwar to the summit of Gurn Ddu is mainly on jumbles of boulders; all positioned in a variety of ways with flat and sharp edges, gaps just wide enough to hop and ones that required weaving down and around toward the summit.  This consists of a large cairn with a number of large boulders strewn nearby.

Once the Trimble was gathering data we sat, chatted and looked out as the sun played tricks on the land.  Gurn Ddu is a fine hill looking out west to steely descending land which is butted against the great sweep of the sea.

Looking out from the summit of Gurn Ddu
Gathering data at the summit of Gurn Ddu
Leaving the summit of Gurn Ddu we made our way delicately down a steep boulder field until the relative safety of its flatbed was reached.  As we descended the steep grass of the hill’s south-western broad ridge the hills of Yr Eifl and the sweep of coast made a striking scene.

Mark illuminated by a sun burst
Downward
Homeward bound
The steep grass led down to fields and a track, which in time joined the narrow lane and eventually the car.  On the way we came across a herd of friendly cows and the world’s largest pasty sandwich, the latter was being manhandled by Alex.  Great day out on the hill, with beautiful light on wonderful hills and good company.

 
The world's largest sandwich
 
Survey Result:


Moel Bronmiod

Summit Height:  417.6m (converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SH 41216 45549

Bwlch Height:  355.4m (converted to OSGM15)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SH 41260 46303

Drop:  62.1m

Dominance:  14.88%



Gurn Goch

Summit Height:  490.3m (converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SH 40754 47558

Bwlch Height:  428.3m (converted to OSGM15)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SH 40699 47074

Drop:  62.0m

Dominance:  12.64% 

 

Gurn Ddu

Summit Height:  490.1m (converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SH 40588 46689

Bwlch Height:  471.5m (converted to OSGM15)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SH 40454 46695

Drop:  18.7m (non 400m Sub-Pedwar status confirmed)

Dominance:  3.81%
  


Gurn Ddu

Summit Height:  522.1m (converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SH 40114 46783

Drop:  c 386m

Dominance:  73.93% 
 


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



Thursday, 15 January 2015

Twmpau – 1000m P30s

Hill Lists – Cymru / Wales

Twmpau – 1000m P30s

Introduction

To access the Twmpau – 1000m P30 list please click {here}


Yr Wyddfa - the highest mountain in Wales

The first published lists to the P30 hills under the 500m height band were made available on Geoff Crowder’s v-g.me website in 2002 and 2003.  These hills appeared in five separate lists and were split into 100m height bands.  As their titles imply the listings are to hills in Wales; they are:


The Welsh 400 Metre Peaks

The Welsh 300 Metre Peaks

The Welsh 200 Metre Peaks

The Welsh 100 Metre Peaks

The Welsh 30-99 Metre Peaks


These listings were envisaged as part of an accumulated list taking in eleven separate lists in all.  The remaining six lists are to the 100m height bands above 500m with the final list being to the Welsh 1000m P30 hills.  Although these lists were prepared for publication, they were never submitted as their respective hills had already been published in the combined lists of the Deweys and Hewitts, which were available on Geoff’s v-g.me website.

The advent of the Mapping Mountains blog now enables me to fulfil my original concept and publish the six remaining lists.

The accumulated list taking in all eleven 100m height band lists and therefore all the Welsh P30s has now been named ‘Twmpau’.  The Welsh word ‘twmpath’ is translated as ‘hillock’, which is an apt description for many of the hills in the combined list, and has been used as ‘twmp’ in certain parts of Wales, with the literal translation of the word being ‘tump’.  Although the Welsh word twmp forms part of this list’s name, the name ‘Twmpau’ is an acronym and stands for ‘thirty welsh metre prominences and upward’.  This title also pays due deference toward the name and acronym coined by Gary Honey and Jon Foote respectively for the list by Mark Jackson that was made available on the Yahoo Group RHB file database in 2009, which relied upon much of its data for Welsh hills from the lists published on Geoff Crowder’s v-g.me website and the RHB file database.


Brief History:

Many Welsh hill lists evolve from their previous counterparts and the Twmpau is no different as the use of 30m, or its whole numbered imperial equivalent of 100ft can be traced back to 1925 when Carr and Lister used 100ft of drop in their list to ‘The Mountains of Snowdonia’.  It would be another 59 years before Terry Marsh used the metric whole numbered equivalent of 30m as a drop value in ‘The Summits of Snowdonia’.  Others have followed, some of note are Tony Blackburn (1985, The 500 Metre Tops of England and Wales), Kevin Borman (1990, The Mountains of Wales), Alan Dawson (1992, The Absolute Summits of England and Wales [Sweats] later to become; 1997, The Welsh Hewitts) and Michael Dewey (1995, The 500-Metre Tops of England and Wales).

The above P30 listings were expanded downwards in absolute height by ‘Clem’ Clements and Myrddyn Phillips, who worked independent of one another.  Clem listed down to 100m in absolute height and included Sub hills down to P27m, whilst Myrddyn listed down to 30m in absolute height and included Sub hills down to P20m.  The first of these independently compiled lists to be published were the Myrddyn Phillips lists, appearing on Geoff Crowder’s v-g.me website, with the 400m P30 list also appearing on the RHB file database.  This was eventually followed by the uploading of ‘Clem’ Clements’ lists on the file database of the RHB Yahoo Group.  It was these two lists that formed the basis for the majority of Welsh Tumps listed by Mark Jackson in 2009.

Much of this data concerned hills that were unnamed on current maps and were in fact, listed by names invented by the hill list author.  Unfortunately, many of these names as a result, found their way into the current listing of the Tumps.  The names of hills listed in the Twmpau will not rely upon invented names that have no local or historical evidence of use and the author will endeavour to use the most appropriate composition for each hill name.

In summary, the first published lists using 100ft / 30m of drop appear below, all except for the Carr and Lister publication use height bands that are within the Twmpau.  These lists were compiled by:


1925    Carr and Lister    The Mountains of Snowdonia.  2,000ft minimum height with 100ft minimum drop.

1984    Terry Marsh    The Summits of Snowdonia.  600m minimum height with 30m minimum drop.

1985    Terry Marsh    The Mountains of Wales.  600m minimum height with 30m minimum drop.

1995    Michael Dewey    Mountain tables    The 500-Metre Tops of England and Wales.  500m minimum height with 30m minimum drop.

2002    Myrddyn Phillips    The Welsh 400 Metre Peaks.  400m minimum height with 30m minimum drop.

2003    Myrddyn Phillips    The Welsh 300 Metre Peaks.  300m minimum height with 30m minimum drop.

2003    Myrddyn Phillips    The Welsh 200 Metre Peaks.  200m minimum height with 30m minimum drop.

2003    Myrddyn Phillips    The Welsh 100 Metre Peaks.  100m minimum height with 30m minimum drop.

2003    Myrddyn Phillips    The Welsh 30-99 Metre Peaks.  30m minimum height with 30m minimum drop.


The 1000m P30 list documents all hills in Wales that are at or above 1000m in height and below 1100m in height, to qualify for the main list each hill requires a minimum of 30m of prominence.

Any accompanying Sub-List includes all hills in Wales that have a minimum of 20m of drop but are not known to attain the minimum 30m of drop to enter the main list.


To access the Twmpau – 1000m P30 list please click {here}


For many years Glyder Fawr appeared on the Ordnance Survey maps as being 999m high.  A survey conducted by G&J Surveys elevated its height to 1000.8m, with the new rounded up figure of 1001m appearing on current maps

The list consists of the following:

Group:  Each hill appears under their Group, this is the group / range that the hill is a part of.  For example; Carnedd Llywelyn (SH 683 643) is part of the hill group known as the Carneddau.  The Groups are arranged from north to south on a west to east orientation.

Name:  This is considered the most appropriate name for the hill with respect to the information available to the author.  Sometimes the name used does not correspond to current Ordnance Survey map spelling and composition or the name may not appear on any map.  Where no appropriate name has been discovered for the hill from any source, the Point (for example; Pt. 1025m) notation is used rather than making up a name that has no local or historical evidence of use.  The Welsh place-names that appear in this list and that were sourced from Ordnance Survey mapping are reproduced as simple compositions, with hyphenated and compound names reduced to the component elements.  It must be noted that this process will on occasion result in loss of pronunciation information and as such, is not ideal.  However, this protocol has been implemented in order to simplify the composition due to the inappropriate and inconsistent hyphen use that Ordnance Survey maps are prone to.

Summit Height (m):  This gives the map height in metres of the hill above Ordnance Datum Newlyn (ODN), often referred to as sea level.  Where a height is quoted to a decimal place it implies that the hill has been surveyed by GPS / GNSS receiver (these heights may not match current Ordnance Survey map heights).  Where a ‘c’ (circa) appears preceding the height it means there is no known spot height available and the height has been estimated from contour interpolation.

1:50,000 Map:  This column gives the number or numbers of the 1:50,000 Ordnance Survey Landranger map that the summit of the hill appears on.

1:25,000 Map:  This column gives the number or numbers of the 1:25,000 Ordnance Survey Explorer map that the summit of the hill appears on.

Summit Grid Reference:  This is the ten figure grid reference (10FGR) for the summit of the hill.  This has either been produced by an accurate survey, a map spot height or when neither is available by a centralised position in an uppermost contour ring.  When the accurate survey has been conducted independent of the Ordnance Survey a (S) for ‘survey’ will appear adjacent to the 10FGR, a (TP) if the 10FGR is taken to a ‘trig pillar’, a (B) if the 10FGR is taken to a ‘bolt’ or a ‘block’, a (L) if the 10FGR is taken to the position of a ‘levelled’ height on old maps, a (HH) if the 10FGR is taken from a ‘hand-held’ GPS unit, a (SH) is the 10FGR is taken to a ‘spot height’ either on current or old maps and an (I) if the summit position has been ‘interpolated’ from contours.

Drop (m):  This column details the relative height of the hill; this is commonly referred to as ‘drop’, ‘prominence’ or ‘reascent’.  The drop is the height difference between the summit and bwlch connecting the hill to next higher ground along the watershed.  The letter ‘c’ before the drop figure signifies there is no spot height or surveyed height known for either summit or more usually, the bwlch, therefore a part of the drop figure has been estimated from contour interpolation.

Bwlch Grid Reference:  This is the ten figure grid reference (10FGR) for the bwlch of the hill.  This has either been produced by an accurate survey, a map spot height or when neither is available by a centralised position between converging hill to hill and valley to valley contours.  When the accurate survey has been conducted independent of the Ordnance Survey a (S) for ‘survey’ will appear adjacent to the 10FGR, a (L) if the 10FGR is taken to the position of a ‘levelled’ height on old maps, a (HH) if the 10FGR is taken from a ‘hand-held’ GPS unit, a (SH) is the 10FGR is taken to a ‘spot height’ either on current or old maps and an (I) if the bwlch position has been ‘interpolated’ from contours.

Bwlch Name / Feature:  This is the name that appears on the map for the bwlch or for a significant feature on the area of the bwlch.  If a name does not appear on the map the initials ‘uom’ (unnamed on map) are used.  As the use of drop as an intrinsic part of a hill list is now well established it means that the bwlch is as important as the summit in determining a drop value for the hill.  Therefore it is only appropriate that the name of the bwlch, or a significant feature on it appears in the list.  This is the first known instance where the bwlch name / feature is also included in the details within the hill list.

Bwlch Height (m):  This gives the map height in metres of the bwlch above Ordnance Datum Newlyn (ODN), often referred to as sea level.  Where a height is quoted to a decimal place it implies that the bwlch has been surveyed by GPS / GNSS receiver (these heights may not match current Ordnance Survey map heights).  Where a ‘c’ (circa) appears preceding the height it means there is no known spot height available and the height has been estimated from contour interpolation.

Notes:  This column gives details relevant to the hill.


With special thanks to Geoff Crowder and Aled Williams for past and present help and encouragement with the listing of the Twmpau.  Thanks are also due to the people who submit 10 figure grid references to the Database of British and Irish Hills (DoBIH) and for DoBIH making these available for public use.


To access the Twmpau – 1000m P30 list please click {here}


Arennig Fawr - just one of many P30s in Wales

Monday, 12 January 2015

Mapping Mountains – Hill Reclassifications – 300m Twmpau


Pen y Gaer (SO 139 976) 

There has been a new addition to the 300m Twmpau list due to a recent survey with the Trimble GeoXH 6000.  The evidence for the promotion of this hill is marginal, but until more accurate information is at hand the hill has been promoted from the ranks of the 200m Twmpau to that of the 300m Twmpau list.


The raw processed survey result is 300.002m converted to OSGM15

The margin of uncertainty for the height in relation to the position of the Trimble on the summit is 0.05m.

The precision of the equipment is +/- 0.15m.

The accuracy of the equipment is 0.1m.

Therefore the raw result should be rounded to one decimal place; 300.0m


The name of the hill is Pen y Gaer (SO 139 976) and it is situated in the Carnedd Wen range of hills and is positioned between the small communities of Betws Cedewain and Pentrellifior.


The full details for the hill are:

Cardinal Hill:  Carnedd Wen

Summit Height:  300.0m (converted to OSGM15)

Name:  Pen y Gaer

OS 1:50,000 map:  136

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 139 976

Drop:  88m


Pen y Gaer (SO 139 976) the new 300m Twmpau
For details on the survey that promoted this hill to 300m Twmpau status please click {here}


Myrddyn Phillips (2015)


Sunday, 11 January 2015

Mapping Mountains – Trimble Surveys – Carnedd Wen


11.01.15  Cae Hir (SO 141 964) and Pen y Gaer (SO 139 976)   

Cae Hir (SO 141 964)
A grey, grey day with lots of greyness, wetness and a bit more greyness just for good measure, Mark had originally suggested heading to the northern Pumlumon but the forecast for greyness and wetness meant that the plans were quickly re-arranged.

This re-arranged plan was excellent and meant a wander around a couple of P30’s relatively close to where I live, and one which I had not visited before, it also meant that Mark could bag his first new Hump of the year, so all were happy.

The forecast for rain was not until mid-afternoon so we hoped that arriving at the base of the hill my 11.00am would not get us too wet later in the day.  The hills Mark had picked are both given a map height of 299m, one being a Hump and the other a marginal none Sub-Hump.  Neither was in any great hurry to leave or enter their respective classification as with c 103m and 87m of drop respectively it would be a surprise if either were re-classified.  But with each given a map height of 299m one or the other, or both, could be reclassified from the 200m Twmpau list and become fully fledged 300m Twmpau hills.  Oh the excitement!

We parked at SO 135 969 just to the east of Llwyn Coch were a track enters a wooded area.  There is sufficient space here for at least two cars to be pulled over to the edge of the track / lane and still leave sufficient space for vehicles using the forest track.

It was a wee bit blowy as we left the car, so much so that I donned over trousers and Gortex coat to keep myself nice and warm.  Descending to the small community of Llwyn Coch we left the lane and headed toward the first hill of the day on a right of way which had an uncanny knack of heading straight for lots of slimy, muddy, gunky stuff.  Once through all the mud we headed up over steepening fields to the high point of Cae Hir, whose name is derived from the Tithe map for the land where the summit of this hill is situated.

Mark heading for Cae Hir, the first of the two 299m map heighted summits of the day
Pen y Gaer from the ascent of its neighbouring Hump
As the Trimble gathered data the grey and bleak mass of wet stuff edged its way eastward.  Once the allotted five minutes of data were collected we headed back from whence we had come as the first of the day’s showers sped down upon us.  Thankfully this did not last long and as we arrived back at the lane the raindrops had stopped.

Gathering data at the summit of Cae Hir
Our next objective was Pen y Gaer, as its name suggests this hill has the remains of an ancient hill fort surrounding its summit.  We headed up the road and diverted on a right of way which brought us towards the farm which is named after the hill; Pen-y-gaer.  It was only a short distance from here up to the high point.

The local farm is named after the hill, not uncommon in Wales
Although the horizon was one of bleakness waiting to unload more moisture it was also one of tranquility, a rolling landscape of pastoral fields and small communities and as the Trimble gathered its data I took a few photographs and admired the beautiful land I live in.  We then headed down into a wood full of soft steep ground which in a few minutes took us down onto the forest track which led back to the car.

Mark heading for the summit of Pen y Gaer
Gathering data at the summit of Pen y Gaer
As bwlch data was needed to give an accurate drop figure for the first hill of the day (the Hump) we walked up the road to the track which led to a farm named Bryn-y-cil.  I’d investigated this spot with a Google car the previous evening and the critical bwlch looked as if it was situated on the track.  Once at the track, this is what we found, and once five minutes of data were collected the Trimble was packed away.

Gathering data at the probable critical bwlch of Cae Hir
However, another possible bwlch position lay around the other side of an intervening lumpy, bumby thing, so we needed to investigate this to complete the day’s survey.  As we found access over a fence lower on the road to the valley that went up on the other side of the lumpy bump, Mark wisely asked for the car keys and left me to survey yet another field.

I walked up the small stream valley until the water ceased and continued over a gate until the land met from both the valley to valley direction and from that of the hill to hill direction, and as the Trimble started gathering its all important data the rains came sweeping across the landscape and I got a teensy weensy wet.  Ho Hum.

Gathering data at the alternative bwlch position of Cae Hir
As I gathered the Trimble up and made my way back to the car the rain continued and I arrived back a little wet.  Thankfully the rain then stopped and I had time to change before we headed back to Welshpool for a meal in the Old Station and tea and cheesecake at the Phillips household.



Survey Result:



Summit Height:  296.4m (converted to OSGM15) (200m Twmpau status confirmed)

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 14104 96457

Bwlch Height:  195.5m (converted to OSGM15)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SO 14030 97241

Drop:  100.9m (Hump status confirmed)

Dominance:  34.04% (Lesser Welsh Dominant status confirmed)



Pen y Gaer

Summit Height:  300.0m (converted to OSGM15) (new 300m Twmpau confirmed)

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 13997 97677

Drop:  88m

Dominance:  29.33%  



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