Saturday, 31 December 2016

Mapping Mountains – 2016 Retrospective


It’s somewhat self-evident to say that the past year in review is an opportunity to look back over the last twelve months and assess the progress of Mapping Mountains, but it also affords a chance to look ahead to the upcoming year.  Both can be fulfilling, with one showing the progress made and the other the possibilities yet to be achieved.  

Having set Mapping Mountains up in late November 2013 it was always my intention to concentrate as much energy as I could in to the site over the first two years, I hoped by doing so the site would become established and those interested in the articles and posts hosted on Mapping Mountains would find it of enough interest to re-visit.



This two year time period roughly took me to the end of 2015, and therefore I suspected that 2016 would be a year where the activity on the site would be slightly lessened, and I could concentrate more on refining its content and presentation. However, that is not to say that the site has lain dormant, far from it, so let’s look back over the last twelve months and also ahead to next year and where Mapping Mountains may go in the future.

Since its inception in November 2013 the Mapping Mountains site has been led by the surveys conducted with the Trimble GeoXH 6000, and although there have been many hill reclassifications due to surveying with the Trimble during the past year I’m not listing them here, as in past yearly reviews, this is partly due to the site now evolving to take in many other aspects related to the hill bagging world and some of these are listed below.

During 2016 Mapping Mountains benefited from the addition of five new page headings, the first of which celebrated St David’s Day on the 1st March by adding the Table of Progress for Y Pedwarau, these are the Welsh 400m Hills, and this Table lists the people who have either completed the main Pedwar list or who have completed at least 100 of the P30 hills listed in Y Pedwarau.

The second new Page Heading was added on 18th June and is entitled Significant Name Changes and it details those hills whose listed name has changed based on historical research and / or local enquiry, this page heading is related to three others that were already on the site; these are Hill Reclassifications, Summit Relocations and Significant Height Revisions, and together they make a detailed catalogue of the changes to the important place-name and numerical data associated with any hill.

On 4th July the Mapping Mountains – Publications Page Heading was added and this proved one of the most significant steps taken during 2016 as it links through to a sister site that is the publishing arm to the original blog.  This publications site now hosts Y Pellennig - The Remotest Hills of Wales which is available as a downloadable e-booklet and print-booklet version, and thanks are due to Ruth Magness and Aled Williams for their help in this process and to Mark Trengove for inspiration.  It is hoped that more hill lists will be published on Mapping Mountains – Publications during the forthcoming year.



The first article related to Hill Listing Protocols established a new Page Heading on 15th September; this article is to the Protocols for the Naming of Hills and was one that I had wanted to write for a number of years.  The article comprises over 6,500 words and details why I view such a policy to be important, as well as giving historical details to where naming nomenclature originates.  Also listed are the Tools of Research giving links to important online sites that are useful for place-name research, and lastly the Naming Protocols are listed.

The fifth new Page Heading appeared on 28th November and is entitled Articles – Internet, these are the articles that I have either written, or written with input from others, or those written by other people about things that I’ve been associated with and that appear on the Internet.  These articles were great fun researching and brought back a multitude of good memories.

There have been a number of important events over the last year with the aforementioned publishing sister site; Mapping Mountains – Publications, being one of the most important, but there have been other significant things that have happened, including the setting up in May of a Mapping Mountains Facebook page which helps catalogue the posts uploaded to the Mapping Mountains blog, and this when coupled with my personal Facebook page helps in communication with fellow hill baggers, and latterly there have been a swathe of hill reclassifications instigated by analysis of LIDAR data by Aled Williams, this work is ongoing and has resulted in many status changes to the lists we co-author.

However, not all events during the last year have been good ones and the continuing disassociation from G&J Surveys is unfortunately ever ongoing and has been for over seven months, I hope that 2017 sees this finally resolved and that financial reimbursement that was agreed three months ago is finally forthcoming.

The latter part of the past year was also one that saw a progression of injuries keep me off the hills for prolonged periods of time, this started with minor surgery in late July which kept me off the hills for three weeks, and just as I was getting ready to get back out onto the hills I was shunted from the rear whilst pulling up in my car at temporary traffic lights, the resulting crash wrote my car off and I ended up in a neck brace in A&E for four hours suffering whiplash and periphery injuries, this seriously curtailed my hill walking and I did not go surveying again for five weeks, and when I did so, I ended up with a damaged knee that now curtails much of my hill walking, however my physical ailments did not end there as whilst protecting my knee getting out of the bath, I slipped and fell, resulting in me falling down onto the side of the bath, ribs first – ouch!  For the next three to four weeks I could hear a rattling in my rib cage when I brushed my teeth and sleeping on my left side was nigh on impossible as my ribs hurt too much and sleeping on my right side was painful due to my knee – oh the wondrous joys of getting older!


 


















Although my knee is not good and the crunching in my neck is still uncomfortable I have managed to experience some wonderful days on the hill during the last twelve months, and although many of these still linger in my memory it is the trips to islands that stand out, with mini expeditions to The Smalls, Emsger (South Bishop), Daufraich, Ynys Dewi (Ramsey), Ynys Fach and Green Scar all adding a wealth of experience to the joys that coastal retreats offer, with the majority of these trips organised by Adrian Rayner, and I look forward to more such mini expeditions in 2017.



During the last year Mapping Mountains had over 44,500 page views and the totals for posts and page views since the beginning of the site in November 2013 are given below:

28.11.13 – 31.12.14:  200 posts with 22,294 page views.

01.01.15 – 31.12.15:  264 posts with over 39,700 page views. 

01.01.16 – 31.12.16:  247 posts with over 53,505 page views.

I’m extremely pleased and rather humbled that people find Mapping Mountains of sufficient interest to visit the site, and my thanks go out to everyone that does so as you give me enthusiasm to continue pushing the site onward.


And what of the next year ahead, the publication of Y Trechol – the Dominant Hills of Wales will continue on a monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly basis, it is also hoped that another hill list will be available as a downloadable e-version and print-version booklet via Mapping Mountains Publications, and the analysis of LIDAR data by Aled Williams will no doubt continue resulting in more hill reclassifications and improvement to numerical data in the lists that we co-author.

The New Year will also see the start of publication on Mapping Mountains of a number of detailed Change Registers; these will record the additions, reclassifications and deletions to various listings, many of which are co-authored with Aled Williams, whilst some include listings by other authors where status change has either occurred because of surveys or through map study that I have conducted, others relate to listings where I am the sole author.



Many thanks for visiting Mapping Mountains during the past year, your continued support gives encouragement and I thank you for it, and I hope you have a good New Year and a fun filled time on the hills in 2017.


Myrddyn Phillips (December 2016)




Friday, 30 December 2016

Mapping Mountains – Hill Reclassifications – Y Pedwarau


Lan (SO 052 391)

There has been a reclassification to the listing of Y Pedwarau with a 400m Sub-Pedwar being promoted to the ranks of Pedwar by analysis of LIDAR data by Aled Williams.  Y Pedwarau are all hills in Wales at or above 400m and below 500m in height that have a minimum drop of 30m.

The hill is situated in the group of hills known as Mynydd Epynt with its Cardinal Hill being Clepyn Melyn (SN 961 464) and is placed in the Region of Mid and West Wales (B-2).  The hill is positioned between the small communities of Lower Chapel to the south south-west and Erwyd (Erwood) to the north-east, and the summit area of the hill is covered in the Brycheiniog Forest conifer plantation with the nearest forest track to the summit being to the north, this track ascends the hill from the small community of Llaneglwys to the east south-east and contours around the hill’s eastern slopes before heading northward of its summit.

The name of the hill is Lan and this was found on the Tithe map from research conducted by Aled Williams, the hill was previously listed as a 400m Sub-Pedwar with c 29m of drop based on an estimated summit height of c 407m and an estimated bwlch height taken from contour interpolation of c 378m.

As Aled was analysing other hills in the vicinity against LIDAR data, he did likewise with Lan.  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:


Lan

Summit Height:  413.6m

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 05243 39144

Bwlch Height:  377.0m

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SO 04871 39392

Drop:  36.6m


Therefore, the 413.6m LIDAR data produced for the summit position at SO 05243 39144 and the 377.0m LIDAR data produced for the bwlch position at SO 04871 39392 is sufficient for this hill to be reclassified to a Pedwar with 36.6m of drop, and therefore Lan is included in the listing of Y Pedwarau and the list will be updated accordingly.


The full details for the hill are:

Cardinal Hill:  Clepyn Melyn

Summit Height:  413.6m (LIDAR data)

Name:  Lan

OS 1:50,000 map:  160

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 05243 39144

Drop:  36.6m (LIDAR data)


This now brings the overall total for Y Pedwarau to 446 hills with seven additions, and eight reclassifications to 400m Sub-Pedwar status since publication of the list by Europeaklist in May 2013.  The hill will be taken out of the 400m Sub-Pedwar list and added to the main list in forthcoming publications.  The list of Pedwar hills is available from the Haroldstreet website (January 2014) with all subsequent changes available via the Mapping Mountains site.

The list of additions and reclassifications from the Pedwar list since the 1st edition of Y Pedwarau was published by Europeaklist are as follows:



PEDWAR ADDITIONS







Lan (LIDAR data) (SO 052 391) Sub-Pedwar reclassified to Pedwar with 36.6m drop





PEDWAR RECLASSIFICATIONS












Myrddyn Phillips and Aled Williams (December 2016)




Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Mapping Mountains – Hill Reclassifications – Y Pedwarau


Pt. 408.4m (SO 186 070)

There has been a new 400m Sub-Pedwar added to the list of Y Pedwarau by analysis of LIDAR data by Aled Williams.  The 400m Sub-Pedwarau are the Welsh hills at or above 400m and below 500m in height with a drop between 20m and below 30m.

The hill is situated in the group of hills known as the Cymoedd with its Cardinal Hill being Mynydd Carn y Cefn (SO 187 085) and is placed in the Region of South Wales (C-2).  The hill is positioned above the small community of Waunlwyd to its west and the small town of Blaenau to its east north-east, and can be easily accessed from a track to its south.

As the authors have not confirmed a locally known name for the hill we are following the point (Pt. 408.4m) notation principal and listing it as Pt. 408.4m, and prior to the analysis of LIDAR data the hill was not included in any hill list as the map details for it are blank, this is because the hill is a part of old mine workings and the result of waste spoil.

As Aled was analysing other hills in the vicinity against LIDAR data, he did likewise with Pt. 408.4m.  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:


Pt. 408.4m

Summit Height:  408.4m

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 18603 07087

Bwlch Height:  386.4m

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SO 18464 07321

Drop:  22.0m

Therefore, the 408.4m LIDAR data produced for the summit position at SO 18603 07087 and the 386.4m LIDAR data produced for the bwlch position at SO 18464 07321 is sufficient for this hill to be classified as a 400m Sub-Pedwar with 22.0m of drop, and therefore Pt. 408.4m is included in the listing of 400m Sub-Pedwar hills and the list of Y Pedwarau will be updated accordingly.  The list of Pedwar hills is available from the Haroldstreet website (January 2014) with all subsequent changes available via the Mapping Mountains site.


The full details for the hill are:

Cardinal Hill:  Mynydd Carn y Cefn

Summit Height:  408.4m (LIDAR data)

Name:  Pt. 408.4m

OS 1:50,000 map:  161

Summit Grid Reference:  SO 18603 07087

Drop:  22.0m (LIDAR data)


The list of additions, reclassifications and deletions from the 400m Sub-Pedwar list since the 1st edition of Y Pedwarau was published by Europeaklist are as follows:




400m SUB-PEDWAR ADDITIONS







Pt. 408.4m (LIDAR data) (SO 186 070) 22.0m drop













400m SUB-PEDWAR RECLASSIFICATIONS












400m SUB-PEDWAR DELETIONS










Myrddyn Phillips and Aled Williams (December 2016)

Monday, 26 December 2016

Mapping Mountains – Hill Reclassifications – Y Pedwarau


Pt. 408.0m, Hirfynydd (SN 822 051)

There has been a deletion of a 400m Sub-Pedwar by analysis of LIDAR data by Aled Williams.  The 400m Sub-Pedwarau are the Welsh hills at or above 400m and below 500m in height with a drop between 20m and below 30m.

The hill is connected to the Fforest Fawr group of hills with its Cardinal Hill being Hirfynydd (SN 839 076) and is placed in the Region of South Wales (C-2).  The hill is positioned above the villages of Y Creunant (Crynant) in Cwm Dulais (Dulais Valley) to its west and Resolfen (Resolven) in Cwm Nedd (Vale of Neath) to its south, and is best ascended via Sarn Helen; the ancient Roman Road that follows the ridge crest toward the higher connecting hill of Hirfynydd.  

As the authors do not know an individual name for the hill we are following the extended point (Pt. 408.0m) notation principal and listing it as Pt. 408.0m, Hirfynydd, and prior to the analysis of LIDAR data the hill was listed with c 20m of drop based on a 408m summit spot height on the Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Explorer map and an estimated bwlch height from contour interpolation of c 388m.

As Aled was analysing other hills in the vicinity against LIDAR data, he did likewise with Pt. 408.0m, Hirfynydd.  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:


Pt. 408.0m, Hirfynydd

Summit Height:  408.0m

Summit Grid Reference:  SN 82213 05117

Bwlch Height:  389.5m

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SN 82356 05671

Drop:  18.5m


Therefore, the 408.0m LIDAR data produced for the summit position at SN 82213 05117 and the 389.5m LIDAR data produced for the bwlch position at SN 82356 05671 is insufficient for this hill to retain its 400m Sub-Pedwar status with only 18.5m of drop, and therefore Pt. 408m, Hirfynydd is deleted from the listing of 400m Sub-Pedwar hills and the list of Y Pedwarau will be updated accordingly.  The list of Pedwar hills is available from the Haroldstreet website (January 2014) with all subsequent changes available via the Mapping Mountains site.


The full details for the hill are:

Cardinal Hill:  Hirfynydd

Summit Height:  408.0m (LIDAR data)

Name:  Pt. 408m, Hirfynydd

OS 1:50,000 map:  160

Summit Grid Reference:  SN 82213 05117

Drop:  18.5m (LIDAR data)


The list of additions, reclassifications and deletions from the 400m Sub-Pedwar list since the 1st edition of Y Pedwarau was published by Europeaklist are as follows:



400m SUB-PEDWAR ADDITIONS


















400m SUB-PEDWAR RECLASSIFICATIONS











400m SUB-PEDWAR DELETIONS





Pt. 408.0m, Hirfynydd (LIDAR data) (SN 822 051) 18.5m drop




Myrddyn Phillips and Aled Williams (December 2016)