Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Calf Top – Westmorland Gazette Article

The Westmorland Gazette recently published an article on the survey of Calf Top and its elevation in height to 2,000ft and its reclassification to Hewitt status.  The original article and a link to it on the newspapers website appear below.

Yorkshire Dales get a new mountain

THREE hill-walking friends are 'thrilled' that they have helped reclassify a Yorkshire Dales hill as Britain's newest mountain.
By the tiny margin of just six millimetres, Calf Top, near Sedbergh, has nudged over the 2,000-feet threshold required for an official mountain.
Calf Top in the Yorkshire Dales in now a mountain

Back in 2010, when Myrddyn Phillips and his two fellow amateur surveyors measured the Cumbrian hill, it was declared to be 609.58 metres high - tantalisingly, a mere two centimetres below the 'magic' 609.6 metres/2,000 feet that is the benchmark height for mountains.
Graham Jackson and John Barnard on the lower north-eastern slopes of Calf Top

However, six years on, the Ordnance Survey has double-checked and verified the data with a new 'geoid' computer model and declared Calf Top to be 609.606 metres high - making the grade by six millimetres or less than a quarter of an inch.
"For this to happen six years later, there's a thrill involved and a little bit of excitement and a tremendous amount of satisfaction," said Myrddyn, 55, of Welshpool, Powys.
Mountain surveyor Myrddyn Phillips

"Personally I quite like reclassification. I like change but that change needs to be based on fact. In 2010 when the OS processed our data and it was literally two centimetres below, I was resigned to the fact that was the height of the hill. At that stage you can't argue against that."
The keen walker and his two mountain-measuring pals, John Barnard and Graham Jackson, have devoted years to surveying more than 150 hills and mountains in Britain, carrying rucksacks packed with hi-tech Leica equipment that works like a car's sat nav.
"It's a hobby that stemmed out of the joy that I get from hill walking," said Myrddyn. "Many years ago if somebody had told me I would end up surveying hills and mountains I wouldn't have believed them. It's very pleasant; it's a lot of fun."
The team in action at Thack Moor, in the Northern Pennines

Greeting this week's news, Kathryn Beardmore, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority's park services director, said: "There are some stunning mountains in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and it’s very exciting news that there is now one more.
“Calf Top, part of Middleton Fell in Cumbria, brings the total number of ‘Hewitts’ in the national park to 30. This classification describes peaks over 2,000ft (610m), with at least a 100-foot drop on all sides."
'Peak baggers' - walkers who like to tick off summits - are now expected to make a beeline for the grassy summit of Calf Top, which rises above the valley of Barbondale, eight kilometres south-east of Sedbergh. It is England and Wales's 317th mountain.

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