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welsh mountain retains its status


Welsh mountain retains its status

Over the Bank Holiday weekend three surveyors from G&J Surveys were accompanied by Ordnance Survey’s Geodetic Analyst Mark Greaves to accurately measure the height of Tal y Fan, one of the smallest mountains in Wales.

Tal y Fan has a map height of 610 m (flush bracket height at triangulation pillar of 610.209 m) which is very close to the 609.6 m (2,000 ft) height that is generally accepted as defining mountain status in England and Wales. The weekend expedition was to check whether Tal y Fan should still hold mountain status or whether it should be reclassified as a hill. 

Tal y Fan translates as The End Peak or Peak End.  It is the most northerly of the 2,000 ft mountains in Wales and is situated at the end of the Carneddau mountain range.  Part of this mountain range forms the greatest continuous height above 3,000ft of any land in Britain south of the Scottish border. Beyond Tal y Fan are the fertile pastures of the Conwy valley and then the sea.  The history in the immediate vicinity of Tal y Fan dates back to prehistoric times as two monoliths still stand at the gateway to Bwlch y Ddeufaen (Pass of the Two Stones), this is the old pass through the mountains that was still in use during Roman times. 

The aim of the survey was to survey the very highest point of Tal y Fan and gather a minimum of two hours of summit data. After an afternoon of capturing height data the team returned to the Valley where it was down to Ordnance Survey’s Mark Greaves to process the data. 

After double checking the results it was then the responsibility of BBC Breakfast to reveal the results live on Monday morning. At 6.50 am live on BBC One it was confirmed that Tal y Fan measured 609.98 m (2,001 ft), some 38 cm (1 ft 3 in) above that needed to qualify for mountain status.

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