English hill finally becomes a mountain
For centuries, walkers have been beholden by hills and mountains of a certain height. In Scotland the long list of Munros (mountains with a summit of more than 3,000ft) and Corbetts (summits more than 2,500ft) provides the perfect goal for walkers – or "baggers" – who are keen to tick off summits and complete a Munro or Corbett “round”. In England and Wales, there are similar mountain hiking targets, including the Wainwrights, Deweys and Country Tops.
There are also all the English mountains with a summit of 2,000ft or more. For some, this 2,000ft marker differentiates between a hill and a mountain. And for a very long time, one hill has been under question: Is Thack Moor a hill or a mountain?
The story of Thack Moor
Thack Moor currently has a map height of 609m, which is very close to the imperial height of 2,000ft (609.60m). The measurement is so close to the magical 2,000ft that mountain surveyors recently made a trip to the fabulous Pennine fells to investigate.
In fact, this was the second such measuring outing of G&J Surveys. In August last year, a team climbed the hill in the Northern Pennines, above the small village of Renwick. On that day, the weather was poor and although they took many measurements using modern gadgets, rain and cloud were thought to have hampered the readings. On returning to the office to look at two hours of results, the team were left wondering if they had got the summit height quite right.
And so they returned last month. On March 3, conditions were recorded as “almost perfect”, with high cloud, good visibility good and only an occasional wisp of breeze. With a new Leica GS15 GPS receiver positioned on the high point of the hill/mountain and, this time four hours of recordings, the team were able to confirm what many have long thought: Thack Moor is in fact a mountain.
The results, confirmed by Ordnance Survey, show that Thack Moor is 609.62m in height. So, the "hill" becomes a mountain by just 2cm, or in imperial terms, no more than ¾ of an inch.
If you fancy a little “bagging” this summer check out the website Hill Bagging. Or perhaps you're already a keen bagger. If so, tell us about your bagging adventures.