14th August 2008 New Mountain in Wales?

Bwlch y Moch and Mynydd Graig Goch surveys
On Monday 11th August 2008 a surveying party set off from Pen-y-pass to discover whether either or both of the 609m tops proposed by Graham Jackson and John Barnard were in fact over 2000ft.  The weather, following tradition, was lousy with the wind driven rain so loud that communication at times was impossible.  After one particularly vicious squall Myrddyn commented to Anne that he hadn't been out in such bad conditions since he last came a walk with us!

Surveyors above Bwlch y Moch

The party comprised Myrddyn Phillips, Dewi Jones, Harold Morris, John and Anne Nuttall, David Purchase, the surveyors John Barnard and Graham Jackson and, most important of all, James Whitworth from Leica Geosystems who had generously agreed to provide the company's survey technology.

The rain held off until Bwlch y Moch was reached and the proposed top above it.  The equipment was then lashed to the summit and weighted with stones.  The prospect of two hours waiting in the rain did not appeal, but that's how long the Ordnance Survey requires measurements to be recorded (apparently the figure can vary over time).  However the surveyors hunched over the summit suddenly rose to their feet and began dismantling the equipment.  Alas, the height was well below 2000ft.

Mynydd Graig Goch from Llyn Cwm Dulyn

So now it was off to the Nantlle Ridge.  People reaching Garnedd-goch on this, one of the best ridge walks in Wales, must often have wondered whether the summit beyond should be included, but the OS unequivocally records it as 609m.   Opting for the quickest approach we set off from Llyn Cwm Dulyn and with a hint of blue in the sky our spirits rose, only to be dashed shortly after as the rain redoubled its onslaught.  The surveyors raced for the top while laggards John and Anne trailed in the rear - well, we had to take the photos didn't we?

The summit is defended by a six foot wall to discourage all but determined baggers and beyond, through the scudding cloud, we could just make out the rocky tor of the summit.  Already the equipment was lashed to the top (the thought of it falling off after one hour fifty five minutes was too awful to contemplate) and after only a few minutes the news came "It's awfully close, possible over 2000ft, but we shall have to wait until all the data has been run through the surveyors' software and verified by the Ordnance Survey.  The surveyors plus Myrddyn were in for a two hour wait, but the rest of us retreated to the valley - where it was quite a nice day really.

Mynydd Graig Goch summit