Making a Mountain out of a Hill

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It’s a case of life imitating the reverse of art.  In 1995, Hugh Grant played a cartographer who tried to turn a Welsh mountain into a hill by remeasuring.  The film “The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain” was set in 1917 in a small Welsh town.  Fast forward to 2008 where three walkers remeasured a local peak in Wales in order to reclassify it from a hill to a mountain.

Two thousand feet of height is what is required to be named as a mountain according to the Ordnance Survey.  For over two hundred years, that’s exactly what the classification of Mynydd Graig Goch in Snowdonia, Wales which until recently, had an official measured height of 1,998ft which put it two feet shy of being ranked as a mountain.   John Barnard, Myrddyn Phillips, and Graham Jackson launched an intensive survey of Mynydd Graig Goch to remeasure the height.  The team borrowed equipment from Leica Geosystems to take 7,000 GPS readings over two hours.  These measurements, which revealed the mountain to be 2,000.5 feet in height, convinced the Ordnance Survey to reclassify Mynydd Graig Goch as a mountain.  The revised digital data will be available online in the next few weeks and will be published in the OS Explorer and OS Landranger sometime in 2009-2010.

Read more: Hikers make a mountain out of an old Welsh hill – Associated Press


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