New mountain discovered in the Pennines... sort of

Posted by Carey Davies on 26/04/2013
From L - R: Myrddyn Phillips, John Barnard and Graham Jackson on (the exact) top of Thack Moor

A mountain has been discovered in Cumbria where there wasn’t one before. But what caused it to appear?

No, northern England hasn’t been struck by violent tectonic activity or erupting volcanoes. Rather less catastrophically, three volunteers armed with highly precise GPS equipment have discovered that Thack Moor in the Northern Pennines, previously thought to be a mere ‘hill’, is just over the official threshold for ‘mountain’ – by three quarters of an inch.

Thack Moor was deemed by the Ordnance Survey to be 1,998 feet, but having gone up to the top on two separate occasions with military grade GPS gear John Barnard, Graham Jackson and Myrddyn Phillips have proven otherwise.

It means Britain now has 254 officially-classified mountains.

The Thack Moor expedition wasn’t the first GPS outing for John, Graham and Mryddryn. The detail-orientated individuals have both created mountains and destroyed them in the course of measuring over 100 hills across Britain.

They target hills on the margins of significant height categories – mountains, Munros, ‘metric mountains’ – and re-measure them to see if the Ordnance Survey has assessed them correctly.

Thanks to their measurements Mynydd Graig Goch in Snowdonia ‘grew’ two feet and six inches from 1,988 feet to become a mountain, and Glyder Fawr was discovered to be over 1000 metres from its previous 999 metres.

Beinn a' Chlaidheimh in Scotland wasn’t so lucky, falling just under the 3,000 feet threshold for Munro status and being ‘downgraded’ to a Corbett.



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