Outdoor Focus Spring 2019 - Page 10

Anne at the head of Mosedale > Does your mountain measure up? John Nuttall takes steps to fi nd out A ugust, the month when MPs go on holiday, presents a problem for newspapers as suddenly they have empty pages to fi ll. That may explain why one day our book, The Mountains of England and Wales, came to be in all the national newspapers and why we were entertaining Granada News in our back garden. It may come as a surprise, but a new mountain has been discovered in the Lake District. Surely not, you say, hasn’t every inch of the National Park been explored already and more books and articles published on this delightful corner of the world than the rest of all the National Parks put together. Well in the Northern Fells, tucked away out of site, off the beaten track and seldom visited, lies Miller Moss. I know, it seems a crazy name for a mountain. Really it ought to be called Little Lingy Hill, but due to the sometimes strange and mysterious actions of the Ordnance Survey that name had been applied to an area that defi nitely isn’t a mountain. So there’s a mountain with the name of a bog and a nearby bog with the name of a hill. But how could there be a new mountain anyway? It all comes down to precision surveying by our friends Graham Jackson and John Barnard. We fi rst got to know them when they appealed to us for help in getting Ordnance Survey cartographers to talk to them about a mountain in Yorkshire. Both keen amateur surveyors were convinced there was an error on the 10 Outdoor focus | spring 2019 The Mountains of England and Wales by John and Anne Nuttall is published by Cicerone Press current OS map which gave the summit of Birks Fell as 608 metres, but they had measured it as 610m (2000ft). The OS Press Offi ce came to my assistance and a couple of hours later I had a call from an intrigued Head of Geodetic Surveys. He had checked the old maps and said my friends were right and they would update their maps. We made our amends to Birks Fell, not just by paying a visit – we’d been there anyway, but by camping on the summit. Dawn the next day was perfect with all the moors a glorious orange then, while we were packing up, a solitary walker appeared. ‘I had to come’ he said, ‘The Nuttall’s website says this is a new mountain’. He didn’t seem at all surprised by fi nding us there. If you have a blog you will no doubt be pleased when you have followers, but we were beginning to realise what a lot of people were literally following us. Promotion is fi ne, but what about relegation? How do you celebrate a mountain not being a mountain? The answer is that you have a Wake on the summit. So on a gloomy rainy day a small party of friends headed up onto the Berwyn mountains. On fi nally reaching the summit our friend Eryl read his poem - Ode to Cadair Bronwen - specially written for the occasion. (See inset above.) Over the years we have tagged along on some of the surveys, braving wind and rain on the summits, though rather a lot