Nuttalls, Lists and Metric Mountains.
As you may be aware, there are loads of different lists of what constitutes a mountain. The most famous being the Munros of Scotland, which are all over 3000 feet (whatever that means?!).
In Wales we have the Nuttalls, by John and Ann Nuttall (who have written loads of books on the subject), the list which can be accessed here. The problem i see here, is that the cut-off point is in some archaic unit of measure known as a ‘foot’, coupled with the fact that the Nuttalls seem to have produced a list that’s a bit too complete for my liking. That is, there are summits on there that are really not worth the bother, and it just makes for a long, long list. Still, they’re a popular list to follow, and many aim to complete the full list, so who am i to say!
This guy here i agree with. I mean, maps are all in metres and kilometres, it is illogical and hard work to work in feet and convert to metres. Afterall, not even NASA could get this one right! Look on this website for UK Metric Association if you feel that strongly on the issue. However, their document “A Very British Mess” (downloadable as a 1.9mb Acrobat .pdf file) makes good general reading if you want background information on the whole British Metrification fiasco. Finally, the well known Scottish mountaineer, Hamish Brown has written an article on the aforementioned website. For the record, i am not a member of the Association.
So 600m is suggested in the above website as a reasonable cut off point….
Shame is it cuts off some nice hills, like the Lleyn hills (Yr Eifl – though i cant forgive the author of this website for calling them The Rivals – sounds like a second rate music-based TV-show*, Good site otherwise though!), which really are worth the effort. So I have been working on a list of all the hills between 500 and 600m in Wales, but i have whittled the list down to ones with a minimum of 50m reascent between them, and then 100m. That said, from the map i wouldn’t bother with a few of them, but there is the chance of some really remote walking.
The important thing though, is to be walking the hills because it’s what you want to be doing, and not because of a list that says one hill is worth climbing and another not. So the list is included as i was just curious as to other, lower areas in Wales such as the hills around Llangollen and the Clwydian hills.
So treat it as for completeness.
Download the file here, it has been modified from lists by Michael Dewey downloaded online, though i had to calculate all the reascents to determine which to include. The full list is much, much longer at nearly 250 summits and tops, and includes every summit over 500m in Wales with reascent of 30m.
Now for the higher hills, go to the Metric Mountains website, and that list i like. It classifies the hills into A, B and C summits. Personally i’d be looking at the A and B and disregarding the C as major objectives, which is what Paul Saunders (the author of that site) seems to suggest. Its a versatile list, you choose what you climb.
And if you want even more tops, hills, summits, carneddau, mynyddoedd etc… then visit Alan Dawson’s Relative Hills of Britain where there are lists of Marilyns (150m reascent all around, any height.. but obviously over 150m). This seems a sensible classification. Good luck if you start off on these…
Finally, Myrddyn Phillips has surveyed every bump in wales! Literally every bump of 30m or more in the entire country. This extensive work is listed on V-G walking site to the left links-bar, or click here. So using that list, you can be sure of ascending all the Welsh tops, and in the Routes section, i shall start listing hills as Marilyns, Hewitts, Nuttalls, Metrics and possibly even Myrddyns. That is, once i decide on a suitable classification for the tops.
Likely is Welsh Metric Mountains (A/B), which are summits higher than 600m with more than 50m reascent (as stated by Saunders), and the Lesser Metric Mountains (at 500-599m height with 50m reascent, my list above). While a nod to Myrddyn Phillips could include the A/B Merddyn Metrics as those below 500m with greater than 50m reascent, though as he doesn’t state reascent, this is a bit tricky! The best option i feel for summits below 500m, is to use Marilyns for now, though i have started making a note of all summits >300m in Eryri, i find this a long task, and find i prefer to spend my time doing other things! Options include, increasing the height differential to 100m, but would cut many tops off, making it a very short list (which is the point really).
As a taster, i have completed a rough list of the tops in northern Eryri, and most do cover interesting and little trod terrain. Tops such as Cefn Du (441m) and Moel Tryfan (427m) are tops that hardly any of the Ogwen valey henchpeople will have heard of, yet give adequate walking within a short distance of the heart of Eryri when a quiet day is called for. This goes without mentioning the coast hugging, far northern Carneddau hills, always close to civilisation but with adequate feeling of remoteness. I have found these areas invaluable in my return to fitness, when wandering too far solo was a serious concern.
*Edit -They’re all second rate….