Marhofn 84.04 - May 2002

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A New Welsh Marilyn? Mynydd y Cwm (30C, SJ073767)

Mark Trengove

The summit of this hill, which is almost the last gasp of the Clwydian Range before the sea, is in the midst of a plantation and defended by a vicious barrier of briars. The summit has a cairn in a little clearing, surrounded by trees and brambles. There are some good views of Snowdonia between the gaps in the trees. The ground drops away from the cairn to the west. The highest point seems to be a heathery bump under a tree some five metres SE of the summit cairn.

The 1:25000 Pathfinder map shows a ring feature of some 20 metres diameter on the summit at the 305m contour. On the ground this is a reasonably level area. I paced from the summit cairn along the 'ridge' to where I considered the 305m contour lay - not easy, because of the brambles. The highest point appeared to be about 0.5 metres, putting the height at 305.5m.

The 'col' for this hill, between it and the next Marilyn (Penycloddiau), lies at SJ173678. It is given a spot height of 156m on the 1:25000 Pathfinder map. I visited this point on a bright clear day, 12 January 2002. The 156m spot height lies on a narrow lane some 50 metres south of the A541, which rises gently from Mold to this point and drops away beyond. It contours round the side of the slope representing the rise towards Mynydd y Cwm. The lane on which the spot height is shown drops down a little from the A541 and then rises steeply towards the bwlch between Moel Arthur and Moel Llys-y-coed on the Clwydian Range. Streams run down from either side of the col. The stream to the west is a tributary of the River Clwyd, while the one to the east joins the River Alyn, a tributary of the River Dee. The col, therefore, is actually at a watershed.

The location of the col spot height was easily identifiable from the map, but I paced it to make sure. At that point the lane is raised from the fields on either side. I measured the drop to the 'natural' ground on each side, which was in the region of 1 to 1.5m. On this basis, I consider the true spot height for the col to lie at 154.5 to 155 metres. This would give a drop for Mynydd y Cwm in the range 150.5 to 151 metres. I think we have a new Welsh Marilyn here.

The RAF Mountain Rescue Service evidently thinks Mynydd y Cwm to be a significant hill. When I struggled to the summit on 15 July 2001, I found a laminated card lodged in the summit cairn, left there in 2000 by a member of a charity challenge called 'ACROSS' - a trip from Land's End to Cape Wrath 'over the roof of Britain'. It was a walk in 213 legs visiting 'the highest peaks of Britain'. The walk began on 30 January 2000 and finished, according to the card, on 29 August 2000. It was in remembrance of all air crew and passengers who had lost their lives on the mountains of Britain. The post in the summit cairn was decorated with a poppy cross.

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