Rob Woodall Completes Mainland Welsh TUMPs

© Myrddyn Phillips

In mid February, over achieving list completer Rob Woodall became the first person to climb all 2271 TUMPs on the Welsh mainland. Tump (Thirty and Upward Metre Prominences) status is simply any hill with a minimum 30m drop on all sides, no matter its summit height. Some are full-sized mountains, others mere molehills - but the challenge of getting around them all is obvious!

Few baggers anywhere can compare with Rob Woodall and his extraordinary exploits. He was the first person to complete the daunting challenge of the 1556 hills listed in the Marilyns (see the UKH interview here), and first to visit the remaining Ordnance Survey trig pillars – all 6190 of them (he's now boosted the latter to 6194, as four destroyed pillars have been rediscovered).

Rob Woodall celebrating at the summit of Ffridd Las  © Myrddyn Phillips
Rob Woodall celebrating at the summit of Ffridd Las
© Myrddyn Phillips

In early January Rob set two ambitions for the year ahead - one of which was to complete the Welsh mainland Tumps. This was achieved on a small hill at the base of Cadair Idris on a pleasant and thankfully dry day in mid-February with friends and bottles of varied beverage in attendance.

The hill that Rob chose as his final Welsh mainland Tump remains unnamed on Ordnance Survey maps but is known as Ffridd Las, with the name of Pen Llynnau Cregennen used in the Tumps listing. It has a map height of 279m and is positioned at SH660139 overlooking the double lakes of Llynnau Cregennan.

Ffridd Las was justly fitting to finish on as it proved reminiscent of so many of the Welsh Tumps. Situated throughout Wales, many are tranquil and seldom visited hills, this being one of their appealing aspects, however Ffridd Las has a special beauty to it as it is positioned against the shore of the double lakes with the bulk of Tyrau Mawr, one of the satellite peaks of Cadair Idris, rising behind as a dramatic backdrop.

Rob and friends heading up Pared y Cefn Hir  © Myrddyn Phillips
Rob and friends heading up Pared y Cefn Hir
© Myrddyn Phillips

Rob combined Ffridd Las with some of its higher neighbours, with Pared y Cefn Hir, Bryn Brith and Ffridd Bellau Nant y Gwyrddail (listed as Bryn y Gregennen in the Tumps) all visited before the celebratory last hill was reached. This gave a good circular walk based around Llynnau Cregennan. The last hill of the day was celebrated with hill walking friends, a Penderyn Single Welsh Malt Whisky and numerous cakes.

To complete such a challenge must be a wonderful experience. So many hills of such varied height, small and high alike, can all qualify, as the criterion for Tump (Thirty and Upward Metre Prominences) status is simply any hill with a minimum of 30m of drop on all sides, irrespective of its summit height.

The Tumps take in the whole of Britain and were first published by Mark Jackson in 2009, including data from a number of other list compilers. In all there are 2271 mainland Tumps listed in Wales (at the time of completion), with an overall Welsh total including island Tumps exceeding 2340.

It has been another incredible undertaking by Rob and one that leaves the author of this article a wee bit jealous as I have an affinity for these wonderful Welsh P30 hills. Good on Rob for his incredible achievement and many congratulations on becoming the first person to complete the Welsh mainland Tumps!

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