Britain's busy capital city may not be known as a great place for hillwalking enthusiasts and rock-starved climbers, but an ambitious visitor attraction may soon change that. Following the success of the Marble Arch Mound, an artificial hill 25m high, a consortium of London climbing wall owners plans to take the idea to a far larger scale, with the proposal to build a mountain in neighbouring Hyde Park.
A half-sized replica of the iconic Welsh peak Tryfan, rising around 460m above the surrounding streets, and with The Serpentine standing in for Llyn Ogwen, the dramatic new addition to the city skyline will radically transform London's oppressively flat and built-up environment.
Supported on a steel frame clad in rock-textured concrete, the construction will precisely mirror the real mountain's features, promising to bring a "lifelike mountaineering experience" to the heart of the city.
Hollow on the inside, London's 'most thrilling property development' will incorporate luxury housing aimed at the overseas investor, a vast new retail space expected to feature major outdoor fashion brands such as Gucci, and a multi-pitch climbing wall, built as a giant overhang on the inverse of the mountain's slabby East Face.
"Rio is famous for its Sugarloaf and Edinburgh has Arthur's Seat; why should Londoners have to settle for Parliament Hill?" said Belle Vue-Bastion, lead investor in the consortium.
"This city thinks big, and we believe it deserves an attraction to match its sky-high aspirations.
"Well now, for a modest hourly rate, London's climbers will be able to pit themselves against classic rock climbing challenges such as Grooved Arete and Superdirect, half-scale of the originals, yet perfect replicas move-for-move.
"Keen scramblers will get to enjoy the much-loved North Ridge, but with a bird's-eye outlook over the scenic Bayswater Road in place of the tired old A5. And those who want to make the daring leap between the two summit monoliths (tickets available online) will find it a bit less of a stretch on our slimmed-down replica."
With fears that the local vernacular may fail to make headway with the Welsh Tryfan, it's proposed that the London version be re-named Hyde Peak.
"I ad that Chris Bonington in the back of me cab once" said a passing cockney type shoehorned in for local colour. "Lovely fella. But I dunno wot e'd make a this. Bloody great Welsh mahntin in the middle ov Laandon? Would you Adam n Eve it?"