England Gets a New Mountain

by Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com Apr/2013
This news story has been read 2,053 times

It may not look much, but the little Pennines lump of Thack Moor has just been promoted to 2000-foot status, making it officially a new English mountain. No, it's not April 1st.

In the North Pennines - not strictly the right 'mountain' but they're all pretty similar, 168 kbIn the North Pennines - not strictly the right 'mountain' but they're all pretty similar
© Dan Bailey

The hill (sorry, mountain) rises above the village of Renwick in the rolling uplands at the northern end of the North Pennines range (grid ref NY611462). Though little more than a satellite of neighbouring Black Fell, its newfound stature will earn Thack Moor a place on revised tick lists.

In England and Wales it's generally accepted that to qualify as a 'mountain' a peak has to pass the antiquated 2000-foot (609.6m) test. With a previous recorded height of 609m Thack Moor was an obvious borderline case, and had for a while been the target of a group of height-fixated hillgoing surveyors.

Amateur enthusiasts they may be, but John Barnard, Graham Jackson and Myrddyn Phillips of G&J Surveys used some pretty sophisticated GPS-based surveying gear to re-measure the summit to a high degree of accuracy. The result: Thack Moor stands at 609.62m in height, scraping into mountain status by just 2cm or ¾ of an inch. The Ordnance survey have endorsed the data, so it's official.

It might take a diligent rabbit only a couple of minutes to undo their good work, but for now at least England has a new mountain.

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