Does a man-made summit qualify?

Yes, Walt, I meant LA/Louisiana.

I never learned to touch type ;-).

73 Paula k9ir

For amusement purposes only, the Florida “summit” in the distance. Busy busy with the phosphate still.


There is a good article about the bridge on wikipedia.

We thought we had found a third summit for the Sydney region a couple of years back. A map had shown a point that did have sufficient prominence, but when investigated further we found that point was a navigation light placed on the top of a concrete water reservoir, which was on a hill but the ground level at that point was about 10m short of the 150. Seaplanes land on water nearby so I guess that’s why they need a “highest point” light in the area.

73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH

The prominence would need to be measured from roadway height anyway, not sea level as the defining contour would stretch out from The Rocks and North Sydney out to the various SY summits, not from sea-level (the bridge isn’t an island). 48m highest in the middle, but let’s assume the ends are a bit further down, and I think it’d struggle to meet P100

That’s what we concluded. But it was fun to consider it, even though it’s artificial.

BTW if anyone visits Sydney, the Bridge Climb is a great experience. Totally safe and only a few ladder climbs needed. Most of the height gain is from walking up the arch to the top, where the flags fly, there are fabulous views of the harbour and the Opera House of course. Needs to be booked well in advance.

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These man made summits are a heap of old rubbish.

Serious questions:,
How much vegetation is enough? 1 kg/ sq m? How long does it have to be established at this level? 3 years?

We have a number of tall buildings with root top gardens. Maybe they qualify. 52 higher than 150 m and one over 1000 ft. In Melbourne. Access might be expensive.


Enough vegetation is needed.

It has to be established for long enough.

I hope this answers your questions.

So plant life, yea? So some lichen for example, that may be all that is on Antarctic summits. Most of us would have enough on our boots to spread onto a summit.

I hope this clarifies your answers.

Do you think the MT is dumb? Before accepting the first old mine waste dump as a summit we discussed the matter thoroughly and agreed a set of criteria.

Most candidate tips are from coal mines. The shales and seat earths that are dumped are not exactly hospitable to plant life, it takes a long time for vegetation to establish naturally. The first candidate which was in Belgium had trees growing on it. Trees don’t pop up very quickly. Natural vegetation had obviously been established for a long time. In the case of Hensbarrow Downs it is china clay waste, the Cornish uplands do not support trees anyway, but there were gorse bushes that were reasonably sizeable, and gorse is slow growing. Do you perceive a pattern? A bit of lichen is not enough, the vegetation has to be well established for many years. A bit of grass planted to stabilise the surface is not enough, a natural plant community is ideal. However, if any candidates appear at high latitudes a bit of lichen, as you put it, could be acceptable because lichen is very slow growing. Personally, I would hold out for some dryas octopetalla.

Of course not. Its a bit of light hearted banter like many of the posts are. I’ll refrain from ever posting again given how serious the MT is.

I’m all in favour of banter, Compton, but Ron asked a serious question and you appeared to me to be reinforcing it. Andy’s answer was frivolous but I thought a more serious answer to Ron’s question would be appreciated . Mind you, I deliberately stuck my chin out with the “do you think the MT is dumb?” question!



My answer was nuanced. There is a significant difference and “enough” is key. For a man-made mountain it has to look and feel like a mountain. Some will be environmentally engineered faster than others and some will remain industrial eye-sores for a long time.

Those 2 ON summits from those photos look like hills to me at first glance. As does Hensbarrow. I bet Hensbarrow looks even better a few years on that it did when it became G/DC-008 back in 2017. In most cases you can apply Duck Testing(*) to decided whether your dump/spoil tip etc. is worthy of further investigation

(*) Duck Test: If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

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There must be summits, somewhere in the world that are the shape and height they are due to man-made earthworks around the 8th Century - or much earlier, and would not be P150 (or P100) without that human intervention a long, long time ago.

If we were to be absolutist about this, then MT would have a huge amount of historical research to conduct, and lots of summits to delete I expect.

The question is, where in time/state do we draw the line? Personally, I’m happy with the “returned to nature, vegetated” concept that Brian G8ADD takes the credit for introducing, and indeed Andy MM0FMF’s duck test. Everyone else may relax and simply be happy with your beloved MT making decisions and explicitly ruling such summits in, or out, as appropriate.

You are right. Hensbarrow Beacon, the old summit, is granite with a thin soil cover, it will never look much better than it does now. The new summit will develop a much deeper soil and in time a more luxurious vegetation cover. This can be seen in the oldest china clay waste heaps that have mature trees growing on them. Megatonnes of waste are not going anywhere once they have vegetation stabilising them, unless we spend a lot of time and money to shift them, and there is no will to do that.

This raises an intriguing thought. The South Wales hills that I remember from my childhood were crowned by huge active tips as mine waste was dumped on them. The older tips that were no longer in use were already greening up. If it hadn’t been for the Aberfan disaster those tips would still be there and the SW region would have had several more SOTA summits! After Aberfan they were all removed or landscaped and I can’t say that I am sorry, but it is an intriguing might-have-been.

Mount Livermore (W6/CC-075) has varied in height, but only by 16 feet. The top was shaved off in the 1950s to install a radar for a Nike missile site. In 2002, the dirt that had been pushed off to the side was replaced on top. It was also replanted with native vegetation, for those keeping track of that.


At least one of these huge tips in SOTA actually still does exist Brian. This tip is on a summit of a HuMP called Mynydd y Grug making the actual summit itself inaccessible. This is not far from the summit of Mynydd GW/SW-030. In the future there is a chance that Mynydd y Grug could become a SOTA summit which would mean Mynydd Machen GW/SW-030 getting deleted from the SOTA programme. Please see this thread here that I started 3 years ago regarding this Gw/sw-042?

Jimmy M0HGY

Noted Brian… Do any other old timers like me out there remember driving the M6 in Lancashire 5-10 years after Aberfan when the NCB or some other agency were trialling different grasses on the slopes of a 100 feet slag heap near what was Chisnall Colliery near Charnock Richard? I do. They fenced off sections of grasses, around 10 different rectangular samples almost the size of cricket pitches, determining which seed grew best on the slag. Where they are now is a lovely green hill, quite scenic, brilliant job. Just shows what can be done to cover up man’s mineral extraction.

73 Phil

That is a good point, Jimmy, I must get around to doing SW-030, I have relatives in Newport and I have been to the nearby rally a couple of times and visited Tredegar House so I have no excuse! Once the pyrites in the shale have oxidised and the surface grass established then succession vegetation can develop quite quickly so this new summit may just be a matter of patience!

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That was the work of Liverpool University’s Prof. Tony Bradshaw FRS. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society for his reclamation work as he pioneered how to make plants grow on not just coal slag but also spoil heaps rich in heavy metal poisons etc. and without massive coverings of topsoil.