Other SOTA sites: SOTAwatch | SOTA Home | Database | Video | Photos | Shop | Mapping | FAQs | Facebook | Contact SOTA

Moving Mountains


Whilst on my recent trip up to Mick 2E0HJD’s QTH I couldn’t help noticing that no matter what direction I viewed G/SP-014 Easington Fell from, or from what altitude, it looked somewhat lower than it’s close neighbour, Waddington Fell. This could of course be an optical illusion, but the difference looked substantial to me.

I wonder if anyone else has noticed this phenomena? Maybe it will be next summit to be re-evaluated and moved and disappear from RHB.



Yes Mike, others have indeed noticed. Notably, the RHB team themselves - it is identified as one the situations under review:


Also, the TACit Tables include the following comment:

“Easington Fell: Nearby 395m Waddington Fell looks higher from some angles but there is no evidence for this on any map.”

So yes, there is a possibility that this could change in the future. However, as it stands, Easington Fell’s summit is thought to be higher, so that is the SOTA point for the vicinity. But it does look like the RHB’s intrepid surveyors will be paying a visit with their special gear at some point!



In reply to M1EYP:

Thanks for that info Tom, I’ll keep an eye on that one with interest.

I first noticed it when I activated Longridge Fell last year, I took a trip up to Easington but my back said NO and resulted in me admiring the scenery from the car park.

It seems a very pronounced difference to me but sometimes the eye can be easily fooled in hilly surroundings.



Given the current data listed for the two hills and the way these things work, it is likely that there is only a metre or so in it. I seem to recall Jimmy pointing out the same observation when we were last up there in 2006, but I thought that Easington Fell was higher. It’s four years or so since this one was last raised in the MARHOFN, so perhaps it’s OK as it is.

The eye is easily fooled. I can think of loads of times we have looked out from certain hills and seen other hills we knew to be smaller appearing to tower above hills we knew were bigger!



In reply to GW0DSP:

There’s similar discussions rumbling about Auchnafree Hill GM/SS-039 at 789m and its neighbouring lump Choinneachain Hill at 787m. Recent measurements have suggested that Choinnneachain Hill is higher than the maps say. It’s possible that Choinneachain Hill could replace Auchnafree Hill which was one of the reasons I wanted to get it bagged (oh sad!) before it is possibly deleted.

This continuous revision of absolute summit heights will continue ad infinitum as the equipment needed to survey and level is now affordable by amateurs (surveyors and radio operators). Coupled with the fact of how the OS maps were produced and the inbuilt inaccuracies of the mapping process, swaps in and out of the definitive lists will be reasonably regular events.



In reply to GW0DSP:

Bennachie GM/ES-061 is another hill that has a subsidiary top which looks, from all angles, to be higher than the true summit. Most locals look upon Mither Tap to be the summit when in fact it is Oxen Crags that is the high point. Mither Tap is an old Iron Age hillfort and is very pointy whereas the true summit is a pimple on a ridge running away from the fort. It is an optical illusion but Mither Tap feels like the true summit when you are on the hill.

Just do both and enjoy the views! At least you don’t have to worry about the tourists falling over your antenna when on the true top!!!


Barry GM4TOE