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wicklore
2011-11-07 12:07:07
Re: Belfast Hills
Context of comment:Hi Volsung

In response to your query re: Belfast Hills. You have raised a few very good points. The first thing to note is that if a hill is 400 metres or below in height, then it must have a prominence of 150 metres or more to be included on MountainViews. Prominence is calculated by measuring from the col between the hill and the next higher hill. While Cave Hill and the others hills you mentioned are close to Belfast and very worthy for walking, they just don’t have the prominence currently required to be included. Therefore Cave hill is measured from the col between it and Divis Mountain which is the next higher hill to which it is connected. Cave Hill (from memory) therefore only has a prominence of about 100 metres. This seems arbitrary and clinical, and can mean fantastic hills are omitted. However as with any list, some kind of system has to be in place as to what gets in and what doesn’t. Using prominence as a criteria is the internationally accepted norm.

Having said that, MountainViews are looking at this issue and there may be movement in the near future.

On the issue of Cairngaver and Slievetrue being listed in the wrong Counties – this is the kind of valuable feedback we need to correct any errors, so thanks for this.

Finally, you raised the issue of whether these hills should all be classed as Belfast Hills, especially as some are not in Co. Down. The Geography Officer might explain better, but the group that hills are placed in are not always based on County, but rather the natural physical group to which they belong. An example: the highest point of Co. Kildare – Cupidstown Hill – is listed as a part of the Dublin/Wicklow range, even though the summit is in Kildare! Some of the hill ranges can appear odd and no doubt need tweaking. The more members bring issues to our attention, the more alert we can be to these apparent anomalies.
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