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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
MV is a fantastic .. by brenno   (Show all posts)
Colin Murphy
2008-12-02 10:39:12
"Schiehallion" from Colin Murphy Contract pics
Picture: Schiehallion (Contract pics)

Contour lines, physics byproduct
Back in the distant year of 1981, a flatmate of mine in Edinburgh, suggested that we kill a summer’s Sunday by ‘climbing a mountain’. With nothing else to do, we set off for God-knows-where in his banger of a car and I duly trudged along in agonised silence behind him, ill-equipped and totally unfit as we headed up Schiehallion (1083m in Perth & Kinross) – my first ever hillwalking experience. By co-incidence I recently came across the name Schiehallion when reading Bill Bryson’s ‘A short history of everything’. In 1774, the mountain had been selected by a physicist Nevil Maskelyne as an ideal one to conduct an experiment to determine the universal gravitional constant – if you hang a plumb line near a mountain the gravitational force will pull the line at a tiny but measurable angle towards its mass. All you need to do is measure the mass of the mountain and bob’s your uncle, the gravitational constant! Maskelyne and a mathematician called Hutton spent months taking countless measurements of Schiehallion to determine its precise shape. But the jumble of numbers was so confusing they could make little use of them – until Hutton realised that his job would be made easier if he joined the points of equal height. When he did, he realised that he’d accidentally discovered a way of accurately mapping the landscape – contour lines. Within a few years the system was adopted as a standard among cartographers the world over and it has certainly stopped me from walking over a few cliffs over the years. Incidentally their original gravitational constant experiment was a success and was actually repeated by a group of scientists in 2005, with pretty much the same results!
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RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 19 Next page >>
Track
Beinn Ghobhlach
Peter Walker 15 hours ago.
Beinn Ghobhlach by evening lightWhen you're told that you can do a walk in the morning if you're quick because your o... walk, Len: 10.9km, Climb: 739m, Area: Beinn Ghobhlach, Loch Maree to Loch Broo

  
Track
Suilven
Peter Walker a day ago.
I first read about Suilven when I was about 11. It was in some British geographical gazetteer, a stern washed-out pict... walk, Len: 24.0km, Climb: 1029m, Area: Lochinver to Ullapool (Britain) Suilve

  
Summit Comment
Slieve Elva: Fantastic scenery
Damian120 a day ago.
A stunning walk going up over Slieve Elva that you can begin and end end at Fanore Beach. Some great locations along the Caher River to stop and relax and watch the water gently flowing downstream...

Summit Comment
Knockannavea: Nice views to be had
csd 2 days ago.
While not very challenging, recent felling means the views along the way and from the summit are pleasant enough. A nice spot for a lunchtime walk.

  
Track
Maumtrasna Plateau via Dirkbeg and Buckaun Spurs
Onzy 2 days ago.
Route to the Mauntrasna plateau using the Dirkbeg spur for ascent and the Buckaun for descent. walk, Len: 10.8km, Climb: 535m, Area: Maumtrasna North-East Top, Partry/Joyce C...

  
Forum: General
Lough Oular From Tonlagee
tomlug48 2 days ago.
A beautiful July day on the summit of Tonlagee. Gazing down at the beautiful heart shaped Lough Oular.Tom Barragry & the Lugs .

Summit Summary
Knocknabro East Top: Drought made difficult ground trek possible
Collaborative entry Last edit by: CaminoPat 4 days ago.
Knocknabro East Top is best climbed as part of a good loop walk, taking in the West and North-East tops of Knocknabro. This summit is best reached firstly via Knocknabro West Top and then onto the...

  
Track
Picos de Europa
peter1 3 days ago.
I can say with certainty three things: the ascent was not 3266m, given the peak is only 2503m; secondly, I will be back walk, Len: 13.9km, Climb: 3266m, Area: Spain, Cantabria ()

  
Summit Summary
Knocknabro North-East Top: NE Top Revealed
Collaborative entry Last edit by: CaminoPat 4 days ago.
This summit is best reached via Knocknabro West Top. Park at laneway to old farmhouse now in ruin at W15905 83498. Room for 1-2 cars to park. Climb gate at entrance and follow post and wire fence ...

Track
Sail Mhor
Peter Walker 5 days ago.
After a week of blazing sunshine in the Peak District overwhelmingly spent swimming in the pool, lazing by the pool a... walk, Len: 11.3km, Climb: 833m, Area: Sail Mhor, Loch Maree to Loch Broom (Bri

  
Forum: General
.Lough Oular from Tonlagee
tomlug48 2 days ago.
A beautiful July day on the summit of Tonlagee. Gazing down at the beautiful heart shaped Lough Oular.Tom Barragry & the Brothers of the Lug.

  
Summit Comment
Knocknabro West Top: A Long Hard Slog
CaminoPat 4 days ago.
Park at laneway to old farmhouse now in ruin at W15905 83498. Room for 1-2 cars to park. Climb gate at entrance and follow post and wire fence heading north until W16029 84252. From there head acr...


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