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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
The Ireland Map fo.. by pazapas   (Show all posts)
Padodes has a Gene.. by wicklore   (Show all posts)
These are walks b.. by terree   (Show all posts)
To Captain Whereto.. by Bleck Cra   (Show all posts)
Could weedavie giv.. by Claude Hopper   (Show all posts)
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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!
As a footnote to t.. by pdtempan   (Show all posts)
I spent over an ho.. by CaptainVertigo   (Show all posts)
Climbed this mount.. by korff o'barbunk   (Show all posts)


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 23 Next page >>
Summit Comment
Mangerton North Top: On the way to Mangerton
MountainHunter a day ago.
I started at Point A car park and followed the path. At about 520m (-9.4817 51.9882) the path swings westward, as you walk along the path, the coum for the Devil's Punchbowl comes into view. After...

  
Summit Comment
Slieve Bawn: No longer a drive-up
TommyMc a day ago.
A series of new road barriers means that it's no longer possible to drive further than the car park on the Strokestown side. A very pleasant walk uphill from the car park to the summit and back to...

  
Summit Comment
Knockalongy South-West Top: Choose your highest point
madfrankie a day ago.
Whichever turfy outcrop is the highest point now may not be in 10 years time.

Track
Kate's to John's - Na Sléibhte Club Walk
GSheehy 2 days ago.
When we set up the club we said it was all about the economics of supply and demand - if we supplied challenging walk... walk, Len: 24.9km, Climb: 2015m, Area: Tomies North Top, Purple Mountain (Irel

  
Summit Comment
Knockalongy South-West Top: Beware of the barrier
madfrankie a day ago.
We followed sandman's route to the summit which is probably the best way to explore Knockalongy and its satellites. Gentle gradients but many eroded peat hags. Worth noting that the forest barrier...

  
Track
Carrauntoohil via the 'Back Ladder' from the Bridia Valley
peter1 3 days ago.
Park at a small turning place, just opposite The Stepping Stone / Cooky Monsters accommodation and cafe.The route fol... walk, Len: 11.5km, Climb: 1097m, Area: Carrauntoohil, MacGillycuddy's Reeks (I

Summit Comment
Binn Bhriocáin: Long views of a stepped descent.
simon3 4 days ago.
Letterbreckaun can be seen from Clare island, around 33km away. It appears between Mweelrea and the high ground towards the Sheefrys.

  
Summit Comment
Mweelrea: Coastal mountains
simon3 4 days ago.
Ben Bury and Mweelrea form an impressive sight from Clare Island.

  
Summit Comment
Caherbarnagh East Top: An unremarkable summit, worth the visit for the views.
David-Guenot a week ago.
The summit is unremarkable though easy to spot as it lies along the fence.

Summit Comment
Caherbarnagh East Top: An easy stroll from Caherbarnagh.
David-Guenot a week ago.
There is a gate to cross when coming down from the cairn at the NE end of the main Caherbarnagh ridge (I found it was actually easier to cross the fence just right of the gate). There is a faint t...

  
Summit Comment
Caherbarnagh East Top: A worthwhile addition.
David-Guenot a week ago.
This summit is easily reached from the main Caherbarnagh ridge and seems easy enough to get to from Curracahill as well. If coming from Caherbarnagh, best is to cross the fence just before the col...

  
Track
Croghan Kinsella & Tops
Peter Walker 3 days ago.
walk, Len: 9.6km, Climb: 411m, Area: Croghan Kinsella, Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland)...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 23 Next page >>