By: Blonde Two

You thought that trig pillars were for tricky mapping and surveying tasks didn’t you. Well we Blondes have decided that the wonderful collection of Ordnance Survey trig pillars that mark out our favourite hill summits across the UK (follow some of the Britain’s 100 Favourite Walks routes here) are for an entirely different purpose, they are for holding on to in windy weather. Take my recent trip with Mr B2 up to the trig point on Dartmoor’s fabulous Yes Tor (#TWSY) we had checked the Dartmoor National Park weather forecast and the wind chill factor had grown steadily as we climbed up from Rowtor on Dartmoor’s wilder North Moor. As we reached the plateau that stretches between Yes Tor and High Willhays (the highest point on Dartmoor) the wind started doing that whipping over the ridge thing that it enjoys so much. Determined to get the traditional trig point photo (what else would you expect from an Ordnance Survey Get Outside Champion), I climbed up and teetered over the trig pillar.

All good except that, at this point a few things started to happen:

  • The wind picked up just a tad more
  • I turned around for the photo and realised how high I was (I wasn’t but I hate any heights)
  • I found myself almost hugging the trig pillar and too scared to let go

Image and Blonde rescue services – @FuzzyFellaRides

There was another walker just beneath us (and in my falling trajectory) and I was too embarrassed to admit my trig point wimp status out loud, so I tried to whisper the words, ‘I’m stuck!’ to Mr B2 (whispering, I am sure you will agree, is an entirely silly thing to attempt in high winds). Eventually, by the magic of lip reading and by my worried face, Mr B2 worked out my trig pillar problem and came to my rescue.

So thank you Ordnance Survey for giving all of us hill walkers and climbers something concrete (in every sense of the word) to hang on to at the top of the UK’s hills. I seem to remember a rather similar experience with B1 at the Kinder Scout trig point!

Ordnance Survey – Trig Pillar Trail Challenge