By: Blonde Two

Mr B2 and I have opted for a bit of luxury for the first half of this year’s Scotland trip. We have booked a cottage and will arrive there today. After a week, we will be back to sleeping in the truck (we have our bivvy bags but I am not sure that the midges are going to let us use those!)

I mentioned in a previous blog post that I had some concerns about the steepness of the slopes that surround our cottage. Concerns, but not with any level of accuracy. Oh sure, I know how to add additional time to a route card to reflect the steepness of the hill, and I can imagine a hillside from the contour line shapes, but I am not very good at accurately picturing the steepness of a slope from the contour lines on the map.

For example, here is High Willhayes (Dartmoor’s highest point).

Copyright Ordnance Survey

Copyright Ordnance Survey 2016

And here is a hill near to our cottage (way off Scotland’s highest point).

Copyright Ordnance Survey 2016

Copyright Ordnance Survey 2016

It is very clear that one hill (surely a mountain) is steeper than the other, but maybe not so easy to tell what either slope will actually look like.

This handy slope angle tool sent to us by Shaven Raspberry might well help me with this problem.

Contour Card Demo

If you look at the map above, you can see that I have measured the contours lines on the map against the contours lines on the card. From that I can see that south of the burn, the slope is going to be at a 7 degree angle and will add 1 metre of distance for every 100 metres climbed (think Pythagorus if this doesn’t make sense). Now I can visualise 7 degrees and it isn’t too bad, show me a hill with an angle of 45 degrees though, and I would probably opt for the long route round!

Nice one Shaven Raspberry I am glad I packed this little card, it is going to become my best friend very soon!