By: Blonde Two
Usually when someone asks you to walk to the top of a hill, it is quite easy. You start at the bottom, walk in the direction that looks like the most hard work and feel smug when you stand, sweating but smiling on the highest point.
Crane Hill isn’t like that at all. It has most of the elements that make up a Dartmoor hill; tussocks you could break an ankle on, weird contour features that require a bit of map translation and a slope gradient that is just enough to stop a conversation (even a Blonde one) in its tracks.
Crane Hill, however is missing three important hill-elements. a) It doesn’t have a tor at the top (usually these make summit spotting simple. b) It has no trig point (you always know that you are at the top if you find one). c) It doesn’t actually have a summit at all!
Of course, the map would tell me that I am wrong here. OL28 shows a “you-are-at-the-top” point. If I succumbed and learnt to use a GPS, it would undoubtedly give me a digital round of applause as I stepped into the correct summit zone.
As it is, I have a theory about Crane Hill (ready for some Blonde science?) If you stood a number of expert navigators (n) in exactly the same spot near the top of Crane Hill and asked them to move to the summit, they would all walk off in different directions and stand in a random scatter pattern within a 100m square. In fact, forget using atmospheric noise to generate random numbers. Bring everyone up to Crane Hill, you will get a much better quality of randomness.
Blonde Note: If you should venture up Crane Hill and not spend the rest of your life trying to find the summit; don’t, whatever you do, venture down in the direction of Plym Ford. I swear that this patch of Dartmoor contains the highest tussocks and the deepest in-between puddles of the whole National Park.