The Angry Corrie 18: Apr-Jun 1994


Science Section: (i) A Kinder kind of Scout

I feel I have to take issue with Prof Warbeck (TAC15, p5) on his Coefficient of Agginess. Whilst I agree that Kinder Scout and the Aonach Eagach are quite different in character, I feel the Prof is obviously not fully aware of the nature of Kinder Scout, and hence something more must be included in his Coefficient. As one who has spent most of his adult life living in sight of one or other of the two, I believe I am qualified to comment.

Anyone who knows Kinder Scout well will agree that the summit plateau is in fact far from flat. Prof Warbeck claims that most of the "Agginess" of Kinder comes from the trig point, but has he ever tried to walk straight across? I think not, for then he would surely know about the countless peat cloughs that would be encountered and all the falling in and climbing up out that these entail. He would also know about the stick in a wee pile of stones that marks the summit and surely contributes as much Agginess as the trig point marking some arbitrary point some distance away. Then there are the Woolpacks, an immaculate and unique collection of Pineapples (lumps of rock to you and me - Ed.) surely contributing as much Agginess as any pinnacles of the Aonach Eagach.

So how do we pinpoint the key difference? Whilst the Professor's concept of Agginess must be retained to distinguish these from mere grassy lumps, a second division should be considered to give an overall view of the mountain or hillock concerned. Set out below is my proposal for Delta*, the Captain's Modified Coefficient of Agginess:

(i) Calculate Delta, the Coefficient of Agginess, as before.

(ii) Take a cross-section through the mountain perpendicular to that used to calculate Delta. This is used to assess the overall character of the mountain.

(iii) Take points (X+, X-) on this second cross-section 1k either side of the first section.

(iv) With straight lines, join X+- to X, the point where the two cross-sections intersect.

For Kinder Scout and Aonach Eagach this gives:

(v) Find the derivatives of the lines X+ _X _ X- ......... f '2

(vi) Take the modulus of these derivatives |f '2| and multiply by Delta to give:

Thus we have Delta*, the Captain's Modified Coefficient of Agginess, which will differentiate between those mountains on which some may lose control of themselves, and those where they won't (good old Kinder is in quite a state these days).

Emeritus Professor, Capt MC Beetham, FRCP

Ed. - I once read that the former top of Kinder sank into the cloughs and was superseded by another point some distance away. Can this be true? And, if so, did anyone see it happen?


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