updated 9/19/2008 7:54:05 PM ET 2008-09-19T23:54:05

Three hikers have made a mountain out of an old Welsh hill.

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Great Britain's national mapping agency said Friday it would reclassify one of Wales' peaks after three walkers conducted their own survey of what was had been considered just a very high hill.

Ordnance Survey had listed Mynydd Graig Goch in Snowdonia as 1,998 feet (608.99 meters) high, just short of the required 2,000 feet (609.6 meters) needed for mountain status.

But walkers John Barnard, Myrddyn Phillips and Graham Jackson thought Mynydd Graig Goch was more than just a hill.

They borrowed surveying equipment from Leica Geosystems, a Swiss company that makes satellite positioning technology, and spent a day taking the 7,000 readings necessary to complete a survey.

They measured Mynydd Graig Goch at 2,000.5 feet (609.75 meters), making it a mountain with a good 6 inches (15.24 centimeters) to spare.

Ordnance Survey was persuaded. In granting the peak mountain status, the agency reversed more than 200 years of mapmaking. New versions of the agency's maps, which will appear online in the next few months, will reflect Mynydd Graig Goch's newly elevated status.

Phillips hopes the reclassification will boost tourism. Wales now has, after all, a new mountain to visit.

"I think it gives people the opportunity to enter new grounds, to visit a new summit," Phillips said. "It's an opportunity to visit Wales. Mynydd Graig Goch is in a stunning area, the best ridge in the whole of Wales."

The official heights of hills and mountains are occasionally changed as more accurate surveying techniques become available. The world's tallest peak, Mount Everest, gained eight meters (26.2 feet) in 2005 after a surveying team corrected calculations made in 1856.

Wales' newest mountain may not be its last. Phillips said he and his colleagues are already planning similar investigations to see if other hills in Wales and Scotland might really be mountains — making them, perhaps, much more mountainous places than had been thought.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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