Insomniac chasers sought

Wednesday 31st March - probably about 3.30 - 4.30am.

As some of you are aware, I’m currently participating in the “March the Month” campaign for Prostate Cancer UK. The challenge is to walk at least 11,000 steps every day throughout the month of March. This morning before work I did my Lockdown Walk 36 - Lockdown 36 - and so I have now gone through the 11K step target for all 17 days of March so far.

On the final day - 31st March - I intend to go for a ‘grandstand finish’ to the campaign. My ambitious plan is to walk to work in Leek, Staffordshire from my home in Macclesfield, Cheshire. The route I’ve planned uses mainly public footpaths, canals and disused railway lines - and (of course) passes over Bosley Cloud G/SP-015. It’s approximately 26km and I estimate will take 7 to 8 hours to complete.

Hence I will be setting off from my home QTH around midnight. I’m going to plan some long walks and increasingly early bedtimes in the days leading up to the stunt. But most importantly, when I do reach The Cloud G/SP-015, will there be anyone to answer my calls? A good number of my SOTA friends have kindly donated to the fundraising for Prostate Cancer UK, but I’m hoping some may set their alarms to offering some on-the-air encouragement when I put out some calls as I get to the summit at stupid-o’clock!

(When I arrive at the school in Leek, I will change into a suit and do a full day of maths teaching - but that should be easy compared to the trek!)

My photo blog of the first 16 days of the challenge is here: (I’ll add this morning’s sometime this evening).


Just a quick question. Is it easy to RX/TX The Cloud from Gun Hill? I might be hatching a plan. 2m?

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Have you looked on a map?

More particularly have you looked on something like SMP ( or (

The easiest thing in the world. If I was to get a S2S on this trek, that would be stunning!

P.S. Thank you John @G0MHF, Andrew @VK3ARR and Roger @MW0IDX for your kind donations today.

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Excellent idea Tom. You are looking very fit these days.


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Thanks Ron!

I think Tom’s first hand knowledge of the area is probably better than any research I might carry out. But yes I did, I am familiar with the area, I lived there for 10 years. I know Tom and I use the same handheld so if he says it is a goer, it will probably be worth risking a nights sleep. Let’s see what happens as the lockdown restrictions are lifted. I now live on the other side of the Peaks so I will have to travel.


Will Listen out for you Tom and watch for your spot… Good luck with your endeavour.

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Are you factoring in some “on summit” time, or will you keep walking while you work the pile-up?

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I think I can safely say that I will work down the frequency until it is empty, without losing much walking time at all!

The greater issue is that of coordination. What time do chasers set their alarms for? How long will @2E0BIA hang around for the potential S2S? I will post an alert, but it is likely to be a +/- 60 minutes job. I’ll spot (or post) when I estimate I am half-an-hour away - but will anyone be awake to receive the updates?

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There are a number of reasons why local information may be relevant. Locally I have an area where the interference from seven masts blows out the front end of two of my transceivers. If I am getting up in the middle of the night, I don’t think asking a simple question is unreasonable. I find your comment about ‘even’ someone that is newly licenced should be able to read a map, just condescending. There is no requirement in the licence conditions to be able to read a map. However with 40 years of mountaineering experience including trips to the Himalayas I get by. I don’t understand your attitude.


Anyway, that’s enough bickering about who said what and what they meant. I’m bringing this thread back on the important topic of vital fundraising and awareness-raising for Prostate Cancer UK.

I’m now starting to think about edging my bedtimes earlier incrementally throughout the next week-and-a-bit. The idea being that by the 30th I can get in bed around 6pm and get 5 hours kip in before the walk to work.

I was initially assuming that this would be a very solo affair, but it seems chasers are going to try and work me, a fellow activator is going to try to set up a S2S, and now a chap from the Macclesfield Walking Group on Facebook seems to be considering inviting himself along for the walk!

I’ve got interest from two community radio stations, two regional newspapers, and two local magazines. I am not getting very far though with regional TV news - so if anyone has any contacts they could nudge, please do so!

Gone through £700 now on the fundraising. Thank you again to several SOTA friends who have already donated.

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Good luck Tom - If it was me the problem would not be getting up and walking - but teaching lesson 5!

Think I’ve only got lessons 2 & 3 that day.

“A man sets out from Macclesfield at 5am heading at a constant 4km per hour. If he consumes 1 litre of water per hour, and requires 0.9 litres of water to rehydrate, calculate the urgency of his need to urinate upon arrival if his bladder is approximately 1 litre in capacity and he arrives at 11am”

“A man, radio and a wolf are attempting to climb a summit. The wolf cannot be left alone with the man. The radio cannot be used by the wolf. The man cannot use the radio without being asked about whether he’s heard of mobile phones before. What summit is the man climbing?”

Should keep them occupied while you nap in the corner :slight_smile:


5am - ROTFL. I’d need that notorious “Dark Horse” of yesteryear to do that route in 3.5 hours!

It looks like the suggested S2S attempt from G/SP-013 has had to pull out, so that possibility is now open for anyone else who fancies trudging up there at 3am. Please form an orderly queue.

Thanks to the SOTA community for their continuing support.


I have amended the alert time to 4am (BST) - 0300z +/- 60 minutes. It’s a difficult thing to estimate! However thanks to the kind support of Richard G3CWI, I hope to be trackable on APRS as M1EYP-3. This probably won’t have coverage of my onward walk from The Cloud G/SP-015 to the work QTH in Leek, but should offer those insomniac chasers a way to track my progress to the SOTA activation.

I’m still hopeful there will be a S2S attempt from Gun G/SP-013, and any other similar intentions would be most welcome. I am very grateful to the several chasers that have already committed to intending to work me on this peculiar activation! As several of them are also C4FM ops, I’ve added that mode to the alert.

Coverage in today’s local paper of this big overnight walk I’ll be doing next week.

Interview on Moorlands Radio 103.7 FM - and I manage to squeeze a little mention of SOTA in this one:

I’ll also be interviewed about this on Mike Sweeney’s show on BBC Radio Manchester next Tuesday. The programme is on air 10am - 2pm BST. Tune in locally on 95.1 MHz FM or listen from anywhere via the BBC Sounds app: Radio Manchester - Listen Live - BBC Sounds

Thanks to more generous donations, including from SOTA activators and chasers, the fund for Prostate Cancer UK now stands at over £900, so within sight of my original target of £1000. Thank you for your support.

Click the link below if you’d like to make a donation.


Will be listening from a summit nearby if the alarm goes off!


Great news!