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Shining Tor, a Cold Report

Let me start by saying, the path up to this summit is treacherous. What would normally have been a 30 odd minute stroll, turned into nearly an hour long slog. There are parts of the track which are sheet ice and great care needed to be taken. Having said this, I managed to fall over three times, once on the ascent and twice on the decent, one of these falls being very hard. If you are intending to activate this summit, you have been warned.

On reaching the trig point this morning, the seats and dry stone wall were covered in snow, possibly up to 3 feet deep and sadly, the one thing I had neglected to take with me, was a shovel. This made sheltering behind the wall very difficult and the reason for my activation coming to a premature end.

The activation was to be predominately VHF FM and I had alerted this last night. I had been monitoring the air pressure and fancied finding some DX from my second home G/SP-004. As it turned out, I was not to be disappointed, the DX Gods had smiled upon me, however, the DX Gods may have smiled upon me, but the WX Gods most certainly had not.

After setting up the X-300 collinear and attaching the Wouxun H/H, I soon realised the pager QRM was going to make this idea a non runner and was forced to resort to the FT-857.

Managed to spot myself and very soon, there was a queue of regular chasers in hot pursuit. Bob G6ODU was in pole position followed by M0COP Peter, GW7AAV Steve, M3XIE Dave, Brian G4ZRP and Ken G3XQE, all hot on his heels. There was an exceptional contact, all of 15 miles with John G1STQ who stated that he was thinking about joining me, but as usual, ended up wimping out :wink:

There was nice a call from a very surprised Roger G4WBV in Bristol, confirming there was indeed some DX activity. This was followed by calls from Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Somerset, a nice contact with Don G0RQL in Devon as well as Phil G4OBK in Pickering and also a contact into Bridlington. I had planned to work the HF bands, but the by now, bitterly cold wind put paid to that idea, with my Thermometer showing -5c and my bottle of orange juice, now turned into an ice lolly.

With no decent shelter and a biting wind, I decided to chuck the towel in. Apologies to the HF chasers, but it was just too cold for my liking. Anyhow, about 60 stations worked on 2m FM with a nice sprinkling of DX.

Thanks to all the chasers.

73 Mike
2E0YYY

In reply to 2E0YYY:
Great to hear you out and about once again…back on Mickeys Tor.

Especially pleased with my FT-60 making the trip from inside my QTH, just on its rubber duck. Quack quack.

Hot bath and a tot of brandy (not the cheap stuff you give me) after your tea should help get rid of any bruises from your penguin slide off the summit. It always happens when I’m not there to take a photo and take the Mick, Mick.

73 John

In reply to 2E0YYY:
Hi Mike…

Karen and I activated the Tor last Thursday and conditions then were not a lot better then… We did, however, don our ‘Kahtoolas’ prior to walking and romped up the ice sheets…We also gave in to some chuckling watching walkers slip and slide and generally all ‘akimbo’ making their way up or down the path!..They’re well worth the money and you don’t loose time either, not to mention the safety factor…Well worth looking at Mike.

Regards, Neil.

In reply to 2E0TDX:

Karen and I activated the Tor last Thursday and conditions then were
not a lot better then… We did, however, don our ‘Kahtoolas’ prior
to walking and romped up the ice sheets…We also gave in to some
chuckling watching walkers slip and slide and generally all 'akimbo’
making their way up or down the path!..They’re well worth the money
and you don’t loose time either, not to mention the safety
factor…Well worth looking at Mike.

Cheers Neil,

I’ll take a look into those.

73 Mike
2E0YYY

In reply to G1STQ:

John

Think of the damage he’ll do to our kit when he stands on it wearing those things eh?
Regards
Dave

In reply to M0TUB:
LOL

In reply to 2E0TDX:
Were you using the micro spikes or the crampons please ?

I too have been up Shining Tor when only a little ice was around but hidden in water and I don’t do ice scating !

Regards John

In reply to G3WFK:

I’ve only been up Shining Tor once but there wasn’t any ascent as such so the micro spikes should be more than sufficient. The Kahtoolah crampon (I have a steel pair) does seem like overkill in this case

An instep crampon such as the Grivel Spider is also worth considering for hills/terrain like this. The advantage of both the Kahtoolah spikes and crampons is that they can be used on boots/shoes that are not normally considered crampon compatible. Likewise the Spider.

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Hello all

I ave been using these whilst snowy and icy! For the lumpy, bumpy hills of WB, Mid Wales and South Wales they are ideal for a quick solution.

However I would not rate them highly on craggy and rocky summits.

If like me, you spend the vast majority of your time on the peat heaps of the Brecon Beacons or pretty much any hill in Mid Wales you won’t go far wrong, the lighweight and easy storage makes them ideal.

I used them in December 2010 on the Ponderosa Pair, at the time I was not using walking poles, so these were a good compromise.

https://www.yaktrax.co.uk/shop/yaktrax-walker-black

Many thanks all

Matt G8XYJ

In reply to MM0FMF:

Thanks for the info Andy.

Are the micro spikes good on wet grassy slopes, especialy if near freezing ? I have slipped fell then skidded down hill on my front a short distance. I would be very happy to not do that again.

John

G3WFK

In reply to G3WFK:

Yes Andy, it is the Kahtoolah microspikes we use - easy to slip on over walking boots. On my QRZ page there is a photo from December 2010 of the “ice river” track at the end of Whitfell - I could run down that in the microspikes. I’m sure we wouldn’t have got up it without them. It was our first outing in them and we couldn’t believe how easy it was. They were recommended to us by a mountain boot specialist out Manchester way - they had sold, and tried for themselves, numerous makes over the years and found these to be the best and longest lasting. (They are quite dear but having used them, we wouldn’t hesitate to buy again).

To: John G3WFK
Neil and I have used them several times on very steep ascents and descents of wet grassy slopes and found them excellent. (Sadly we didn’t think of trying them for this until after I slipped in mud and broke my ankle last January!)

73
Karen 2E0XYL

In reply to 2E0XYL:

Thanks Andy Neil & Karen I shall buy some before my next outing.

Safety is high on my priority list, especially when operating in Shetland as there is no mountain rescue there !!

In reply to G3WFK:

operating in Shetland as there is no mountain rescue there !!

Just as well there aren’t any mountains there either! :slight_smile: Hopefully you’ll be back there soon as I’d like another S2S with you from up there.

Lots of places sell the Yaktrax and Microspikes and they’re easily found online.

To get back to Mike’s comments about it being cold… Cotswolds Outdoor shops have a fairly big sale on right now. They are selling down jackets for £80. There are Berhaus Manaslu II in black. The squash down to the smaller than a rugby ball and are nice and warm. I wouldn’t be able to stay out for long on the tops in Winter without one. They are not terribly waterproof though. They also has some fanatastic deals on Rab down jackets. The one I saw was a Pertex out so fairly waterproof and it had reinforced shoulders and arm panels. It was a lot more than the Berghaus, about £130 down from £230+. Also fleece line pants were on offer.

I’ve no connection other than a satisfied customer.

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to MM0FMF:

Cotswolds Outdoor shops have a fairly big sale on right now. They are selling
down jackets for £80.

Maplin Electronics (maplin.co.uk) are selling electrically heated padded jackets at £19.99.
Product code N58KA. Unfortunately they are only available in Medium or Large sizes. They operate for two hours from 6 AA cells.

73,
Walt (G3NYY)

In reply to 2E0XYL:

Thanks Neil,Karen,Andy

Today I have been out and bought a pair of Kahtoola microspikes, even bought a pair for the wife too.