Stiperstones and then Corndon in the snow

Waking up on Wednesday 14th January to a bright sunny morning presented me with an unexpected opportunity. The forecast had suggested wintery precipitation, followed by more of the same.

A winter bonus grab of Stiperstones, and possibly Corndon, was on the cards.

The road out from Shrewsbury was clear, but as I approached the western flank of the Stiperstones, lying snow was increasingly in evidence. The last mile or two is obciously not a milk tanker route, as it had not been cleared or gritted. Eventually, the car would go no further up the gradient, wheels spinning ineffectually.

After a couple of cautious reverses and reruns at increasing speed, I managed to slither into the lower car park, and very pretty it was, too!

The walk up was therefore longer than intended, but no complaints in conditions like this, it was well worth it.

As I reached the summit, the wind was increasing, and the blue sky was becoming hazy, a cloud bank on the horizon was heading my way.
However, I managed to qualify comfortably on 2m FM, with 8 QSOs spaced over half an hour. By now the shadow of the rocks had moved across, and I was starting to get cold. No HF, then, time to pack up.

It was a useful first sub zero activation since last winter, and a reminder of how insidious the cooling effect can be. Despite wearing gloves - fingerless for setting up and operating - and having adequate layers in reserve, by the time I had packed up and was walking off, a couple of my fingers were numb, and I was feeling quite chilly. Next time, I will don the down jacket on arrival at the summit, and must minimise time without full gloves. Or use the bothy bag!

The additional time negotiating the roads, and the longer than anticipated walk, meant that I didn’t have time for Corndon. Rod M0JLA and Vicki M6BWA had offered to keep an ear out for me, and so my apologies for not popping up. Next time :o)



Interesting report thank you.
But onto an old biker trick.
The wrist is the main place you lose body heat so wot we do is wear wrist bands woolly ones and wider the better to add extra insulation on the wrists made a difference for a while longer.

Mind you modern breathable thermals make a difference too.

PS lovely Photos yet again.


Hi Karl,

Interesting point - I certainly notice any gaps in clothing in a sub zero wind, and a bit of extra wrist insulation wouldn’t go amiss :o)


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The tread patterns left in the snow suggest low profile summer tyres so it’s not surprising you had issues. My car has similar tyres and also 4wd and probably wouldn’t have done much better. It doesn’t matter how many wheels you apply drive to if they are not gripping!

it looks to be a belting day day from that car park photo however.

Yes, I’m sure you are right. Two or three normal family cars (2 WD) carried on past the carpark and on up the steeper gradient with no apparent difficulty - probably locals with winter tyres. I had been sitting there pointing up hill, in first gear with engine idling, and sliding slowly backwards!

It wouldn’t be worth me buying / changing tyres for the few miles that I do in snow, but I have wondered whether to get some snow chains - probably not the tyre chewing steel ones - does anyone have experience of using them?


I was going to buy some snow socks for my car as there is insufficient clearance for chains. My car has permanent 4wd with 40% FWD / 60% RWD torque split and reports suggest you only need socks on the front wheels. I haven’t punted yet.

We get a lot more snow than you and I was going to put winter tyres on but the cost last year was £££££ and they have a reported life of c. 8000 miles. I worked out the costs for buying new narrower wheels and winter tyres plus the hassle of storing them/changing and the lower life expectancy over the time I expect to have this vehicle. The end result was much more sensible… I bought an secondhand 4wd pickup. It works out cheaper in the long run and it infuriates my snooty neighbours when I start it up and it rattles away as it warms up :smile:

A few days later, on Monday 19th January, I caught up with Corndon GW/MW-013. It was still a little below freezing point, but today there was no wind, and the sun was kind to me in that it kept shining.
I managed to keep my gloves on almost all the time, so there is some squiggly log keeping, but no cold fingers!

Thanks to all who called me on 2m FM and 5 MHz SSB, and to ON3WAB for the spot report.


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Sorry I missed you today; I must have been only moments late on 2m FM as it was quite a while before the 60m spot came up. I could just hear you in the noise but unreadable.
Looks like a lovely day.
I am confined to base at present with some sort of bug but hope to get out by the weekend, WX permitting.

Sorry to have missed you, and best wishes for shaking off the bug by the weekend.


I planning on doing these 2 plus Pole Bank in one day before the end of the WB.
The problem is driving up (or down) the Burr Way out of Church Stretton.
It scares the ***** out of me on a day when there is no frost or ice!
There’s no way I’d attempt it in this weather.


There is a road up Longmynd from the west, through Bridges and Ratlinghope (pronounced “Ratchop”) which is very handy if you are coming from Stiperstones. It is not great in icy weather, but a lot less scary than the Burway…


FWIW my map shows minor roads to Pole Bank from the north with no chevrons to mark steep sections, but I haven’t tried them. There is a steep road up from the southwest side that passes the glider club, this might be gritted to give access to the club but in any case gets plenty of sun. The road from the west is very photogenic, particularly on the descent, but in places is nearly as hairy as the road up from the east!


I hope this works.

As Adrian says, this is the nicest way up the Longmynd.

I activated Corndon, Stiperstones and Longmynd on Friday. I live South of these hills in Ludlow, so after Pole Bank, I came down the Burway to easily get on the A49 via Church Stretton. This was a bad choice as there were ice patches on the road and brown patches in my car!

Of course, I did not know this when setting off, however when I got to the bottom of Burway Bank by the cattle grids, I looked in my rear view mirror to see a sign “Road Closed, Ice and Snow” However the Trust failed to put one at the top.

In hindsight I would go up from Ratlinghope and definitely come down via the Ratlinghope.

You think the Burway is bad, try the route from the Gliding Club.

Most of all be safe, those same hills will be there in a week, month, year, decade, century…I can keep going on.

Next on my to do list (within 1 hour drive)

Beacon Hill (MW9)
Great Rhos (MW4)
Gwanceste (MW10)
Pegwn Mawr (MW6)
Black Mountain (SW41)

However I am limited on availability at the weekends, Friday afternoons seem to be the best bet for me.

I apologise (RQL, TRB to name a few) to the SSB lads for not being on 2m SSB, I am so limited on time so a 2m FM handie, a fishing pole and a 450OHM Ladder Feed Slim Jim, is not only lighter, but also quicker to set up.

I am working on making it lighter! This will be

Wouxun KGUVD1P with a battery eliminator, cigarette lighter adaptor to 2.2AH LiPo 11.1v battery.
Use a Walking pole upside down, slot over 21.5mm Diametre PVC pipe, this PVC pipe has a "Flowerpot Antenna"
Then quickly guy the system and get on 2m FM.
I have been trialing its deployment in the garden and it seems fast and most importantly light.
Photos of this system will be posted in due time!

Next on the antenna making list, is the same “Flowerpot Antenna” but for 4m!

The route from the north is a pleasant walk, but motor vehicles are not allowed.

As Matt says, this is quite hairy. I met a glider coming down there on a trailer once. Obviously he couldn’t back up, so I had to reverse all the way down. It is narrower and steeper than Burway with steep drop to the side and no passing places. Best avoided unless you are an adrenalin junky - or need to get your glider to site :o)


Ah! Thanks for that. I remember seeing vehicles coming that way many years ago when “the Mynd” was a favourite walk of mine, so it was closed some time after. Tempus frangit!


Or you could, you know, walk up the hill! :wink:

From Church Stretton to the summit following the paths Anquet says 4.2km, 299m ascent 1hr19mn. Sounds a nice wee stroll although I drove up Burway when I did it.

I’ve done it by the road up from Church Stretton - and regretted it! Not nice to be forced off the road by inconsiderate drivers concentrating on the drop!


Paths not road. Those red dotted things on the map!

Yes, there are lots of very pleasant walking routes onto the Longmynd from all directions. With a day to spare, it is quite possible to walk between Corndon, Stiperstones and Longmynd. There is a nice Youth Hostel at Bridges, too. And indeed a pub.

I think the possible confusion over roads on the ridge is the section between Robin Hood’s Butts, and the Shooting box. On older maps I think it is represented as a track rather than a footpath.
You can drive up onto the northern end to High Park, which avoids any scary roads though of course they could still be affected by snow and ice.


Ooh, you’re so sharp it’s a wonder you don’t cut yourself!

Yep, done them, also gone straight up pathless from Cardingmill Valley (God alone knows why!), explored several of the batches, scrambled on various outcrops (mostly loose and horrible, but it IS the biggest inlier of precambrian rock in England, pushing up like a camel’s hump, so deserving my attention!) and spent the odd pleasant hour watching them shoot off gliders with a glorified rubber band. I don’t know what those red dotted lines are like nowadays but fifty years ago they were a purgatorial thrash through gorse, heather and head-high bracken! Hence my walking up the road on one never-to-be-repeated occasion.