The New Path

Regular Reflector readers will be aware that I have been reporting on the progress of a completely refurbished / re-engineered main path up The Cloud G/SP-015. Many years ago, I made and published a video online of my then 8 minute ascent up SOTA’s most activated summit.

With the new path complete, I thought it was high time to remake the ascent video!

Tuesday 21st May 2019 - The Cloud G/SP-015

So Liam had a singing lesson in town, and I was on taxi duties. Marianne advised me that the traffic around Macclesfield was very bad and it would be inadvisable for me to try to come home before going to collect Liam 45 minutes later. She suggested I go to the pub for a pint. I wondered if I could actually squeeze a SOTA activation in…!

Remarkably, I did. I dropped Liam off for his lesson at 1815 BST. I drove down the Leek road to Bosley Crossroads, and then down the A54 and up to Red Lane (Cloudside).

For years I’ve used the time of 8 minutes when quoting how long it takes to climb to the summit of The Cloud. That is because my old video was just that. I was heartened this time to make the summit in just short of 7 minutes.

On 2m FM, with the handheld, I made four quick contacts, all with Intermediate licence holders.

Here’s the new 2019 ascent video:

For comparison, here’s the old 2007 ascent video:

Oh, and I was back in Macclesfield to meet Liam at 1900 BST!

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Hi Tom,
This looks very familiar!

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Evening Paul.

If it looks “very familiar” to you - then I guess it looks very very very familiar to me - my 1172nd activation of G/SP-015!


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Looks horrible. I prefer the old path in many ways but with increasing numbers ascending it is obviously not viable to keep it like it was.

I don’t think it looks horrible at all. They have done a nice job and entirely from natural materials that were already on site. What was horrible was the - in places - 20 feet wide erosion scars caused by walkers plotting their own paths to avoid the very damp bits. To be fair, you allude to this in your post.

Already the heathland either side of the path is showing signs of recovery, and the path itself is now excellent to walk on with the drainage properly sorted. A very much improved situation all round.

Wednesday 22nd May 2019 - The Cloud G/SP-015

Another stroll up on the way home from teaching in Crewe. Strange activation. Called CQ on 2m FM on the handheld, but it was very quiet. I made just one QSO.

Switched to 70cm FM and called on there. Made eight QSOs. I was not expecting that!