Stiperstones Hike - G/WB-003 SOTA (2020)
Summits on the Air Activation Report
Activation Date: Saturday 29th February, 2020.
Activator(s): Richard M1HAX.
Summit: Stiperstones, Welsh Borders, England.
Summit ID: SOTA reference G/WB-003 (2+3 points).
Summit Height: 537m elevation, 357m prominence.
Summit Location: Lat./Long. 52.58192, -2.93486. Maidenhead Grid
Distance: 1.9km travelled with 98m of ascent.
Difficulty: SAC Grade T1.(?)
Elapsed Time: 35m (including operating).
Weather: Feels like 1.7°C, 26 kph W wind, 74% humidity.
Radio Equipment: Yaesu FTM100D, MFJ-1714, Zippy 4200mAh 4S LiFePo4.
Contacts: 5 (2m FM).
- Stiperstones is located in Shropshire, England, along a summit ridge stretching for 8 kilometers. It was formed around 480 million years ago from quartzite rock, and during the last Ice Age, it was situated on the eastern edge of the Welsh ice sheet. The hill remained unglaciated, but experienced intense freezing and thawing, causing the quartzite to break into scree around rocky tors. At a height of 536 meters above sea level, Stiperstones is the second-highest hill in Shropshire, with Brown Clee Hill being the only one taller at 540 meters.
- This two-point hill is part of a group known as the Famous Five or Five Peaks Challenge in the SOTA community. This cluster of hills can be completed in a single winter’s day, to net an easy 25 points. When repeated either side of New Year, 50 points can be accumulated in short order.
- For my 2020 run of the ‘Famous Five’ I activated them in the following order: GW/MW-013 (Corndon Hill), G/WB-003 (Stiperstones), G/WB-005 (Long Mynd), G/WB-002 (Brown Clee Hill), G/WB-004 (Titterstone Clee Hill).
- I parked at a spacious car park to the south of the summit. From here an obvious rocky path climbs the side of the hill before following along the ridge to the true summit at Manstone Rock.
- Whilst this route is trivial, with less than a kilometre to the activation zone, I think this is my favourite of the Famous Five SOTA summits due to its mountainous character. Occasional rocky outcrops adjacent to the path offer some short-lived entertainment for scramblers.
- There has been mention on the SOTA database and SOTA reflector of a ranger patrol asking operators to not use their radios. The issue is likely temporary erection of dipole masts. My unofficial advice would be to strike west across the access land away from the main path to be out of sight, or, to simply use a handheld transceiver.
- With five summits to complete today, I didn’t hang around on the summit, making 5 VHF QSOs in under four minutes before returning to the car.
Below are some photographs taken during my activation of Stiperstones on Saturday 29th February, 2020.
Walking Route for Stiperstones
The interactive map below shows my GPS track taken to the SOTA activation zone for Stiperstones. The G/WB-003 summit area is marked on the map with a blue pin icon.
You can download the route shown above as a GPX file suitable for use with most GPS devices. This file is provided for information only, to support your own walk planning and research (it may contain navigation errors, detours and/or safety hazards). The route downloads provided here are governed by the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence.
I logged the following 5 amateur radio contacts operating as
M1HAX/P from G/WB-003 Stiperstones on Saturday 29th February, 2020 (all times shown are UTC):
In the notes field I will usually log the other operator’s name and the signal report they provided. In accordance with the Summits on the Air rules, I do not make a log entry where a complete exchange of callsigns and signal reports was unsuccessful.
The following resources may be helpful to walkers, mountaineers and SOTA activators interested in Stiperstones:
- Sotl.as Summit Page for G/WB-003 Stiperstones.
- Hill Bagging UK Summit Page for Stiperstones.
- Google Earth view of Stiperstones.
- Wikipedia entry for Stiperstones.
- 360° Panorama near summit of G/WB-003 Stiperstones.
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