17th June 2007 G/SP-004 Shining Tor
Some places are like people: some shine and some don't.” Dick Hallorann played by Scatman Crothers in the film The Shining.
When Helen and I activated the Gun the previous week it was a last
minute addition and we had thought of doing Cloud as well but ran out
of time. We will come back and do Cloud another day I suggested and we
could do Shining Tor at the same time.
A fortnight later we were looking the dark and overcast sky and wondering if we should chance it. We decided if it had not rained by then we would go for it after lunch. It is typical of teenagers that having spent a fortune on a new pair of walking boots for Caroline that she did not want to come. Emily was a little easier to sympathise with as she had just returned from a trip with school to an outward bounds centre and she said she had done enough walking this week. Two of my lads were home so no problems leaving them and Helen and I could escape alone. It was going to be too late to do two summits and we opted for G/SP-004 Shining Tor as we had not done it before.
It was 11:55 UTC just after I had worked Robin GM7PKT/P on GM/WS-079 that we finally got mobile, stopping only at the local shop for some pasties and bottles of diet coke. The trip was quite straightforward once I had changed Helen’s setting of the TomTom from shortest (most convoluted) to quickest thus avoiding most of the town centres that had been en route. The drive was made that much more enjoyable by the fact that I bagged two summits Richard GW3ERP/P on GW/NW-037 and Charlie G0PZO/P on SP-013 and then as we came through Macclesfield a nice chat with TOM M1EYP/M who gave me permission to operate from the Macc Lad’s turf.
We arrived at the car parking space at the start of the walk just
down hill from The Cat and Fiddle pub on the opposite side of the road
at about 13:30 UTC. There was only one other vehicle parked there at
the time so we had plenty of room. The ascent was simple and
straightforward but maybe not as flat as one or two have made it out to
be. We arrived at the summit about 20 minutes later but there was quite
a crowd of muggles that we waited to disperse before setting up. In the
mean time a little Geocaching was in order and with the help of two
interested young boys and their even more interested parents we soon
had found the highest Geocache in Cheshire.
After the 5mHz calls dried up I went over to 40 metres and worked
Paul F5NEP, who I heard and called from Gun but never made it, Lionel
DJ5AV and Laurent F8BBL who’s videos are one of the highlights of SOTA
on YouTube. Hopefully next time I work Laurent he will be on a summit
and I can sign off that big fat zero French summits. Another
interesting contact was Dick GM4WZI/P who was on Sanday Island in
Orkney IO89QH, followed by Fritz DL4FDM, nice to give him some points
back and then Paul DF1FN. I was toying with trying 20 metres but Helen
had given up due to the horrendous break through on 2 metres making the
weaker stations difficult to hear so we packed up at 16:00 UTC with 53
stations in the log, 16 on 5Mhz, 6 on 7mHz, 31 on 144mHz and 5 summit
to summit contacts.
“Some places are like people: some shine and some don't.” SP-004 is
definitely one of them. The ascent is uninspiring at best and at times
there is almost a feeling of desolation and of centuries of abuse,
maybe I understand what J.R.R Tolken wrote a little better or maybe it
was just the “Dark Satanic Mills” we passed on the way here that made
me feel this way, however the short climb is well worth the trip and
the summit shines in a different way to others. It is one of those
things that are hard to put your finger on but Shining Tor to me had a
certain feeling, a presence that belies its stature, like it is
reaching up to heaven rather than heaven choosing to shine on it.
Heaven choose to shine on it this day anyway and the views across 360
degrees were very impressive and seeing how we left home on a dull and
overcast day it was a little surprising.