Lower Shap Tor
Shaptor Wood is a haven for sprawling tors, rocks and boulders and it is this characteristic that sets it apart from the plantations of the three reservoirs above at Trenchford, Tottiford and Kennick. The steep, wooded hillside here is crowned by multiple rock masses and Lower Shaptor, in the north-west section, is one of those deserving closer inspection. Situated about 250 metres to the south of its namesake, Shaptor Rock, the name of Lower Shaptor is used by the bouldering community but, strangely, is not documented in James Clapham's book on Dartmoor Bouldering (2017).
Distinctively fissured and vegetation-covered it juts through the trees high above the main footpath, but it is well camouflaged in the trees. The visitor who approaches from below will have the initial impression of a jumbled rockpile, but climb above it and then around the right-hand side to discover the best part: a massive wall of granite with crumbling edges that resembles facial features having aged with time.
Crevices and pockets of greenery intertwined make for an evocative landscape. Lower Shaptor has cast a decent-sized clitter which culminates in several clusters of mossy rocks interspersed with fern and ivy. It is a special tor to visit, but most picturesque in spring when the woodland below becomes a carpet of bluebells, encouraging the visitor to delve deeper into exploring the seldom visited tors of Shaptor Wood. Please take care though as the slopes are sometimes slippery and uneven.