Monday 25th October 2010 was the first full day of our holiday in Omeath, County Louth, Republic of Ireland. Jimmy and I were up as planned at 5am in order to squeeze maximum potential out of the day. It was a good move as an excellent morning's outing ensued. We were on the road in pitch darkness and making the already familiar drive north alongside Carlingford Lough over the border into Northern Ireland and towards the city of Newry.
We were then on country lanes winding around the east and south sides of the hill, before parking in a wide gateway at the start of the access road due south of the summit. It was a cold and crisp morning, and still full darkness for the first hour of walking. However, headtorches were not required as the access track was very easy underfoot, and bright moonlight gave us all the illumination we needed. It was very enjoyable!
We reached the transmitter compound, and Jimmy led me around to the rear of it and the faint to non-existent path through the heather towards the main summit. The final pull was steep and hard work for the calf muscles, but a large cross loomed ahead and we were there. We had made it to the summit before sunrise, and now had time to bed down, set up and relax before watching the sun rise over the Irish Sea and Mourne Mountains. It was beautiful.
On the radio, it was twenty 40m CW contacts for me, but Jimmy struggled on 2m FM. Ultimately, we packed up with him on three contacts, and looking for a fourth just on his handheld transceiver - which may have needed to have been his descending dad once well outside the activation zone! In the event, he was called by an EI mobile station to qualify the summit, but I did then call in to give him a fifth contact, and myself a rare chaser unique!
Once the heather was out of the way, the descent was quick and easy on the tarmac access track, and we were back at the holiday cottage by mid-morning. Things went from good to better as Marianne greeted our return with a full Ulster Fry - a great all round start to the day, and planning could turn to the new unique of Croslieve GI/CA-004 tomorrow. Thanks to all the following stations: