From Holywell Hill GI/SM-022, for which we were parked in County Donegal, Republic of Ireland, we now needed to drive back into Londonderry to cross back over the River Foyle. For this second activation of Thursday 6th August 2015, Jimmy directed me along the narrow country lanes around the south of the summit. A road and then track to the summit is indicated on the map, starting from C427119, but Jimmy explained that his research had revealed a landowner that always intercepted and refused access. Instead, Jimmy advised that most people went from C426132 (Kittybane) to the north-west of the hill.
As we approached the gate into the field, so all the livestock came to greet us, possibly anticipating a meal! Instead, we went back down to near where we had parked and went via a gate there, into very boggy ground. Soon we were climbing, and it was sweaty work on a hot sunny morning. At the top of this field, we were stuck. A very high barbed wire fence blocked the way to the right, while impenetrable gorse prevented forward movement. We looked all along the barbed wire fence for safe places to cross, but there weren't any. In the end we gave up and returned to the car.
Instead, I decided we would try the southern approach with the notorious landowner. Anyway, we met him and he was absolutely true to form. "This is all private land and there's no access to the summit from here" was his unequivocal message. He did advise that he thought there may be an access from Corrody on the north of the hill. So next we drove back around and past our initial parking spot and found a drivable by-way. We followed this up as far as we could then got out and started to walk. Soon we were met by another farmer on a quad-bike, who was much more friendly. He advised that the ground was very poor between where we were and the summit. He suggested we go to the farm at Warbleshinny on the south-east of the hill and ask there. Back on the road again - this was becoming a wild-goose chase!
At the next farm, the farmer greeted us in his yard. We explained our request and that we had been recommended to come and ask by the farmer at Corrody. He was very accommodating and immediately granted permission, and said we could leave our car in his yard. At last! The only thing was, we now had a lot more height to make up on foot than on any of the other three routes attempted, but at least we knew it was possible, and permitted. Once the steep slopes rounded off on the final approach, there was some very watery ground to get past, but we did and got on with setting up.
Jimmy got one QSO on his preferred 2m FM, while I also got one on my preferred 10m CW. We then both needed to resort to 40m SSB in order to get sufficient qualifying contacts. After the steep grassy descent, we were greeted again by the farmer, and also his wife, who were very enthusiastic to hear how we had got on and who we had contacted. They kept us talking so long that any hopes of recovering the five summit day was smashed! Four remained viable though, so we pressed on to Gortmonly Hill GI/SM-023.