GI SOTA Trip - Activation #14 - Crocknamoghil GI/SM-019 - Thursday 2nd June 2016
We drove onto the farm road/track, from the B46 Newtownstewart-Creggan road south of the hill. We were wondering where best to park and bumped into the farmer. He was interested to know where I stood on the forthcoming EU referendum. Fortunately, my answer was "correct" and he invited his to park in front of one of his gates right up at about H574846.
As such, an easy walk along a good track of about 1km with about 60m height gain was all that was required. Jimmy shot off way ahead and was fully set up and QRV not long after the time I dragged my aching frame onto the summit. He was qualified soon after with four QSOs on 2m FM. I had quite a tricky time. I scraped through three QSOs on 30m CW but was struggling to work anything else. As an insurance I told Jimmy to work me on 2m FM once he got back to the car (he was by now packed up and ready to go).
Happily, the insurance was not crucial to the qualification, as I managed to work EA2LU on 20m CW, and then a speculative call on the VX7 brought in Robert MI0GDO on 2m FM. Another four summit day successfully completed, even though we had originally intended it to be five. Everything had gone pretty well so far, yet it was ever so slightly irritating even so that the intended fifth summit - Oughtmore GI/SM-017 - had to be cancelled, and indeed that we didn't get our "bonus EI" summit done earlier in the week. However, I had a plan.
I asked Jimmy to bring the road atlas and all the paper maps to dinner in the Sperrin Restaurant that evening. We'd alerted for two summits on our final day, but I reckoned we could alter that to four summits - with a sensible order - and a 4am get-up! We worked all this out as we enjoyed the "Sperrin Special" - rare fillet steak on a bed of champ and chilli peppers with Sperrin sauce, and washed it down with three gorgeous pints of cold Guinness. The plan for the morning was to start over the border in the Republic of Ireland, and an activation of Dooish Mountain EI/IN-081. Finally, back to the B&B, and remember to change our alarms from 5am to 4am. Except that I forgot to do that...