Tuesday 4th July 2017 began with heavy persistent rain, exactly as forecast. A lie-in was called for, and a lie-in was most welcome. We did eventually head out late morning, but with an agreement to sit it out in the car at the parking spot if it was still raining. The parking spot was on the B40 road between Feeny and Draperstown - well, a short distance up metalled forest road from there. When the rain started to ease, we commenced our walk, initially a few kilometres along the forest track, which had a very gentle gradient. We reached the point where the track swung left and head back downhill to another point where it met the B40 road. Here we angled right towards a cul-de-sac section of forest road, but soon climbed on very rough ground up a firebreak on the right. This was pretty hard work!
There was now a bit of climbing to do on open moorland and in poor visibility, not to mention the rain which kept coming and going - it seemed it wasn't close to finishing at all, but then that's always a risk in the hills! The last section of walking, as the hill rounded off, was quite enjoyable, despite the fine but persistent rain, and the frequent sections of treacherous bog, that needed proper care and attention to negotiate safely.
Jimmy was feeling pretty chuffed with himself, with another easy qualification, exclusively on 2m FM. I'd become a little restless of the slow pace of things on 5MHz, so went onto 20m CW instead with my groundplane antenna. 16 QSOs in 17 minutes, included a summit-to-summit into Slovenia, was a bit more like it!
Originally, we weren't going to do a UK Activity Contest VHF activation on this trip, but it was a Tuesday, and the weather had already shunted this planned morning activation into the afternoon. It made sense therefore to now seek an evening meal somewhere local, then head to the summit in our plans that Jimmy said could be suitable for an evening activation if required. We now headed for the Ponderosa, Ireland's highest pub at 946 feet ASL, located on the Glenshane Pass. After a nice meal and beer in there, we continued on to Mullaghmore GI/SM-005 for an evening expedition.