Monday 22nd July 2013, and it looked another decent day. Slieau Freoaghane was the target, a hill that we were aware would be the longest walk of the week. But I wasn't prepared for just what a lovely walk this would be. Which it was, the best of the week as it turned out.
I parked in a pull-in opposite the start of the track at SC 341 866. It was easy to get into our walking stride from here on a gently ascending track with good going underfoot. After going past the end of the tree line of Sartfell Plantation, there was a right turn - or so it looked from a distance. In fact it was the continuation of the same track as it swung around to the right to contour along the east side of Slieau Freoaghane. Over to our right was the double-masted summit of Snaefell GD/GD-001 - but that would wait for a couple more days yet.
Jimmy had done his research, and advised that we should continue north on the current track, right past the the target summit on our left. Only once right on the saddle at SC 345 886 did we almost double-back on ourselves to climb the summit ridge. This was the only taxing part of the walk, but it was short and swift. Before long, we reconvened at the trig point, post and cairn on the summit. It was time to select our operating positions.
As usual, Jimmy was set up, activating, and even qualified with the requisite four contacts before Ed or myself had made a single QSO! He went on to make twelve QSOs, all on 2m FM, but no S2S this time. That honour went to me this time, when I worked Dave G6DTN/P on The Wrekin G/WB-010. That was one of 16 QSOs on the 12m band, distributed across all three modes - PSK31, SSB and CW.
This time Ed did find joy on HF SSB, making three contacts, and making the qualifying fourth on 2m FM. He added a fifth when he, like Jimmy, worked me when I was on the track some three quarters of the way back to the car. Yes, again, Liam and myself had left the summit well ahead of the two 20 year olds, leaving us time to lounge around and relax back at the car.
We had made good time on this activation, so once Jimmy and Edward rejoined us at the car, I made the decision that we would press on to Bradda Hill GD/GD-004.