My advice will come as a disappointment, but having just reviewed my reports of these hills, I would recommend following in our footsteps for each one. There are possibly alternative approaches, but I’m pretty sure all would involve at least double the purgatory outlined on my webpages.
I have to agree with my dad that you and Martyn are best following our routes for the summits mentioned above. These summits aren’t great, but I think we have chosen the best route for these summit. Slievekirk GI/SM-018 isn’t too bad as that has a track going nearly all the way to the summit. Please follow our our ascent route for both ascent and decent for Mullaghash GI/SM-008 as our descent route for this one was was though really rough ground with long grass. For Donald’s Hill GI/SM-013, please make sure on the ascent to take the right fork and not the left fork which just means you be on on the track on the way until it’s end near the fence. For Clondermot Hill GI/SM-023, the best way to ascend is from the east and obtaining permission from Walsh’s Farm to park there and walk up the fields there to the summit. this the very steep, but is the only viable route as you cannot walk up the transmitter track to the south of the summit as the farmer there won’t let you walk up this track. There are reports on Mountainviews of people ascending the summit from the west, we tried this route first, but found bushes and barbed wire fences impassible.
I’m currently planning a trip to Northern Ireland, and haven’t found any inspiring routes up the following:
SM-013 Donald’s Hill
SM-023 Clondermot Hill
I’ve seen Tom M1EYP’s reports. Have any of the other GI activators got any tips for good parking places and routes?
It seems nobody has any better routes than Tom’s, so we’ll see what we can manage.
We’re on the ferry tomorrow night, hoping to do GW/NW-076 beforehand. Once we’re in GI land we’re aiming to do summits every day (hopefully more than one) but exact plans will depend on weather and how well my slightly troublesome knee behaves. We’ll probably be going for GI/AH hills on the two Saturdays and mostly GI/SM in between.
When we’re on the hills I expect to start on 2m FM, and Martyn on 60m. Depending on time and weather and radio conditions I may try 70cm FM, and either of us may try 40m, 80m, 20m or 17m. Martyn may also try DStar…
Mullaghash - there are 2 routes - the first is from the Altinure road from the Sweat house. ak permission from the house and they will be happy to let you park. You can follow the track arround the hill and basically pick a fence to follow to the summit. we walked most of the way round the track that winds around the hill but after talking to a few locals from Feeny most just pick point and go for it. Some others cross the wooden bridge to the sweat house, over the fields and head for the summit. It is quite soul destroying as it is a battle though grass and bog! You can also come in from the south east from the B40 glenedra road but haven’t done that route. it seems to dip down before climbing again. As with many of the Sperrins there are many false summits and most take the big boulder as the summit marker. When you are at the top the views are amazing and we were up there on a beautiful sunny day!
Donald’s Hill - uninspiring and a slog - approach from the Temain Road off the Belraugh Road (Dungiven to Coleraine road past the Pot!). There are some gates on the road but just go through them - there are no access problems. Continue past the masts and see a “track” on the left. Park beside this track - there is very little traffic on this road. Continue on this til it stops then head for the fence. Follow it to the right for a bit or just head for the summit. Be very careful - there are a lot of hidden ditches and shoughs which can be very dangerous.
Slievekirk - very easy - park beside the access road and follow access road to the top - just before the mast you will see the trig to the right. Again lots of shoughs to get over plus a fence. I think the track is in the AZ but we’ve always gone to the trig for the WABers
Clondermot Hill - Ha!!! and Ha!! again - go to Walsh’s Farm and the farmer will give you permission and tell you which fields to go up that will not get you in trouble with Bulls, Rams and other angry farmers and where to park. he was in the shower when I call and just opened the bathroom window and proceeded to find out that we had family in common from generations ago (as we all do in NI). permission was duly granted. our route took us to a fence from which we could see no way through but follow it to the right away from the mast and you will come to a gate around the corner.
Ian will be very happy to get a summit on DStar! What time do you hope for a GI/AH tomorrow and I’ll try to get you from one of our locals - prob be just 2m FM as Ian is away and my knees are too sore to carry all the hf gear on my own
We are not sure what time as it depends on how long it takes to get off ferry. We are alao still dithering about which hill. If it is Slemish we could be as early as 9:00 but if it’s Trostan it will be later!