I just wanted to thank all those who contacted me, and my son Andrew (MI6AJN), on our recent activations in the Lake District and the Mournes. As always, a feature of our holiday in the Lakes was SOTA and it was great to work some familiar callsigns as well as some new stations. It was a bonus that good conditions yesterday on 2m allowed us to work across to the mainland from Slievelamagan (GI/MM-006), including some stations we contacted last week from LD.
I would also like to say a special thank-you to all who have recently given Andrew SOTA QSOs. It’s great to see him welcomed so warmly into the SOTA fraternity.
Best 73s to all,
In reply to GI4MWA:
Not at all it was a pleasure to work you both. Glad your safely home
What was your approach to Slievelamagan GI/MM-006? When Jimmy and I did that one last October, the shuttle bus along the lake (Silent Valley) wasn’t running, so that was an extra few miles walking each way! And then it is quite a pull up to the col with Slieve Binnian, then another strenuous ascent to the summit. I’ve seen it described as a “fearsome slope” on another website.
It was sufficiently time and energy-consuming that we had to cancel ideas of moving over to Slieve Binnian for a second summit in the day. I note that the park doesn’t open until 10am, and the shuttle bus doesn’t start running until midday, so I assume that Frank GI3RMD has also approached differently this morning. Come to think of it, I imagine that the reason we walked in from the south was due to the original idea of combining it with Slieve Binnian, and that you wouldn’t naturally go that way if only activating the one summit.
In fact, looking at routes on the internet, it seems that my Silent Valley Reservoir approach isn’t the most logical even if taking in both summits! Slieve Binnian GI/MM-003 will be top of the to-do list whenever we are next in the Mournes.
Some photos from that day in the Silent Valley and on Slievelamagan GI/MM-006:
In reply to M1EYP:
The approach that I use to Slievelamagan (GI/MM-006) and Slieve Binnian (GI/MM-003) is from the south-east via the Annalong River valley, starting at the Carrick Little car park (J345219). This car park is free but small, so it’s a good idea to get there early. A clear track leads up the valley, passing alongside Annalong Wood and Blue Lough, reaching the col between Slievelamagan and Binnian. From there I have done both summits in a day. Care is needed around the tors at the summit of Binnian, but it’s definitely worth the climb as the take-off across the Irish Sea is very good.
I hope this helps and if you have any questions please let me know.
Thank you Fred. In hindsight, it was a mistake to approach along Silent Valley. We arrived around 7am, but it wasn’t due to open until 10am. Thankfully they let us in anyway! But we still had to be out by 4pm, and that meant that we ran out of time to do Binnian after Slievelamagan. For in Silent Valley, it was a long walk along the reservoir before climbing to the saddle - a good 4 or 5 km each way IIRC.
When we return to do Binnian, it may well prove cost-effective to repeat Slievelamagan from that saddle afterwards, before walking back to Carrick Little, and with no “car park locked at” curfew to worry about!
In reply to M1EYP:
Tom and Fred,
I parked at Carrick Little and walked up to the col. Did SL and returned to the col. The path up Binnian from the col has been very well restored, and provides easy access to the ridge. The walk across to the summit is delightful, with great views and striking rock formations. As Fred noted, you need to be careful around the ‘tors’. Not a lot of room for HF antennas on Binnion’s summit, but I managed to erect my 80m linked dipole. If you only have time for Binnion alone from Carrick Little, take the path which follows the wall, immediately after the only gate on the route.
Thanks Frank. I take it that if doing Binnion first, you would also take the wall path, then you could judge from Binnion summit whether to also do SL before returning down the path directly from the col to CL?
I presume you are still over there in GI? If so, have an UF for me!
Hi Tom & Frank,
Yes, if you’re activating Slieve Binnian first you can do a circular walk by following the Mourne Wall to the summit and then going to the col, climbing Slievelamagan and returning via the Annalong valley. When on the summit of Binnian you could decide whether or not to do both summits - if not, your best route down is by the Mourne Wall. I agree with Frank, the ridge walk on Binnian is superb.
In reply to M1EYP:
An excess of UFs is why I found it hard work doing SL and B. Waistline is definitely expanding!
Good excuse to go for a SOTA walk every day that you have an UF Frank. Or is it doing a SOTA walk that gives you a good excuse to have an UF every day? Either way, it is the perfect combination - enjoy!