Summits on the Air (SOTA)
You will discover new places and come across beautiful scenery
with often a stunning view from the summit.
Other radio amateurs will be keen to make radio contact with you
and short wave listeners (SWL) can participate too, earning points.
My SOTA 2015 (June) holiday to
Ireland included a stop-over in South Wales. This year's destination
was Co. Donegal and Co. Mayo for sightseeing combined with hill walking (SOTA)
and WAI activity.
The outward leg coincided with an Atlantic depression and gale
force wind causing chaos for cross channel ferries, the short crossing from
Calais to Dover took six hours! The M20 motorway in Kent was littered with
leaves and torn off branches, traffic on the M25 choked, the M4 was ever so
busy so I arrived late and tired at the guest house in South Wales.
Next day onward to Pembroke for the 4 hours crossing to Rosslare
which all went to plan and was uneventful by comparison.
On my way to Co. Donegal (driving diagonally across Ireland via
Athlone) I planned to climb Coolnarrig Hill near Baltinglass. I had
been on the top before but my equipment failed so I had zero contacts to
show for. I took the same route up but now being a different season,
without ferns on the slope but with more cattle in the fields.
Another SOTA on my list was Kesh Corann. Kesh (Keash) is
known for its caves on the slope of the local hill. Unfortunately beyond
the caves there is no path up, the steep slope becomes a scramble in addition
fenced off private land makes it difficult to reach the actual top. On the
day gale force wind was a serious problem and I had to abandon the ascent at
about 3/4 of the way up.
I had booked two days in Co. Donegal but because of gale force
wind could not climb Mount Errigal. Could not go to Gola Island either for
WAI as the little ferry was not running due to high swell. Instead I ended
up driving up and down sections of the "Wild Atlantic Way" for general
sightseeing and ended up on a small parking near Falcarragh where I set up /M
for the rest of the day.
Better WX was to come, so onward to Arranmore Island where I had
planned a few days of VHF Sporadic-E operation in locator IO55 as well as the
local SOTA Cluidaniller EI/IN-092.
I also stayed a few days on the Mullet Peninsula for another VHF
Sporadic-E set-up in locator IO44.
On the return leg I was driving cross-country to Rosslare for the
ferry to Wales and the long drive to Dover.
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Subtopics: IRL Benwee Head IRL Coolnarrig IRL Cluidaniller IRL Kesh Corann IRL Knockmore IRL Tangincartoor CYM Mynydd Machen CYM M. Llangyndeyrn ENG Botley Hill VHF IO44WC VHF IO55RA