Sunday, 22 March 2015

SOTA - Trostan - GI/AH-001

Trostan - 550m, 4 points

Association: Northern Ireland Region: Antrim Hills
Latitude: 55 2 44 N, Longitude: 6 9 22 W
Grid Reference: D 179235, QTH Locator: IO65WB

Heading north again, what better way to spend a sunny Sunday morning than on Antrim's highest point, Trostan. I decided to approach this one from the west so that it would be a short drive afterwards to Slieveanorra, GI/AH-003.

The route from the west.
Parking spot by Moyle Way.
 I found the parking spot by the Moyle Way easily enough. There's room for about 3 cars here but I was alone on a pretty desolate country road.

This way...
I booted up and added an extra layer as, although bright and sunny, it was decidedly cool in the fierce wind.
Trostan  - this way.
I headed for the footbridge which crosses a small stream and before I'd reached it the peat bog had already swallowed my boots on several occasions. The going did not get any easier. This was one huge bog and I regretted not bringing gaiters along with me on the trip. I was soon up to my knees in glop and so it continued as I climbed. The ascent is approx 860' over  1.8 miles and relatively easy going in most places. Towards the top I was confronted by a wire fence. Finding no style, I just decided to scale it and head directly for the summit. Once on the summit plateau the terrain changes completely. It's  a dry and stoney and a bit "Lunar" like. 

Summit with Slieveanorra in the distance
The wind was now very cold and strong, so I setup shop in the lee of the summit mound. The pegs for my pole were finding it tough getting purchase in the sandy surface so I had to supplement them with some extra rocks.

The shack
Just as I set up, three fell runners arrived and very quickly beat a retreat back down again.
HF conditions were pretty marginal with 54 QSOs achieved. Unfortunately no S2S on this one and lack of mobile signal meant checking online was not an option. 

With an hour on the summit being blasted, I'd had enough and quickly packed and started the descent. This time I looped around the fence line, a longer route, but eventually picked up the marker posts for the Moyle Way again. The swamp did not improve any and I arrived back at the start rather dirtier and wetter than when I'd left a few hours earlier! Still the sun was shining and  Slieveanorra was calling..

The bog won...

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