Mountain: Slievanorra | Range: Antrim Plateau | Height: 499m | Patrol Length: 4km / 2.4 mi
Pushed for time the unit headed for a quick and easy patrol high in the Glens of Antrim. Ballymoney to Magherahoney, up the winding road for Altarichard, then on to the first layby after the bridge to rest the van and take to Shank’s Pony for the rest of the climb.
An easy trek this; Over the gate a track firmly gravelled by vehicles servicing the twin radio masts at the summit winds to to the top. The first section is in plantation forest and is quite steep. Soon the trees give way to blanket bog interspresed with sheughs and wildflowers.
After a few switchbacks the unit settled into the heather to regroup and soak in the view so I took the chance to settle my hammering heart (seriously unfit!!!) and tell the tale of the Battle of Aura very badly*.
Another few switch backs and we found the memorial to the men who lost their lives during WW2.
Timeline of Aircraft 124451:
We headed onward to the summit to annihilate a Carrot Cake and punnet of Red Grapes 🙂
The summit of Slievanorra normally reveals 90% of the province of Ulster and a fair lump of Western Scotland, but with the heat haze the unit had to imagineer the summits of the distant mountains Skipper was describing as far away targets for another day.
MMM CARROT CAKE! (too hot for tea)
Back down the hill at a gentle place, with a spectacular sunset beaming at us.
CONDTIONS: Firm gravel road, steep in places but accessible to most.
WEATHER: Superb hiking weather: Warmish with lashings of sunshine and a gentle cool breeze as we approached the summit.
SCENIC VALUE: Awesome. You can see the Mournes, Sperrins, Derryveagh and Cuillin Ranges, provided the air is clear enough. No litter or dog poop.
(People complain about the radio masts on the summit and then complain about not being able to stream the footy…)