Sunday, 22 December 2013

Stonework on Malta

Malta for Christmas!
If you are like me and like stonework, then you might like these photos of the Taxien Temples ruins on Malta. Build several thousand years ago they are outstanding and inspiring. The age old question even a pathworker with a Tirfor winch can't answer- how did they do it?

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Winter Break

Our team is starting our well overdue Winter break. Hope to find you guys well after the hols - have a merry Xmas and guid  New year !

Thursday, 21 November 2013

The Bynack Video- looks fun you say.......!

Time to Reflect on another hard year.

As the recent bout of snow stops us in our tracks so to speak, its nice to reflect on a hard working but interesting year that saw our team work from St Abbs to Staffa, and our usual stamping ground of the Cairngorms doing path construction, path maintenance, and high level environmentally friendly path definition work. Thanks to all involved!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Arrival of Winter

In the Cairngorms, the winter seems to arrive here earlier than anywhere else in the UK and this has been the case for us. Despite battling freezing winds and flurries of snow, we finally made a tactical retreat from our project on Bynack More.

Before the snow came however we managed to construct nearly 350m of raised path with ditching, stone waterbars, crossdrains and anchor bars.

Bennachie path maintenance

 The Forestry Commission in Aberdeenshire had a Path maintenance training day at Bennachie nr Inverurie last week, and I was delighted to attend to give some pointers.
It was a good day with members of the conservation group Baillies of Bennnachie and the Forestry Commissions own staff well represented.
Below shows the local volunteers showing great energy and enthusiasm to the task.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

New path at Bynack More

A couple of pics showing the new path we are constructing on the approach to Bynack More in the Cairngorms. The path design is one of a raised path, stone cross drains, waterbars, turfed ditches, and anchor bars.

Back to Bynack, Again!

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Gorillas in the Mist ?

For the last week or two this has been a common sight at Cairngorm Mountain on the path leading to Ben Macdui- a team of Path Navvies from Upland Access Ltd heading to work. We have an 1hr 20 min walk ahead of us but we are treated to some amazing views when the weather stays kind to us. We have also had to endure high winds of gusting to over 70mph and some cold rain and hail as winter slowly heads our way.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Some before and afters..

Showing the 'before' and 'after' pics of our light touch works we are currently carrying out in the Cairngorms for Cairngorm Outdoor Access Trust. 'Light Touch' is a contradiction in terms as some of the work is very hard indeed! It is basically a term used to describe the particular form of pathwork were the works have to be as low key as possible and to blend well into the natural landscape. This takes the people carrying out the works to have a good empathy for their environment.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Iona Pathwork

Quite a hard but satisfying stint working on Iona. We carried out improvements to the Columba Bay path, access improvements at the Marble Quarry and also some work on Staffa island as well. Phew, alot of work in a week!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Working in the Cairngorms

Friday, 23 August 2013

A wee visit by the coast

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Progress at Raibert

The 2013 Coirie Raibert path project is progressing well with the first stage nearing completion.This path in the Cairngorms leads walkers down to Loch Avon , the Shelter Stone and to Loch Etchachan and beyond. Our guys have shown great skill and a natural empathy with the local environment to create this great and natural looking path.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Coirie Raibert, heli-lift and start on construction.

We have started worked on the next phase of the Coirie Raibert path improvement project that involves constructing stone built waterbars, cross drains, and anchor bars. The stone to built this was flown in by helicopter. We have just started the project with installing aggregate path and excavating ditches.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Done and dusted at Brieriach

Finishing touches to our latest project at the Sinclair Path, Brieriach. After an extremely hot week, time to move onwards and upwards to our next project, Coirie Raibert Pt 3.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Sinclair Path at Braeriach

Our tricky wee job at the Sinclair Path,- at the bottom of Braeriach nr the Lairig Ghru,- continues. This involves constructing a stone pitched path and an aggregate path, within a reasonably steep gully. This first part of the work is going well we are glad to say, and is a tribute to the skills and hard work of our guys who are prepared to lift, shift, and graft with extremely heavy granite stone to provide a hard, durable and safe walking surface for Munro baggers and walkers heading up and down this high hill in the Cairngorms.

This stint also gave us ringside seats of the annual Lairig Ghru Hill race that sees runners run from Braemar to Aviemore via the glen, a distance of over 40km I believe. Amazing, tired just thinking about it.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Wee trip to Handa Island

One of the perks of the job is visiting some great spots and my recent visit to Handa Island was definitely one of them. Handa is about 1hr north of Ullapool on the North West coast of Scotland and the scenery at this part of the country is brilliant. On the day I visited it was very popular with visitors who come mainly to see the Puffins.

Stonework at the Junction

We have just started work at the junction where the hill path down from Braeriach reaches the Lairig Ghru. Braeriach is having alot of pathwork carried out this year, with 3 different contractors working at the same time. This work is for Cairngorm Outdoor Access Trust, and is trying to redress the damage caused by many years access to this very popular munro. Upland Access has a small but tricky section at the bottom of the hill that seen our guys using their skills and experience to build a stone path up a steep wee slope.

True to form, we still have a patch of snow below our site but we haven't decided whether this is making our job easier getting stone to the site, or more difficult. Time will tell when the stone melts!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Big Stone Sunday!

All in a days work for the Upland Access team as they move a stone that weighs over a tonne using just a couple of iron pinch bars and sheer effort.
The stone went to form a cross drain to stop the water from eroding the path.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Path repairs at Cairngorm Mountain

Carrying out some repairs on the Fiacaill a' Choire Chais at Cairngorm Mountain estate as part of the maintenance program organised by the Cairngorm Outdoor Access Trust (COAT).

Saturday, 18 May 2013

The Long Walk

This week finds the Upland Access team in Mar Lodge Estate carrying out vital path maintenance work as part of the Cairngorm Upland Maintenance program. Mar Lodge Estate near Braemar is owned and managed by the National Trust for Scotland, and encompasses some of the most majestic mountain scenery in the UK and also most of the highest mountains as well.
To get to the mountain paths that need maintained is a challenge in itself with Long Walks the order of the day.


For more info on the Mar Lodge Estate try and also find out how the NTS look after our hills. .

The Cairngorm Upland Maintenance Program was set up 5 years ago by Cairngorms Outdoor Acces Trust (COAT) and also maintains paths in Deeside and  on Cairngorm Mountain.
Further details can be found here .

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Cairngorm Maintenance Program 2013

 With spring truly here and the snow slowly melting, the teams of Upland Access start the annual Cairngorm Maintenance program. For further details of this program see our page on the program.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Stonework at Glen Feshie

Another nice section of stonework completed by the Upland Access team in Glen Feshie in the Cairngorms.  A tricky wee site involving traversing and sourcing block stone from a burn and then constructing anchor bars and a surfaced path.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Easter Sunshine.

Both Upland Access Ltds teams worked over the easter weekend and were lucky to have  sunshine on both sites, Knapdale and Loch Lomondside. Hopefully this will see the start of some beautiful weather for the teams as we approach summer and hopefully we will secure some  higher altitude works.

We are having a company holiday to recharge the batteries but will be back working in the Cairngorms soon,- once the snow clears up there!