Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Blabheinn Contract Completed.

JMT on the completed Bla Bheinn contract.

Another hard stint has seen our team finish the main contract at Blabheinn on the Isle of Skye. According to the weather people 5000 lightening strikes hit the western isles, - we can testify to that as we were out there!.
But the #weatherbomb passed and we kept on going despite the hard work this year catching up with us. Lead legs and sore arms aside, we passed the finishing line.
So thanks to everyone involved in this contract and also the team throughout the year including Kieran, Alan, Mark, Damian, Ross, Emillio, and Gary.
Good wishes for the festivities and enjoy your drams at the New Year.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Update on Bla Bheinn from the John Muir Trust

What our client John Muir Trust is saying about us!

"Stonework, Drainage and Landscaping... what else?"

How do you fix an erosion scar that is nearly 10m wide in places, is on a steep slope, and has water gushing down it forcing people to avoid it and make even more routes?
You get Upland Access Ltd to fix it!
How do we fix it? With careful selection and identification of the best route through the scar, stonework in the form of naturalized stone pitching and steps, landscaping and blocking to keep people to the defined path, and ditches and drainage to keep the path in good condition.
This particular scenario is what we are trying to achieve on the hill Bla Bheinn for our client John Muir Trust. We are well through the contract and we hope we are achieving the goals set for us.

Dramatic Sky- on Skye!

 Great views have been experienced by our team working on Skye the last couple of months. Everyday is guaranteed to bring something different to the skies as we change from autumn to winter. The work we are carrying out is for the John Muir Trust on the iconic hill Blaven.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Bridge over troubled water.

"Adapt, improvise, and overcome", our motto was pushed to the limit this week as we had to build a couple of makeshift bridges to ensure dry feet on the way to work at our site Bla Bheinn on the Isle of Skye.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Bla Bheinn, Isle of Skye

Started work on Bla Bhain, a munro that is managed by the John Muir Trust. This beautiful hill will see us carrying out repairs to try an address the erosion problems on its slopes. We will be flying block stone from a nearby boulder field and using this to create low key stone steps and drainage and landscaping the erosion.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Repairs at Schiehallion

That's our team just completed our 3 working weeks at Schiehallion, carrying out repairs and maintenance for the John Muir Trust. This is a very popular hill path and we were lucky to have quite good weather while we were there, so there was a nice buzz on most people as they passed us on there way to bag their Munro.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Another varied stint of work in the Cairngorms

Don't let the pics fool you - this aint typical weather for us in the middle of the Cairngorms. In fact, there is no typical day for weather in our sortie at Lairig an Laoigh with rain, wind, hail and sunshine all featuring in some measure most days. But when the sun is out then so is the camera to keep a record of our work for our client Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust (COAT)

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

More before and afters!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so these before and after photos should save me a wee bit of RSI !!
These photos show the last section of the 'heavy construction' part of our work at the Lairig an Laoigh. We now move on to what is confusingly called 'light touch' work that covers more than 8 km of paths that we will be attending over the next couple of months.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Dramatic before and afters at Lairg an Laoigh

These photos show the difference  well designed and implemented pathwork can do to a problem area. This section of  the Lairig an Laoigh path was only going to get worse with more people avoiding the wet areas and the erosional damage continuing to increase.

This project is part of the Cairngorm Mountain Heritage Project, on behalf of our client Cairngorm Outdoor Access Trust.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Start of our summer in the Lairig an Laoigh

In an eventful week for Upland Access Ltd's team we saw our new "home from home" for the summer being delivered by helicopter to the remote site in the Cairngorms. As part of the Cairngorm Mountain Heritage project we will be carrying out work near the Fords of Avon, a very long walk by anyone's standards and so the Remote Accommodation System we are staying in will enable us to carry out the works as efficiently as possible.

Although these systems are really good it is still going to be a challenge as our frozen water pipes gave us an example of that right away.
But we are here to do a job of works and we got down to it straight away working on a section of the ancient drovers route in the Lairig an Laoigh.

This project is for the Cairngorm Outdoor Access Trust and its their innovative accommodation units we  will be using.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Living and working remote

Upland Access Ltd's teams are getting prepared to live and work in parts of the remotest reaches of the Cairngorms. Remote Accommodation Systems are cabins that can be transported by helicopter to enable path workers- us- to carry out work on paths that are too far to walk in and out every day. These cabins we will be utilising for the summer are a system developed by our client, Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust. They are a sophisticated portable accommodation system involving self governing generators, huge battery packs, kitchen, bunk, and toilet facilities.
The walk-in to the site will be over 2 hours so we will also fly in alot of our food as well to save on the amount we have to carry in.

The paths we will be working on this summer include the old drover road of Lairig an Laoigh, Fords of Avon to Strath Nethy and a section round Loch Avon.

We are no strangers to working in the cabins and have worked in many sites round the Cairngorms including this 'blast from the past' below, Loch Etchachan path to Beinn Macdui, circa 2004

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Work continues at Glas allt

Our teams continue to make good progress at the Glas Allt path on Balmoral estate in the Eastern Cairngorms.This project is for our client Cairngorm Outdoor Access Trust, and involves making repairs to the section of path at the Falls of Allt. Extra stone pitching, stone revettment, stone drainage and top side ditches have been constructed.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Summer in the Cairngorms

Friday, 11 April 2014

Scotland the Curious are curious about us.

We got a wee mention this week on the blog that is all about Scotland, Scotland the Curious.


It puts us in a good light so thanks for that!

At the Falls of Glas Allt

Our team has made a wee start on our next project. This is the repairs and construction of the section of path that is just before the waterfall on the Glas Allt path of Lochnagar, on the Balmoral estate.
The next task at hand will be to airlift the 70 plus load bags of block stone to site and then we will be able to construct the stone pitching, waterbars, and cross drains that has been specified. This project is through our client the Cairngorm Outdoor Access Trust.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Path Repairs on Isle of Staffa

 A quick wee blast over to Staffa to carry out some repairs and path definition to one of the footpaths here. This NTS managed island is home to the famous Fingals cave and the amazing Basalt columns. Staffa is located off the west coast of Mull, and we had to take two ferries and a very choppy boat trip to get there.

Finished at Bynack More

Our team battled incredible blizzards and freezin cold winds to finish our section of work at Bynack More.
This work was on behalf of our clients the Cairngorm Outdoor Access Trust and the site is located at nr 3000 ft on the Abernethy Estate. Well done guys.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Snow beginning to go- at last

The view looking down the hill from Bynack. Encouraging enough as the site is beginning to clear from snow. Still patches of the white stuff, but we might be able to make a start after being snowed off for a month.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

15 Years of Upland Access Ltd

I am quite proud of the fact we are still going after 15 years of hard slog. It is quite a unique industry to be in and the people who have engaged in it are few in number, but all bring a necessary resolve and character you wont see anywhere else. I have been reminiscing recently and realize that although the views and sites we have seen are amazing and we are privileged to see them, it is the people who do the job that are the most inspiring and all bring their own character and humour with them.
So as a wee tribute to them, I have compiled a wee album on Facebook on many (but not all- some have been camera shy!) who have worked with Upland Access Ltd. So if you are ever walking in the hills and wonder who build the paths, then this may help answer that question, The Hill Navvies of Upland Access Ltd

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Its snow happening..

Despite the mild weather we are experiencing at low level, the hills of scotland are still getting more than their fair share of snow- exciting for mountaineers and skiers but is putting a right big spanner in the works for us mountain path builders.
Despite having work to do we are beaten back by the white stuff especially on Schiehallion, our next port of call. Ah well, time to get the cap out, " Any loose change there, guvnor?"

Monday, 17 February 2014

Barnsluagan Finishing Touches

Just finished our wee sortie at the ridge path overlooking Barnsluagan loch in Knapdale woods near Lochgilphead. This is the completion of the upgrade of this path that has some great views and is quite enjoyable walking through the old deciduous woodland.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Slip sliding away!

First week back in 2014 has seen our team sliding about in the mud at Knapdale woods. The project is to replace wooden steps that have came to the end of their working life with new natural stone steps and an imported aggregate path. This stint involves moving the large stones into position in readiness for constructing the stonework. Its hard work though!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Happy New Year for 2014

So after our hibernation, its time to get 'the bears' out of their slumber and back to the grindstone. The first couple of  weeks are always hard as we try and lose the excess of the winter holiday- assuming the weather is kind to us and we are able to work.
Hope 2014 is a great year for one and all.