Boulder Field Blizzard


I needed to get up to the “boulder field” where Andy is bagging up stones ready for the airlift by helicopter up to the path workers. I’ve got directions, but I have to get across a river of variable and unknown depth. Fortunately, John from Glencanisp has offered to take me up there in the Argocat.

John in the Argocat. Photo (c) Chris Puddephatt

John in the Argocat. Photo (c) Chris Puddephatt

 

The weather forecast is not good, but I didn’t really appreciate that we were driving into a blizzard. Near the boulder field, it’s almost a total white-out, and we unwittingly drive past the bags of stone. Of course they’re white; the same colour as the snow. A stroke of luck; we spot Andy and his buddy walking towards us, as they arrive at the site themselves. We get out of the Argocat and I get blown over. The wind is absolutely evil, and the blowing snow makes it almost impossible to look into it. I go back to fetch my camera and get blown over again.

Boulder field in the snow. Photo (c) Chris Puddephatt

Bagging up boulders in the snow. Photo (c) Chris Puddephatt

Taking photos is going to be a challenge. I set the camera to a fast shutter speed, and I would’ve crossed my fingers, but I’ve lost feeling in a couple of them now. I get some shots of the stone-baggers whilst bracing myself against a rock. “Creativity” is just a myth right now; I just want to get back to the Argocat without being thrown onto the floor again. Just seeing the machine is a challenge too; its covered in snow and looks like a rock

Back at the Lodge, the weather doesn’t seem so bad, but we still can’t see Suilven, so its coffee o’clock.

On the way down the drive, I realise the sky has cleared, and there it is; the great big lump. I hang around for about an hour and get enough light on it for a reasonable photo or two.

Suilven. Photo (c) Chris Puddephatt

Suilven. Photo (c) Chris Puddephatt

I’m hoping for better weather for my next visit!

Guest blog and photography by Chris Puddephatt from 24th April 2017. Find out more about the Suilven Path Project here

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