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Suilven – Not Quite in the Bag

Guest blog by Chris Goodman, Path Project Officer for the John Muir Trust It’s all very well having best laid plans, but the Assynt weather has no regard for them. 300 tonnes of gravel and stone, all bagged up and ready to go, were due to be helicoptered out to the path this week to provide the foundations and building blocks of the upgraded path but a combination of cloud, rain and ultimately the wind scuppered our best efforts. It wasn’t necessarily windy by Assynt standards but swirling updrafts and downdrafts meant it was just too dangerous to fly. Fortunately we did get a few lulls in the wind and took the opportunity to get about 100 of the 1 tonne bags out to site which gives path contractor A.C.T. Heritage enough materials to be getting on with for the time being but we’ll need to have a 2nd attempt at getting the rest out in the next few weeks. The airlift company were fresh from 3 weeks of lifting stone in the Lake District – part of the work

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Suilven: Stone for the Mountain

Guest blog and photography by Chris Puddephatt from 2nd May 2017. The better weather I was hoping for; a lovely sunny day for the airlift of the bagged stone! Incredibly only a few days since the blizzard, and look at it! Amazing. OMG! Riding in the helicopter! Lucky, lucky, lucky! Safety briefing; yellow jacket and hard hat. And sunscreen. The chopper ferries bags of stone from the boulder field very quickly. I know it’s going to be expensive, but this is so efficient. Andy’s got a list and knows which bag goes where; that’ll save additional work moving it again. We start on the lower path, contrary to the master plan, as the weather still needs time to clear on the ridge. Bag after bag turns up. This is a welcome easy day for Andy, just holding a clipboard and standing around in the sunshine. Oh yes, he also waves his arms around a bit, directing the helicopter where to drop the next bag. A few walkers come past, directed through by the marshall when it’s safe to proceed. A lovely

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