This picture was taken from the plateau between Cairngorm and Pt. 1141. If you look closely you can make out the start of the path but as it steepens it soon disappears from sight. Great for reducing aesthetic impact, not so good for picking a route up the hill side!
Saturday, 18 June 2011
The path up the Western Approach to Cairngorm isn't really a path, in fact before we arrived it was just a hill side suffering with massive erosion problems and widespread vegetation loss due to all those walkers wandering up, down and across it's flanks without any direction.
Our mission, as we chose to accept it was to create not a path but a route up the hillside that was more desirable to tread than any other option on the hill.
What is a path? Time for a bit of philosophical introspection... Well a path is something you walk on, something that makes it easier to get from A to B, that keeps the majority of people on one particular line rather than scattered about all over the place. But from another perspective a path can also involve a lot more stuff, both on the ground in its constuction and in its planning and in its conception but i'm getting side tracked.
This path wasn't like most of the paths we normal build, it was a bit of a head scrather from the start and a bit of a ball buster at times too.
Anyway today, after about 2 months working at about 1100m (How many feet is that? 3500?) we finished.
As we've finished it is time to relax and enjoy the fruits of our labour. No, not the path this time, our pay packets – to the pub! Tomorrow we'll be working again but tonight we're drinking. And theres no problems a drop of whisky can't solve. Time to talk it through, share our different path building philosophies and generally get a little silly, maybe even enjoy each others company, if only for a short while. Time to get a little lit up.