Where do fell fixers go on holiday?
I have often asked myself this question but at the beginning of June this year I found out! 9 hardy Fix the Fells volunteers signed up for a trip to the National Trust For Scotland`s Ben Lomond property to help the Rangers there maintain the main path. Like the fells in the Lake District Ben Lomond which is the most southerly Munro takes a battering from all the footfall and traditional Scottish weather.
Travelling up on a Friday we worked Saturday, Sunday returning Monday. A hectic time blocking/landscaping side paths, installing a few pitched steps, clearing out cross drains (technical term – we all know drains cannot get cross!)
Was the weather kind to us, yes well sort of. There were no dreaded highland midges! Reason being the raging winds and torrents of rain made sure they could not fly and stayed at home. We being hardy souls were not so lucky. It is fair to say we got a tad wet both days. Still a great time was had with NTS Ben Lomond Rangers Alasdair and Fraser.
Above: David, Ed, Claire, Alan and Joe working in what is classified north of the border as “dreich day ootside”
Did we make a good impression? I hope so. Here follows a quote from NTS Ranger Alasdair on the Ben Lomond Facebook pages re our visit “Another lucky visit for Ben Lomond from the fellaresses and fellas of Fix the Fells. Usually encountered in their natural habitat of the Cumbrian Lake District, this is the second time the good folks have ventured north to lend a hand, foot, brain cell or two to help us on the main path. Great company, great bit of work achieved, and always a pleasure. Haste Ye Back”
Above: The team of Fell Fixers Caroline, Jan, Alan, Phil, Joe, Ed, David, Joe, Claire oh and Canadian Claire who popped over for two days to give us a hand! Fraser one of the Rangers shows off his new toy, a brand new sledge hammer presented to the NTS to replace one we broke on our last visit - oops!
Was the trip worth it? Certainly yes. No real respite from our normal volunteering duties, just a change of scenery. Adjacent to Loch Lomond at Rowardennan when the rain stopped cracking views over the Loch. The Ardess bunk house was close at hand to retreat to for possibly a wee dram or two in front of it wood burning stove to help us relax.
To cap it all we even then climbed to the top of Ben Lomond to take advantage of a break in the weather and admire the view south over Loch Lomond.