The weather is an element of Ski Club work life which is sometimes overlooked by those who follow our progress. We often find ourselves in a position where we have important jobs to do, and volunteers available to do them in their free time on a Saturday or Sunday, but adverse weekend weather conditions prevent us from progressing our plans.
On the other hand, our life is made easier by many businesses from our local area and beyond, who generously support our plans to make the Lowther Hills the mountain playground of the south of Scotland.
The weather has not been particularly kind to us this summer. That has put some pressure on the number of jobs we wanted to get done before the skiing season started. We were planning to catch up and do a lot of work on Lowther Hill in November but unfortunately, again, the weekend weather was not with us. We had a month of continuous rain and very strong winds, including a Storm Abigail, an ex-hurricane Kate, and a Storm Clodagh, which would have made it uncomfortable and unsafe for work parties to be on the hill. Then came Storm Desmond, which destroyed our temporary club hut.
Thankfully, Scottish engineering firm Blake Group stepped in and helped community-owned Lowther Hills Ski Club to get some things done.
Over the past months we have invested much time and effort on a costly and complex programme of improvement of the Lowther tow's electrical and safety systems. One of the many jobs we wanted to complete before winter was the replacement of the tow's original single skin diesel containers.
We needed specialist advice to find the best solution for our challenging weather conditions and limited space at the Engine hut, while complying with all current legislation and quality standards. So, we asked the best people for this job.
Edinburgh-based Blake Group are a UK leader of engineering services in the fields of oil tank production and fabricated steelwork. When we first approached Blake Group, they kindly listened to our requirements and provided us with top-class expert advice. Shortly after, we were most grateful to learn that Blake Group had decided to support the community-owned, mountain playground of the south of Scotland with a donation of a new, state of the art fuel tank.
And a month later, the weather finally gave us a break. In Arctic conditions, Blake Group's fuel tank was brought on the 22nd of November by our volunteers to its new home on Lowther Hill at 710m (2,330ft) altitude. We believe it now is Blake Group's highest fuel tank in Britain.