A popular route up an iconic hill has been given carefully repaired to make it easier for walkers and less damaging to the mountain.
Quinag, in the north west Highlands, was in need of some TLC following increased footfall due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
The work as undertaken by ACT Heritage and managed by the John Muir Trust, who maintain the mountain’s extensive path network.
Quinag’s accessibility and location on the North Coast 500 route make it a particularly popular hill for walkers.
The route covers 3,699 hectares of the Assynt–Coigach National Scenic Area in Sutherland and has been described as a “walker’s paradise” due to its great views and three distinctive peaks.
Despite a lot of previous repair work, there were still eroded patches which needed repairing to prevent further damage.
In 2020 the Trust started work on the steep path towards the Sail Gharbh summit and in December, the final ascent – a 70-metre section of very badly eroded path – was restored and upgraded.
Romany Garnett, John Muir Trust’s Quinag Conservation Officer said:“Airlifting 30 tonnes of stone from the opposite face of the mountain was a mammoth task.
“But we’re confident that the stone pitching in place now provides walkers with a much safer and more robust route to the summit”.
Lower down the hill, a small team of John Muir Trust staff and volunteers have been working to repair and resurface the beginning section of the stalkers path which had also become eroded and very muddy in places.
Romany added:“This isn’t the end of our work though.
“We have plans in place to continue with a programme of repairs and upgrades as soon as funding allows”.