Work on a £60,000 footpath project in which hundreds of tonnes of stone were flown onto a Skye mountain by helicopter has been completed.
Bla Bheinn – also known as Blaven, or the Blue Mountain – is one of the few Munros on the island that is accessible to competent hill-walkers, as it does not require climbing skills.
The popularity of the 2.4-mile path up the 3,045ft peak, which guards the entrance to the Black Cuillin, coupled with its exposure to fierce Atlantic weather systems, has caused serious erosion, including a gaping 23ft wide scar visible from a great distance.
This meant walkers coming down the slope were forced to make an unpleasant trek through sections of loose boulders.
The John Muir Trust, which looks after Bla Bheinn, won £24,000 in an online poll organised by the European Outdoor Conservation Association towards the cost of restoration work.
It followed this up with an appeal among its members and supporters to raise the balance of the funding and contractors, who started work on site in October, have now completed the project.
Chris Goodman, who is the trust’s footpath manager, said: “This was a substantial piece of work that included building 100m (328ft) of stone steps and a helicopter lift of materials.
“It also involved major drainage construction on sections of the path that had been badly scarred by gullying.”
Mr Goodman said the trust strongly encouraged people to explore the mountains while taking responsibility for maintaining footpaths in good condition.
He said: “Where possible we use light touch, sensitive, minimal intervention techniques, but in some places significant damage can only be rectified by this kind of major repair work.
“Looking to the future, we are aiming to focus on more pre-emptive action to prevent serious erosion before it occurs.
“This work has cost the best part of £60,000 and we’d like to thank all our members and supporters, as well as those who voted for us in the online poll earlier this year to help us secure a large part of the funding.”