The Steall Gorge path in Glen Nevis is a hugely popular path and anyone who has visited it will be able to say why this is. Located below the outlying rags of Ben Nevis, the path combines steep, wooded ravine scenery and the deafening roar of a tumbling stream with a pleasant meadow beyond one of Scotland's highest waterfalls (An Steall Ban) and several mountain paths.
All that may seem a mouth-watering prospect, not least as the start of the walk has its own car park at the end of the road up Glen Nevis, making it highly accessible. However, whether those coming are day-trippers on a short walk or seasoned Munroists coming through in their walking boots
, the years and thousands upon thousands of pairs of feet have taken their toll.
This has led to concerns that the path could become dangerous, with several steep drops in the gorge. Landowner, the John Muir Trust (JMT), made a big effort to raise the funds to carry out repairs last year - and hit their target. This included cash from the European Outdoor Conservation Association, which was won for the project in a public vote to choose which of several proposals would get the grant.
Now, the Trust has reported, the work is complete, having been carried out over the winter months by Arran Footpaths. JMT project manager Chris Goodman said: "The aim of the repair work was to make sure that public access could be maintained without compromising the wild and dramatic environment of the gorge, or the rugged character of the path itself.
"The contractors carried out the work to a high standard. We're delighted that the restored path has been restored very much in keeping with the original trail."
He noted much of the work had involved transferring materials to remote spots by helicopter, while other technical issues to overcome included the manoeuvring of the path around various large boulders.
Apart from a few extra touches to be added in the summer, the work is done.
From Steall Meadow, a number of Munros can be reached, including Aonch Beag and Aonach Mor, Stob Coire'a Chairn and An Gearanach, plus the easternmost Mamores - peaks like Binnein Mor, Binnein Beag, Na Gruagaichean and Sgurr Eilde Mor.