A path restoration project on Suilven is in the running to win £18,000 of funding in an online poll run by the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA).
It's been nominated by Berghaus for the award's 'alpine' category, competing against four other entries that range from tracking mountain gorillas in Rwanda to a project to remove old ski infrastructure and WW2 detritus from the Cerces massif of the French Alps.
The path work on Suilven, which is expected to total around £200,000, will be carried out by the John Muir Trust and the Assynt Foundation, the community group that owns the iconic peak, under the umbrella of the Coigach-Assynt Living Landscape (CALL) Partnership. It will set out to restore a 2.5km stretch of the badly eroded route, with the twin aim of conserving geological heritage and augmenting public access to the remote mountain, which is a major draw to the visitors that support the local tourism economy.
Stewart Hill, Chair of the Assynt Foundation said:
'Suilven dominates the skyline of the Assynt landscape. One German visitor told us that 'this is the scenery of the soul' – a sentiment that draws people from all over the Europe to climb the mountain. It may restore the soul, but the heavy footfall takes its toll of the path. By restoring the path we shall create a heritage for the future that will enable others to come and enjoy this magnificent mountain.'
Richard Leedham, brand president of Berghaus, explained the firm's connection:
'Berghaus is a long-time supporter of the John Muir Trust' he said.
'Our staff have volunteered on the Trust’s path restoration projects in the past and we can really appreciate the importance of that work. Suilven is an iconic mountain – we’ve named at least two jackets after it over the years! So we were delighted to nominate this project for funding from EOCA and will be working hard to encourage the public to vote to support the Trust’s great work on Suilven.'
- The online poll is open to the public until noon on Monday 19 October. To read about the nominated projects and cast a vote see here