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Guest blog by commissioned photographer, Chris Puddephatt

Only a few days left now; the whole project is nearing completion.

Time has flown. Scary.

At the beginning of this season I met Chris Goodman to identify a few sites as likely candidates for “before and after” shots and got the first set in the bag. Now I’m back with him trying to identify the same sections of muddy or stony eroded path for the follow-up. Some are really easy, but others prove a challenge as they’ve changed so much. As I start shooting, I realise that the first set were on a different camera/ lens combination, and it’s not making it easier….. My fault; I should’ve checked before I left home. Anyway, the pictures speak for themselves. Job done!

The evolved route to Suilven crosses peaty ground. And the same bit after work is completed. Photo © Chris Puddephatt.
The evolved route to Suilven crosses peaty ground. And the same bit after work is completed. Photo © Chris Puddephatt.

The lower path workers are long gone, but the Arran boys are still here. Today I meet up with Alec and Xabi again, and also Johny and Rab who I’ve not seen since 2017. I have to admit that I’ve missed these folks, and I hardly know them really. And this is the last time I’ll see them up here.

Rab back working on Suilven. Photo © Chris Puddephatt.
Rab back working on Suilven. Photo © Chris Puddephatt.

I feed my habit of having lunch on the top, and spend about an hour up there with my walking buddy Derek. The cool breeze is a southerly, so we sit on a ledge on the north side eating our sandwiches.

Time to go, finish off the photos and “head for the hills”, which is an odd saying when we’re actually doing the opposite.

Johny and Xabi couldn’t have timed it better; they’re rolling a very heavy stone, and it shows.

For me, this was The Final Push.

Xabi & Johny moving one of the final boulders into place. Photo © Chris Puddephatt.
Xabi & Johny moving one of the final boulders into place. Photo © Chris Puddephatt.

It’s a cracking path, and it really has been my pleasure to take the photos!

This awkward bedrock step was pushing walkers onto a number of different lines as they attempted to get past it. Some technical pitching up the side will should ensure everyone can now stick to the path. Photo © Chris Puddephatt.
This awkward bedrock step was pushing walkers onto a number of different lines as they attempted to get past it. Some technical pitching up the side will should ensure everyone can now stick to the path. Photo © Chris Puddephatt.
A deteriorating section of the path gullied out by water leaving a mess of rocks and mud. The pitching stabilises the ground and provides a better surface to walk on. Photo © Chris Puddephatt.
A deteriorating section of the path gullied out by water leaving a mess of rocks and mud. The pitching stabilises the ground and provides a better surface to walk on. Photo © Chris Puddephatt.

Find out more about the Suilven Path Project here


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