Creag Bheag path works

Since the helicopter lift of 100 tons of quarry dust up Creag Bheag on 19 May 2023 volunteers have completed the first two phases of path work across the summit – finishing on 20 July, several weeks ahead of schedule.

Phases 1 & 2 complete

Twenty seven volunteers have spent over 360 hours working on the path (not including time climbing the hill!).

They have “dusted” over 150m of the path to the north of the summit ridge to tone down work carried out in 2013 where an inappropriate pink Cairngorm gravel had been used.

270m of path across the summit ridge and around the seated cairn have been defined and a dry, stable, comfortable path laid. 

Areas of erosion around the path have been restored with peat and “spot turfed” to encourage regrowth. Some of it may look a bit rough at the moment until vegetation grows back but, since the majority of walkers should stay on the path from now on, the increasing erosion will have been halted.

Headline figures include:

  • 38.5 tons of grey 14mm mineral dust laid so far out of the 100 tons dropped.
  • 16 individual work sessions (9 days on Thursdays, 1 day on a Saturday, 5 evenings on Tuesdays and 1 Monday evening).
  • over 260 volunteer hours spent at the summit (not including walking in/out time).
  • 27 individuals volunteering, some for only a few hours many for every one of the 9 weeks. They are: Andy, Ailith, Alistair, Bruce, Brian, Bob, Claire, Catriona, Cube, Dick, Eric, Gus, Gus #2, Ian, Kenny, Kevin, Imogen, Len, Les, Michael, Sean, Sandy, Shona, Simon, Sarah, Steven & Tim.
    ……plus various dogs.

Still to come:

Phase 323 tons of dust as well as local stone to create a 145m path on the old line from the end of the 2011 work by COAT trainees to the Summit ridge.

Hopefully completed by sometime in September.
Phase 425 tons of dust to repair the work on the south side of Creag Bheag (completed by COAT trainees in 2011) and fill in the gaps to where KCDC volunteers constructed a new path.

This will carry on into the autumn as long as weather holds when we will switch to work lower down.
Phase 56 tons of dust to upgrade the path from the end of West Terrace to the Creag Bheag Path.
Phase 65 tons of dust to repair the Golf Course Circular path to the north east of Creag Bheag.
Phase 72.5 tons of dust to repair the path on the north side of Creag Bheag (constructed by Cairngorm Wilderness Contracts in 2013). This will probably be next year!

With thanks to:

Graham Mabon and the staff at Pitmain for their help in getting the mineral dust bagged for the helicopter to lift up to the path which is owned by Pitmain and Glenbanchor Estate.


This project has been possible due to grants from:

  • the Scottish Mountaineering Trust (£9,000);
  • Cairngorm National Park Authority (£2,000); and
  • KCDC (£3,800).

Photo Gallery

Bob Kinnaird has kindly provided the following pictures of the work parties in action (or having a well deserved break!).

Before and after pictures

The following “slide over” pictures give a flavour of the old and the new. Go on up the hill and check it out for yourself!

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