Ben Nevis: Google Maps suggests a “potentially fatal” mountain route
Scottish mountaineering charities have slammed Google for suggesting routes to Ben Nevis and other Munros they say are “potentially fatal” and direct people to a cliff.
The John Muir Trust, which looks after the upper parts of the UK’s tallest mountain, said attempts to contact the company about the matter have ended in silence.
The association said some searches for routes to Ben Nevis on Google Maps direct users to the parking lot closest to the summit as the crow flies and then point to a walking route that is “very dangerous, even for climbers. experienced “.
Nathan Berrie, Nevis conservation officer for the trust, said: “The problem is that Google Maps directs some visitors to the Upper Falls parking lot, probably because it is the parking lot closest to the summit.
“But it’s not the right route and we often come across groups of inexperienced walkers heading towards Steall Falls or the southern slopes of Ben Nevis, believing this to be the route to the top.”
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Heather Morning, mountain safety advisor at Mountaineering Scotland, said even experienced climbers would have issues with the suggested route.
“For those new to hiking, it would make perfect sense to take a look at Google Maps to find out how to get to the mountain of your choice,” she said.
“But when you enter Ben Nevis and click on the ‘car’ icon, a map of your route appears, taking you to the parking lot at the head of Glen Nevis, followed by a dotted line appearing to show a route to the top. .
“Even the most experienced climber would have a hard time following this route. The line crosses very steep, rocky and pathless terrain where even with good visibility it would be difficult to find a safe line. Add low clouds and rain and the line suggested by Google is potentially fatal.
The charity said Google is also directing users to “potentially deadly ground” for other Munros.
It has been said that for An Teallach in the North West Highlands, a search engine suggested hiking route would take people over a cliff.
Ms Morning added: “It is too easy these days to assume that information on the Internet is all good, correct, up-to-date and secure.
“Unfortunately, experience shows that this is not the case and there have been a number of recent incidents where following routes downloaded from the Internet have resulted in injury or worse.”
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Mountaineering Scotland and The John Muir Trust said they had asked Google to consult them, but that efforts “so far have ended in silence.”
They recommended climbers to check the information on a map or consult a local guide.