Google Maps changes Ben Nevis ‘potentially fatal’ directions

Tech giant Google will remove “potentially fatal” online roads on Scotland’s tallest mountain, according to nature chiefs.

Mountaineering Scotland and The John Muir Trust have urged members of the public not to use Google Maps to find their way to Ben Nevis after “growing numbers of visitors” adopted the practice.

Last week, the organizations explained how, depending on how someone searches for the route, Google Maps can direct them to the parking lot closest to the summit as the crow flies, showing a route experts described as ” very dangerous, even for experienced climbers “.

At the time, Nathan Berrie, conservation officer for the John Muir Trust in Nevis, said: “The problem is that Google Maps directs some visitors to the Upper Falls parking lot, probably because it is the most common parking lot. close to the top.

“But this is not the right route and we often come across groups of inexperienced walkers heading towards Steall Falls or up the southern slopes of Ben Nevis, believing this to be the route to the top.”

And Heather Morning, Mountain Safety Advisor at Mountaineering Scotland, said: “For those new to mountain hiking, it would seem perfectly logical to look at Google Maps for information on how to get to the mountain from your home. choice.

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“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 difficulty following this route. The line traverses 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 Google’s suggestion the line is potentially fatal. ”

Now the organizations have revealed that the American firm has planned changes to its guide to avoid the danger. In a joint statement, they said: “We are delighted to hear that Google Maps has updated driving directions for Ben Nevis to direct visitors to the parking lot at the Glen Nevis Visitor Center, where visitors can find further information and directions to the top. ”

Representatives from the three organizations came together to discuss similar issues in other areas and “potential solutions to provide users with more accurate and relevant information when venturing away from roads and into wild, mountainous places.” .

For example, in the northwest of the country, a walking route produced by the An Teallach munro system would literally take people over a cliff if followed.

Anyone planning to travel the Scottish mountains and hills are advised to cross-check the information on a map or consult a local guide.

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About Douglas Mackenzie

Douglas Mackenzie

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