The John Muir Trust and Mountaineering Scotland have warned people about the dangers of using technology to navigate the mountains, in particular Google Maps.
They expressed concern that climbers and hikers are using navigation apps to get directions to Scotland’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. Google Maps is reported to show tourists a route that can be fatal.
Even the most experienced climber will have difficulty following this route. The route follows very steep, rocky and off-road terrain, where even with good visibility it would be difficult to find a safe path. Add to that low clouds and rain, and Google’s suggested route can be deadly. It is all too easy these days to assume that information on the Internet is correct, up-to-date, and secure. Unfortunately, experience shows that this is not the case, and there have been a number of incidents lately where following routes downloaded from the Internet resulted in injury or more serious consequences. On Ben Nevis, many people believe that Google Maps, which takes them from home to the base of the mountain, can help them get to the top. But this is not the case.
Heather Morning of Mountaineering Scotland.
The John Muir Foundation and Climbing Scotland strongly recommend that anyone looking to hike Ben Nevis or any other mountain check the map or consult a local guide.
Google said the company “has built Google Maps with security and reliability in mind and is rapidly working to investigate the routing problem in Ben Nevis.”