Google Maps Could Be Offering "Potentially Fatal" Hiking Routes for Ben Nevis

Deaths have occurred on the Scottish mountain as recently as this year.
Loukia Papadopoulos

Google Maps has been accused by Scottish mountaineering organization Mountaineering Scotland and Scottish charity the John Muir Trust of offering paths up Ben Nevis that are "potentially fatal." Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles. It measures a whopping 1,345 meters (4,413 feet).

Climbing the peak can be dangerous and deaths have occurred on the mountain as recently as this year.

Heather Morning, Mountaineering Scotland’s Mountain Safety Adviser, said in a statement: “For those new to hill walking, it would seem perfectly logical to check out Google Maps for information on how to get to your chosen mountain. But when you input Ben Nevis and click on the ‘car’ icon, up pops a map of your route, taking you to the car park at the head of Glen Nevis, followed by a dotted line appearing to show a route to the summit.”

Potentially fatal 

Morning added: “Even the most experienced mountaineer would have difficulty following this route. The line goes through very steep, rocky, and pathless terrain where even in good visibility it would be challenging to find a safe line. Add in low cloud and rain and the suggested Google line is potentially fatal.”

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Morning went on to say that people can easily be fooled into thinking that all information online is correct, safe, and up to date but this is not always so.

Interesting Engineering reached out to Google regarding their Ben Nevis maps but has not received a response at the time of publication of this article. We will update the article as soon as we receive a statement.

In the meantime, the John Muir Trust said that Google provided the following statement: "We built Google Maps with safety and reliability in mind, and are working quickly to investigate the routing issue on Ben Nevis." 

Hopefully, this is an issue that will be resolved quickly.

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