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Issue 42 - Nevis finally cleared of cairns

Scotland Magazine Issue 42
December 2008

 

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Nevis finally cleared of cairns

Volunteers have at last completed a gruelling five year programme to remove more than 120 unsightly cairns from the summit of Ben Nevis.

The John Muir Trust – owners of Ben Nevis since 2000 – cleared the cairns to preserve the wild and remote feeling at the top of Britain’s highest mountain, and to prevent climbers believing they were following a path.

The cairns, most of them only a few feet high, have been randomly built up over the years by walkers. They are often started by a collection of stones to cover up litter left on the summit.

John Muir Trust work parties dismantling these cairns also picked up hundreds of bags of litter from Ben Nevis. Their excavations even uncovered a piano and wheelchair.