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How To Behave On Ben Nevis

This page has lots of helpful information about going to the toilet on the mountains and in the countryside - managing your personal waste and litter

Ben Nevis is a busy mountain in both summer and winter. In order to help us keep this area in a pristine condition and to safeguard its future development we provide some key information about some of the environmental issues that affect the area and some guidelines for how you may help maintain the beauty and magnificence of the area.

Litter
Please carry all your litter off the mountain. Sadly the summit of Ben Nevis attracts large amounts of waste. There are a number of voluntary summit clean ups each year and these are often organised by the Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team or the John Muir Trust Conservation activities manager. You can get involved by contacting the Nevis Partnership and providing your time as a volunteer. In addition if you are at the summit of Ben Nevis please help us by removing the waste of others and in time we will get the message across that leaving waste at this magnificent site is not appropriate. Please do not discard orange peel, banana skins or apple cores. Many people believe that these are of no consequence to the environment. Please bring them down.

Toilet issues
Please be discreet with your need to go to the toilet. If at all possible try not leaving excreta on the mountain. There are public toilets at the Glen Nevis visitor centre. If you find yourself in a position that you have to go to the toilet on the mountain please follow the advice in the Mountaineering Council of Scotland’s information sheet. The leaflet "Where to go in the Outdoors" is downloadable.

Use of the Summit shelter and Observatory ruins
Sadly a great deal of people use the summit shelter and the observatory ruins as a toilet area. Please, please refrain from this activity as it is making the summit area an unpleasant experience for all of our visitors and significantly detracts from the whole wild mountain experience tat people have worked so hard to achieve.

Cairns
There are a number of cairns on the mountain. Please do not add stones to the cairns during your ascent and descent.
All cairns below the 4000’ contour will be removed. The reason for this is that the creation of these enormous cairns is creating large scale path diversion and path erosion. In addition many people feel that these purpose built items are an eye sore and should not become permanent features. Some of these cairns now have a base exceeding 10m in diameter.
There are a number of cairns above the 4000’ contour on the way to the summit that will be managed via the Nevis Partnership. It is important that these cairns are not tampered with in any way, either taken down or added to.

Memorials
Please do not leave any memorials on the summit of Ben Nevis. In association with the John Muir Trust and Highland Council we have created an alternative site of remembrance in Glen Nevis. We understand and recognise the importance of the summit for relatives and friends to remember their loved ones and are asking our visitors to simply not leave any items at the summit.

If you wish to formally memorialise your loved one and wish to utilise then please contact the Glen Nevis Visitor Centre on 01397-705922.

Useful links

About the Mountaineering Council of Scotland

About John Muir Trust in Glen Nevis

About Historic Scotland

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