/ The State of The Ben

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Euge - on 22 Sep 2009
Good Morning All...

I was up Ben Nevis last Friday and was appalled, and ashamed, at the state of it...

There was rubbish everywhere and the shelter was like a dumster full of plastic bottles, cans, crisp and sandwich wappers etc. I took a bag of rubbish down with me but it barely scratched the surface.

There were even disposable BBQs left on top... This is crazy and totally irresponsible!!

Also, someone has erected (cemented) a rather ugly cylindrical shaped memorial, with a brass nameplate stuck on it, beside the cairn. Now I'm sorry for this guys loss but what gives someone the right to erect such a thing? There already is a memorial cairn up there and space could easily be found for the nameplate.

I feel totally frustrated at this whole debacle. How does this rubbish get cleaned up? Is it really up to the people who love this mountain to pick up rubbish after the "tourists"? How do we educate the masses?

AAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHH!!!!

I know that this has been discussed on this site before and there have been a number of clean up exercises, but just needed to get this off my chest.

AAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHH!!!!

Euge

teflonpete - on 22 Sep 2009
In reply to Euge:
You're absolutely right to be annoyed about it, it takes no effort for people to carry their own empty bottles and wrappers back down with them.
Bruce Hooker - on 22 Sep 2009
In reply to Euge:

Is this a photo of the rubbish you mean?

Could certainly do with being cleared up Try phoning the council, maybe the bin day was the day after you went up there?

wee jamie on 22 Sep 2009
In reply to Euge: No point getting angry. It's just something that happens in 'honeypot' mountain regions. It is amazing that there are people who leave rubbish up there, I can't understand it myself, but I feel pleased that there are folk around like you (and me) who remove it. Even if you think it's not even scratching the surface, it is, and I know many locals up here who also pick up litter when they see it. It DOES make a difference, so nice one, just try not to let it detract from your wilderness experience.

Jamie
tony on 22 Sep 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

That has to the most random link! For the slow among us, can you explain the significance of a pic of a figure of 8 note to the topic?
tony on 22 Sep 2009
In reply to Euge:
>
> I feel totally frustrated at this whole debacle. How does this rubbish get cleaned up? Is it really up to the people who love this mountain to pick up rubbish after the "tourists"? How do we educate the masses?

The John Muir Trust organise regular clean-ups. There's one happening this Saturday:
http://www.jmt.org/activities-conservation-work-parties.asp

I'm sure they'd be happy for some help.

As for educating the masses - good question. I haven't been up Ben Nevis for ages, so I don't know the state of signage about litter and rubbish, but there are always, sadly, going to be idiots who think litter is someone else's problem and won't pay attention to any signs or any other attempts to educate them. Ben Nevis is the ultimate honeypot mountain in Scotland, so I guess it's unfortunately inevitable it will suffer.
gethin_allen on 22 Sep 2009
In reply to tony:
my guess is that he's having a go at people who leave tat on mountains.
Personally i can't see how you can compare using a bit of rope to get you off a mountain in an emergency and randomly dropping plastic bottles and crap on top when you could easily take it down with you.
Ian McNeill - on 22 Sep 2009
In reply to tony:
this is the clean up page

http://www.jmt.org/ben-nevis-cleanup.asp


Snoweider - on 22 Sep 2009
In reply to Euge:
Having been up there several times this summer, mostly at weekends, I have observed that the worst littering takes place when there are charity events esp these massive 3 peaks teams on the hill. The attitude of some of these participants is often totally lacking in respect for the environment and other hill users. I've had clients pushed out of the way and there is an attitude that if it is "for charidy" then this must take precedence over normal respectful behaviour, including litter. Plastic bottles get discarded as if along the way on an urban marathon route. Huge sections of the carpark get coned off by marshals awaiting buses that will arrive hours after everyone else who is looking for a parking space. I have tried not to get wound up by it, as this is just the nature of the beast etc etc... but I am embarrassed in front of clients by the state of the hill. I have had several french groups exclaiming that the British treat their mountains like pigs. Not nice.
I agree that littering etc is inevitable in a honeypot area, but I think that more needs to be done to educate/control these 3 peaks teams who put nothing back in to the economy and the environment etc and have the most unbelievably poor attitude.
gethin_allen on 22 Sep 2009
In reply to The Gibbon:
has anyone here confronted any litterers while out on the hill? I had a go at some people (fairly politely) in a walking club that i was involved with a while back and just got a really blank look and i don't think they ever came out with the club again. Possibly not a terrible thing if they want to treat the countryside like a tip.
Bruce Hooker - on 22 Sep 2009
In reply to tony:

It should have been this:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=6643

but somehow the 43 didn't get pasted

Doesn't make much more sense though really.
Bruce Hooker - on 22 Sep 2009
In reply to The Gibbon:

> I have had several french groups exclaiming that the British treat their mountains like pigs. Not nice.

They clearly never wander about just below refuges in the Mont Blanc range!
Enty - on 22 Sep 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to The Gibbon)
>
> [...]
>
> They clearly never wander about just below refuges in the Mont Blanc range!

Or any trashed sport crag in Provence!

Enty
Mike-W-99 on 22 Sep 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to The Gibbon)
>
> [...]
>
> They clearly never wander about just below refuges in the Mont Blanc range!

Or had to sidestep a turd + bog roll neatly arranged on the Aiguille Rouge walkers path
Spike - on 22 Sep 2009
In reply to Mike_Watson_99:

or side step a turd on the path up tp Scafell Pike from Borrowdale a couple of months ago -- again purely down to Three Peaks people

I arrived at Seathwaite farm circa 3am - as silent as I could be, to make my way up to Broad Stand to lend a rope or a helping hand to a mate doing the BG only to find minbuses full of loud Charity eventers pissing on the walls, joking, laughing talking loudly - next to the campsite and the houses at Seathwaite.

I made my way from them as quick as poss, but later in the day on the way down I was shocked at the litter and (twice) faeces they'd dropped 1 metres from the path. Some Charity!
Euge - on 23 Sep 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to tony)
>
> It should have been this:
>
> http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=6643
>
> but somehow the 43 didn't get pasted
>
> Doesn't make much more sense though really.



Hahaha.. I like that.. I like that alot... what a mess!!!

Euge


Euge - on 23 Sep 2009
What's peoples opinion to someone erecting a barrel sized memorial beside the summit cairn?

Do they need permission to do this?

Did anyone see hime doing it?

Cheers
Euge
petestack - on 23 Sep 2009
In reply to Euge:
> What's peoples opinion to someone erecting a barrel sized memorial beside the summit cairn?
>
> Do they need permission to do this?

It's not on...

http://www.nevispartnership.co.uk/memorials.asp
Pids - on 23 Sep 2009
In reply to Euge:

>
> I feel totally frustrated at this whole debacle. How does this rubbish get cleaned up? Is it really up to the people who love this mountain to pick up rubbish after the "tourists"? How do we educate the masses?
>

Define "tourist" for me please ?

And I love how this thread is now demonising those on a 3 peaks challenge - the root of all evil.

We even had walking groups mentioned as litterbugs !

How many more prejudices can we get into this thread ?
Euge - on 23 Sep 2009
In reply to Pids:

>
> How many more prejudices can we get into this thread ?

Memorial Builders!!!!
Tony the Blade on 23 Sep 2009
In reply to Pids:
>
> How many more prejudices can we get into this thread ?

Outdoor chefs...
> There were even disposable BBQs left on top.

thin bob on 23 Sep 2009
In reply to Euge: it'd take a 4x4 to get a memorial up there :..
Is it such a draft idea to have a steward/warden up there when its busy ? Or force 3 peaks organizers to have a rubbish party?
Euge - on 23 Sep 2009
In reply to thin bob:
> (In reply to Euge) it'd take a 4x4 to get a memorial up there :..
> Is it such a draft idea to have a steward/warden up there when its busy ? Or force 3 peaks organizers to have a rubbish party?

It was obviously built up there, but they must have carried the cement and water..

This problem is not just organised events but people in general that have no regard for our outdoors. I don't even know how to inform these people, there is a sign in the shelter asking to keep tidy and take all rubbish with you. It can't be missed it only a little shelter... AAARRGGGHHH!!!!

Euge

Geoffrey Michaels on 23 Sep 2009 - cnag4.gotadsl.co.uk
In reply to Euge:

There appears to be two subjects here: 1. Memorials and 2. Litter.

1 has been dealt with to a point already although more info needed so that people don't keep doing it. 2 I think should be monitored more closely, say video evidence and publicity for good and bad practice.
Pids - on 23 Sep 2009
In reply to Donald M:
> (In reply to Euge)
>
> There appears to be two subjects here: 1. Memorials and 2. Litter.
>
> 1 has been dealt with to a point already although more info needed so that people don't keep doing it. 2 I think should be monitored more closely, say video evidence and publicity for good and bad practice.

CCTV cameras on the Ben ?

What other "popular" hills should be subject to CCTV survelance then ?
Geoffrey Michaels on 23 Sep 2009 - cnag4.gotadsl.co.uk
In reply to Pids:

Nah someone with a camcorder willing to film people and put it on the net. I amn't suggesting any organisation takes this on.

Maybe large organisations though should pay a bond, returnable on inspection of the mountain minus an administration fee.
ridgback - on 23 Sep 2009
In reply to Euge:

Got to agree with all your sentiments, not so long back saw a guy drop a load of litter whilst walking. I picked up what he'd dropped and caught up with him and told him he'd obviously lost the carrier bag full of his rubbish i'd picked up.

I got the expected load of abuse, being called a w****r etc. I just laughed at him told him there was only one of the above about and brought it off the mountain myself.

To be honest me and the wife tend to take a few carriers with us on walks now and fill them with any rubbish found and bin it when we get back. We can't take everything we find but we like to do our bit. Even my kids who are 6 and 10 comment on the rubbish and will bring empty bottles etc down in their packs (obviously not the ones that are full of urine!!!!).

I know its frustrating but you can only do what you can do, we have to try and educate people. I know charity groups tend to get a lot of flak for this but I've seen folks who appear to be seasoned walkers drop litter too, you are always going to get the odd "bad apple" after all.
andyinglis - on 23 Sep 2009
In reply to Euge: I would have the cctv canmera's at the north face car park rather than on top.....dogging hot spot apparently!

Andy
Robin Ashcroft on 23 Sep 2009 - 88-107-87-8.dynamic.dsl.as9105.com
Is the car park on private property - I wonder who actually authorises the marshals to take this action? Or do they take on the authority to do it themselves. If it's a public space and unless the cones have been placed there by the Police they can - and perhaps should - be ignored. Police cones are marked as such.

Wasdale has really suffered by the impact of charity groups and the way they seem to think they're above, if not the law, then the accepted way of doing things.

A few years back, we made the mistake of camping overnight below Pike's Crag in Hollow Stones (Scafell) in June hoping to enjoy 2 days climbing. We were a way off the path, but obviously not far enough. For we were woken on five separate occasions, by charity groups demanding (and I mean demanding) help of one form or the other - food, drink, help with directions, how far was it? The irony was none of them were in remotely serious trouble, just the wrong people, in the wrong place at the wrong time;who expected to be spoon fed and assumed an amazing, if totally inappropriate moral superiority. I've never been a fan of alpine starts, but I was on the crag very early that day.

The litter that they left was appalling - a real trail of plastic.

Rob Naylor - on 23 Sep 2009
In reply to Pids:
> (In reply to Euge)
>
> [...]
>
> And I love how this thread is now demonising those on a 3 peaks challenge

Why is it "demonising" if it's true?

I've seen it with my own eyes on several occasions, and it seems that several other people posting here have seen it, too, so there seems to be a bit more to it than simple unjustified "demonising".
freebird on 23 Sep 2009 - 88-106-14-15.dynamic.dsl.as9105.com
In reply to Donald M:
> (In reply to Euge)
>
> There appears to be two subjects here: 1. Memorials and 2. Litter.


Both litter

Gav M - on 23 Sep 2009
In reply to Donald M:

>
> There appears to be two subjects here: 1. Memorials and 2. Litter.
>

I have scrutinised this thread carefully and have idenitified a third.

A couple of respondants above were lamenting the despicable practise of inconsiderate defecation in the hills.

If you keep your eyes peeled on the walk in to the north face you are sure to spot a good number of toleys near to, or sometimes even on, the path.

The last time the issue of a toilet at the north face was discussed there was a guy on here who reckoned it was perfectly normal to crimp out 4 jobbies in the course of a day on the hill.
Gav M - on 23 Sep 2009
In reply to the real dr gav:

> The last time the issue of a toilet at the north face was discussed there was a guy on here who reckoned it was perfectly normal to crimp out 4 jobbies in the course of a day on the hill.


Just to be clear - he meant four seperate toilet events, not doing four individual pieces of turd at the same time.

wilkie14c - on 23 Sep 2009
In reply to the real dr gav:
Was gonna say, thats clever....
Know extactly what mean about the douglas's tho'. Seem em myself. Why can't climbers just take a crap before they leave and pop an imodium when they get up? Oh, stay out of the Everest indian as well....
Gav M - on 23 Sep 2009
In reply to blanchie14c:


I might import one of the excrement-eating domestic animals that are commonplace in India.

It could roam up and down the allt a'mhuillin nibbling the more solid shites and slurping up any runnier ones with its tongue.
robinsi197 - on 23 Sep 2009
In reply to the real dr gav:

<Rant>Regardless of the fact that 4 jobbies a day might be cause to reconsider your dietary habits, and the fact that leaving it on the path is a F*cking Disgrace and evidence of poor toilet training at an early age, do these people have no notion of inappropriateness about dropping their keks in the middle of the path and letting rip? Is their idea of privacy so undeveloped? Walking down off the Rothorn this August we encountered quite a few jobbies on the Schneegrat, less than a metre from the trail of footprints, a place well exposed to the view of the multitudes going up and down at all hours from daybreak to midafternoon, not to mention anyone for miles around. WTF happens here? All of a sudden the bloke in front of you just stops and shits, or what? If you're that desperate stick a cork up it. Rub their noses in it like puppies, I say</Rant>
Pittsburgh Windmill on 23 Sep 2009
In reply to the real dr gav:

> "Just to be clear - he meant four seperate toilet events, not doing four individual pieces of turd at the same time".

I wish you'd been more vague.
Gav M - on 23 Sep 2009
In reply to robinsi197:

>
> <Rant>Regardless of the fact that 4 jobbies a day might be cause to reconsider your dietary habits,


That's what I said to the guy, but in his world it was completely normal. It must have been very mushy, he was probably squirtng out a lamb bhuna every couple of hours.
Gav M - on 24 Sep 2009
In reply to the real dr gav:

I've put up a blog post discussing the issue of contamination on the Ben.

http://gavinmacfie.blogspot.com/2009/09/bananas-and-brown-dogs-on-ben-nevis.html
Mr Fuller on 24 Sep 2009
In reply to the real dr gav: Thanks for the toilet humour - it has brightened up my otherwise dull day.
amillichope on 28 Sep 2009 - host217-43-126-229.range217-43.btcentralplus.com
In reply to wee jamie:
> (In reply to Euge) No point getting angry. It's just something that happens in 'honeypot' mountain regions. It is amazing that there are people who leave rubbish up there, I can't understand it myself, but I feel pleased that there are folk around like you (and me) who remove it. Even if you think it's not even scratching the surface, it is, and I know many locals up here who also pick up litter when they see it. It DOES make a difference, so nice one, just try not to let it detract from your wilderness experience.
>
> Jamie

Don't get to this area enough however I have this thing about litter whether on the mntns or cities, which I have instilled into my chn 14 & 21. Have respect for the mtns, leave them as you find them. I would gladly pick up litter & return to the valley but who are these pple who use the mtns yet don't respect them enough to take away their rubbish?? They shld be ashamed of themselves & need to think of their association with the mntns.

Ann Millichope

Listy - on 28 Sep 2009
In reply to Euge:

I find the theme of this thread shocking.... Living where I do on the South Coast, my chances to frequent these areas are limited! I can't believe that turd sightings are so frequent and rubbish is such and issue. Breaks the heart to learn the places you potentially plan for years too get at can be so mindlesly defaced by unappreciative arseholes (Litteraly in many cases).

A sad reflection on the state of so many people's morals. Hats off to you guys that make an effort to bring the rubbish down. As for the Shitters I find a good firm nudge to the forehead usually causes the shitting man to sit back and reflect on his deposit....
AlasdairM on 28 Sep 2009
In reply to Euge:

I was up there at the beginning of August, and it really is a dump at the top. It's amazing how much crap people leave up there, are they expecting some benevolent soul to bring it back down for them because they blatantly can't be bothered?!? There shouldn't have to be cleanup exercises though, it's a shame just how littered it is.

One thing that struck me about Ben Nevis is its popularity and the lack of preparation by a good proportion of the people I saw up there. I saw a family go up in t-shirt and shorts, with their only provisions in a Tesco carrier bag. Given that it was blowing a gale up top, it worried me just how stupid some people can be.

One good thing about its popularity is that it keeps the rest of the wilds of Scotland free of these muppets so we can enjoy it in relative peace.
Jamie B - on 28 Sep 2009
In reply to AlasdairM:

> One thing that struck me about Ben Nevis is its popularity and the lack of preparation by a good proportion of the people I saw up there. I saw a family go up in t-shirt and shorts, with their only provisions in a Tesco carrier bag. Given that it was blowing a gale up top, it worried me just how stupid some people can be.

This is never going to change; it's a tourist attraction. All we can do is try to manage it as such.

> One good thing about its popularity is that it keeps the rest of the wilds of Scotland free of these muppets so we can enjoy it in relative peace.

Muppets? A bit strong surely; they're just some guys and gals that want to go up a hill, same as you and me. They just dont have the frame of reference to do so in a very well-prepared manner; should we despise them for this? Fortunately the Ben track is a well-marked, heavily-populated linear route, so the chances of serious mishap are very slim.


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