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Ben Nevis Cairns Completed

© Martin McCrorie

Cairns showing the descent points for No.4 Gully and Coire Leis have been completed in time for the coming winter season on The Ben.

The new cairns are a replacement for the marker posts that stood at both locations for many decades, before their removal earlier this year, as reported at the time on UKH/UKC.

The work followed a public consultation process carried out by landowners the John Muir Trust at the start of 2012.

New Coire Leis cairn  © Martin McCrorie
New Coire Leis cairn
© Martin McCrorie

The Coire Leis cairn measures approximately 2m high with a large and distinct capstone, say the JMT. The position of the cairn is NN171710, and it serves as a navigation marker for the descent line from the Ben Nevis end of the CMD Arete into Coire Leis.

New Number 4 Gully cairn  © Martin McCrorie
New Number 4 Gully cairn
© Martin McCrorie

The Number 4 Gully cairn is roughly 1.7m high, with a large and distinct capstone which has two aluminium number 4s on it - one facing N/NE and the other facing S. The position of the cairn is NN159717 – the same location as the previous aluminium marker. The cairn serves as a navigation marker for the descent into Number 4 Gully.


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31 Oct, 2012
It took Martin some days to haul the cap stone for the No.4 cairn a short way across the plateau and then he had to use some of the same methods that Egyptian pyramid builders did to get it on top! I reckon the small No.4s are quite unobtrusive but will spend time buried by rime. I wonder how long it takes to become festooned in tat? The base of the old pole's cairn has ben left to continue to support some rare plant life... I wonder if climbers have been applying their own liquid fertiliser to make it a better habitat?
31 Oct, 2012
The Number 4 Gully cairn is roughly 1.7m high, with a large and distinct capstone which has two aluminium number 4s on it Its a monstrosity compared to old marker, take it back down please.
31 Oct, 2012
The capstone would make a fine trundle.
1 Nov, 2012
Its just bizzare that they have replaced the old marker with this! Can't see any logic in it; how a large stone column is more acceptable than a much smaller metal fixture with character and history! I love the door number on it, from Wilkinsons I presume! Why oh why!!
5 Nov, 2012
This is so depressing. The British hills are cairned to death - every minor summit has one. Pure vandalism.
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