Ben Nevis Cairns Completed

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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