Scottish mountaineering charities are urging people to avoid using Google Maps to direct them up munros after some routes on the app were described as "potentially fatal". 

According to the charities, internet routes have recently resulted in "injury or worse", with some suggested routes "highly dangerous, even for experienced climbers". 

And it's not just Ben Nevis; Mountaineering Scotland said that one search engine proposed walking route for An Teallach near Dundonnell would lead walkers "over a cliff".

Why is the Google Maps Ben Nevis route dangerous?

One particular route advised by Google Maps has been described as "potentially fatal" by mountain safety advisor for Mountaineering Scotland Heather Morning. 

According to Heather, typing in Ben Nevis to Google Maps and clicking the car icon will take you to a carpark at the head of Ben Nevis, and shows a walking route to the summit. 

However, this route is "very steep, rocky, and pathless", making it very difficult to find a safe line in good weather, let alone low visibility, which would make the "suggested Google line [...] potentially fatal".

What has Google said about the issue?

Google Maps' spokesperson said: "We built Google Maps with safety and reliability in mind, and are working quickly to investigate the routing issue on Ben Nevis.

"In addition to using authoritative data and high definition imagery to update the map, we encourage local organisations to provide geographic information about roads and routes through our Geo Data Upload tool."

Which Ben Nevis route should I follow? 

Before attempting to climb any munro, you should cross check your route with a map or ask a local guide for information. 

Charities such as the John Muir trust provide more information on routes on their website. 

In addition, there is a Ben Nevis Visitor Centre located at the base of the mountain which can provide information on everything you need to know about the mountain. 

It is also advised to check the weather forecast for the munro, which can be found on, before attempting to summit because conditions can be dangerous in low visibility, regardless of the route.