Friday 30th July 2021, 2:07pm
This month Mountaineering Scotland even made the pages of the New York Times (not to mention extensive UK coverage) when we took Google Maps to task.
John Muir Trust had been concerned that when people put Ben Nevis into Google Maps it showed a road route to the foot of the mountain, but then seemed to show a route to the top which was nowhere near the standard Mountain Route but took a line up steep and dangerous ground.
When we investigated it turned out Ben Nevis wasn’t the only mountain with what appeared to be dangerous routes from road to summit and, JMT having failed to get a response to their queries, we issued a press release which got attention in traditional and social media across Britain and beyond.
It also got the attention of Google who contacted us for details of the problem. Positive discussions took place between Google, JMT and our Mountain Safety Adviser Heather Morning and we are currently awaiting a response from Google’s technical staff to see how bets the problem can be resolved.
We have been carrying out surveys of the views and the opinions of the mountaineering community as part of our work to create a new strategy. Both the survey of our own 14,500 members and a separate Walk Climb Ski survey of the wider mountaineering community – which in itself gained 1300 responses – are now completed, and we expect to be able to publish findings in the November edition of Scottish Mountaineer.
With the Olympic climbing events due to start in Tokyo on Tuesday August 3rd, the ClimbScotland team have been making sure climbers can enjoy the coverage and follow the results as well as possible. They’ve already held a video chat with climbing super stars William Bosi, Hannah Smith, Max Milne and Louise Flockhart, discussing climbing's debut in the Olympics – which you can still see online.
They’ve also prepared a quick guide to what will be going on – and, crucially, when – so that even non-climbers can follow events as they unfold in Japan.
We’ve been all over social media this last month with posts on a Respect Protect Enjoy theme, aimed mainly at less experienced hillwalkers and encouraging them (and us all!) to not just keep themselves safe while enjoying the hills, but to respect and protect the environment too.
This week’s post about the dangers of lightning was widely shared and according to Facebook stats had a reach of over 74,000, and we started the month with a post about ticks, which had a reach of over 128,000. But, showing the value of a strong and engaging image, a post about minimal impact camping, illustrated by a picture of slightly flattened grass which was so utterly boring we almost didn’t use it, beat every other post by a country mile, with over 2000 shares and a reach of over 420,000!
Keep an eye out for more posts with the hashtag #RespectProtectEnjoy and share them among your contacts if you can; it all help spread the messages of safety and responsibility.
Following Scotland’s move to level 0 on 19th July we revised our COVID guidance for outdoor recreation, which you can read on the website.