Photos showing more than 50 hikers queuing at summit of Ben Nevis slammed for lack of social distancing-Sottish News


SHOCKING images showing a long queue of hikers waiting for a selfie at the peak of the UK’s biggest mountain have been slammed by social media users.

The photos, taken on 8 August, show the line at the top of Ben Nevis as climbers waited in 21 degree heat to snap a picture of themselves at the summit.

The images were taken by Lisa Smol, 39, who captured more than 50 people queuing to reach the Cairn and Trig point at the mountain’s peak.

The teacher from the Scottish Highlands says she was shocked by the volume of people at the top, who queued up in close proximity despite the ongoing pandemic.

Hikers were captured queuing at the top of Ben Nevis
A queue of hikers waiting to get to the peak marker on Ben Nevis

The images from two sides of the summit, shows a queue of hill walkers pressed together as they wait their turn.

There appears to be very little social distancing in place with more than 100 people crammed at the top of the 1,345m mountain.

Another perspective shows queue snaking its way down as people make their descent,

Keen hiker Lisa shared the images to social media last Sunday, saying: “A different view yesterday. A queue for that Ben Nevis summit photo.

Further images show crowds gathering on Ben Nevis| By Deadline News,Scottish News
The image sparked controversy online

“Busy times up there but still beautiful. Stay safe.”

She revealed the site was the “Busiest she has ever seen it”.

And many social media users were quick to condemn the hikers queuing.

Michelle Main wrote under Lisa’s post: “Why it’s stupid its a f****** mountain they are bloody massive.”

Richard Mackie added: “Now that picture doesn’t make me feel so bad about standing in a queue for a shop now.”

Michael G Annis wrote: “This is insane. Aberdeen closing down, football game cancelled and people do this.”

Jennifer Hall said: “Not much social distancing there and no trace tracking if one of them is ill.”

And Laura Hay commented: “Oh my god. I go walking in the hills to get away from people.”

Speaking today, Lisa said: “I had heard from previous hikers it was busy, but I was still shocked to see a queue to reach the Cairn and Trig point.

“I think it was busier than usual due to bad weather earlier in the week, which probably altered many initial midweek hikes and pushed it back to the weekend, plus it was the summer holidays for the whole of the UK.

One user found a humorous side to the photo| By Deadline News- Scottish News
One user found a humorous side to the photo

“Although Ben Nevis gets busy this was extreme. I haven’t seen it that busy before. I teach so I always try to make the most of the holidays and weekends.”

Last year images emerged of a large queue on top of Snowdon and Pen-Y-Fan Mountain in Wales during the Easter holidays.

The photos led to calls from The British Mountaineering Council for more investment in busy mountains to deal with overcrowding.