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Thursday, 10 October, 2002, 14:05 GMT 15:05 UK
Appeal to tidy up Ben Nevis
Ben Nevis
Ben Nevis attracts thousands of visitors each year
Climbers across the country are being asked to help improve access to Britain's highest mountain.

Local mountaineers want to repair and develop the path to the north face of Ben Nevis.

The project needs to raise almost 100,000.

The Ben towers over Fort William in the West Highlands.

The winding Allt a' Mhuillin approach to Ben Nevis, which is most often used by climbers, has badly deteriorated over the years.

Muddy footpath
The existing footpath is in poor condition
Mountaineers say it makes the walk to the north face difficult before the real climb even begins.

Now local climbers want to repair the path, and reroute it.

It will mean buying 400 acres of forest at a cost of approximately 100,000.

Mountain guide Alan Kimber said: "Ben Nevis is very very important to Fort William - it's probably the most important attraction that we have in Fort William.

"Most of the year there can be lots and lots of mud. The path's very wide where people try to avoid the mud, and it's fallen into a very bad state of repair.

"People will still come here to climb Ben Nevis, but I think it would help and they would go away feeling better about it if the facilities such as footpaths and car parks were up to a good standard."

Ben Nevis has more routes than any other mountain in the UK.

It has been estimated that more than 500,000 people visit Ben Nevis and its main access route Glen Nevis each year.

A further 100,000 either climb or walk to the mountain's summit.

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 ON THIS STORY
Craig Anderson reports
"Ben Nevis is an international icon"
See also:

10 Jan 00 | Scotland
06 Mar 00 | Scotland
21 Jun 00 | Scotland
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