Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Monday, 2 August 2010

£1.00 to climb Ben Nevis

The Nevis Partnertship is calling for every person who climbs Ben Nevis to contribute £1.00 to the cost of maintaining the access track. Approximately 160,000 people climb the Ben every year.

Any views on this?


  1. Where does the access track start. Fort William.
    It seems a lot of money to me.

  2. Alan - The main access is from the Visitor Centre car park in Glen Nevis and further up the glen opposite the Youth Hostel.

  3. If its a donation rather than a toll, it seems fair do's to me.

  4. There are surely lots of places that seek voluntary payments for the use of somewhere to park, upkeep of a property, etc. If it remains voluntary, and up to the user to decide, I'd probably contribute, but not if already having had to pay for parking - if that's free, users should consider themselves lucky.
    It's a divisive issue - some will go to any length to avoid paying (esp for parking), whilst others of us are happy to contribute so long as the funds collected go to the upkeep of the facility we are using.

  5. Well 2 dollars is no big deal, and if the track really is in need of maintanance then it is probably worth it. It is however a lot of money, and I would want to know that this money is actually going to pay wages etc.

  6. When you consider just how expensive parking has become in the Lake District. Glenridding for example. If parking is included then this is ok. But i doubt it.
    A voluntary scheme would seem ok, but £1.6 million over 10 yrs as a toll to fix a path seems a lot of money.
    If it's going to be forever, the path is going to be exceptional.
    But is this the thin end of the wedge and are we going to see this more and more if the Ben funding proves an almighty earner.

  7. Thanks everyone for commenting.

    Alan - £160,000 sounds (and is!) a lot of money but I have no idea of the costs involved in path maintenance on the scale required on Ben Nevis. The Nevis Parnership, formed in 2003 has received something like £3m but not just for footpath repair. As far as I'm aware it plans to close in 2011 because of funding cuts.

    Mike - sounds like a donation since the wording said the Partnership 'would like everyone to pay..' Not sure they are in a position to force a charge anyway.

    Martin - As you say, this sort of issue is very divisive. I was a bit miffed recently when I found that the Lower Falls car park in Glen Nevis was charging £3 a day when it had been a voluntary donation for many years (presumably few had donated!) I think it's Highland Council taking the money now and I wait with interest to see what will happen to justify the fee - although the car park is perfectly adequate and in my opinion needs no 'improvements'. I've paid £1 many times for path repair in the Lake District, as a voluntary donation, when booking a campsite(Castlerigg)so don't object to such things, provided I'm as sure as I can be that it will be used properly and that the paths will be repaired/maintained with some sensitivity. It does seem alien in Scotland though!! I can't say whether there is already a parking charge at the Visitor Centre where most seem to start the climb.

    Le Loup - As you can see I agree. I always worry a bit that too much goes on administration costs and don't really have the inclination or time to dig out accounts etc to check.

  8. Alan - just picked up your second comment. Yes the parking charges in the Lakes are horrendous and I agree that this could just be the beginning in Scotland. Many will cry out that Ben Nevis is 'a special case'. When it was proposed to site marker poles to aid navigation off the summit in bad weather (6ft cairns are there now) many argued that it would be the start of waymarking in the Scottish hills. No, no, Nevis was a special case we were told. Now some of those who said that are arguing for waymarking in some popular hills.

    I do expect that charging for parking at the start of popular hills will become the norm in Scotland, especially with councils facing huge budget cuts soon.

  9. Some really interesting points of view above, so I'll sling in my tuppence worth - for what it's worth.

    Parking charges can be a bit on the steep side in certain areas which is a bit frustrating, however if it goes to repair/prevent the damage that the thousands of people (myself included) create by meandering out in the hills I can only thank those that take the time to undertake the necessary works to keep it all in top shape.

    As for the £1 to go up Nevis, I certainly got £1's worth of enjoyment out of it when I climbed it. Yes it is the great outdoors and this is something we should be able to enjoy for free but without such donations it will inevitably suffer "wear and tear" and become worn in time. On that basis if it's optional I think it's fair game.

  10. The Weekend Dude - Thanks for visiting and commenting. I don't suppose anyone will disagree with an optional payment for the very reason that it's optional. I suspect there is a long way to go before anything further happens on this front though.