Smartphone Directions May Put Novice Hikers in Danger, Experts Say


For inexperienced hikers, smartphones are a multipurpose instrument: a flashlight, an emergency beacon and a GPS, all in one system. But it may be ill-advised, and probably life-threatening, for hikers to rely solely on their telephones as they head into the wilderness, specialists say.

Apps and on-line maps have disoriented hikers on either side of the Atlantic.

In Scotland, mountaineers are warning guests that Google Maps could direct them towards “potentially fatal” trails that might power them to trek over cliffs and rocky, steep terrain.

Numerous guests not too long ago have relied on Google Maps to succeed in the summit of Ben Nevis, a four,500-foot mountain, in response to a joint assertion on Thursday from Mountaineering Scotland, a climbing group, and the John Muir Trust, a charity that maintains pure areas in Britain.

Ben Nevis, a preferred however harmful climbing spot in the Scottish Highlands about 70 miles northwest of Glasgow, is the best peak in Britain.

If hikers observe Google’s instructions to the parking zone nearest the summit, the map factors them to a route straight up the mountain. Even skilled climbers would wrestle up that path, Heather Morning, a mountain security adviser for Mountaineering Scotland, mentioned in the assertion.

“In good visibility it would be challenging,” Ms. Morning mentioned. “Add in low cloud and rain and the suggested Google line is potentially fatal.”

The bother is that, whereas smartphones have made quite a lot of actions simpler, from hailing a automobile to ordering takeout, the units have difficult issues for some hikers who don’t understand they’ll want far more than their telephones.

Mountaineering Scotland reported that numerous individuals in the nation have been injured not too long ago after following mountain climbing routes they discovered on-line. Ben Nevis has been the location of numerous deaths in latest years, together with a 24-year-old woman last month and three men in 2019.



Source link Nytimes.com

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