Sumary of Smartphone Directions May Put Novice Hikers in Danger, Experts Say:
- A number of visitors recently have relied on Google Maps to reach the summit of Ben Nevis, a 4,500-foot mountain, according to a joint statement on Thursday from Mountaineering Scotland, a climbing organization, and the John Muir Trust, a charity that maintains natural areas in Britain.
- In New Hampshire, mountain rescuers said they have saved many people who were ill-equipped for their outings.
- If officers can’t direct them back to a trail over the phone, it may take several hours for rescuers to find them.
- Further complicating factors include wandering into remote areas without cell service or the devices running out of power, rendering them useless to summon help.
- Rescue agencies join the operation if the hikers are in danger.
- Rick Wilcox, a member of the Mountain Rescue Service in New Hampshire, said many of the people he saves don’t have a map or a compass.