Climbers have been accused of dumping an ironing board at the top of Ben Nevis after a three-peak challenge to raise money for charity.
Three men who took part in the fundraiser for Dementia UK, which included “extreme ironing” at the top of Britain’s highest peak, have been urged to return to remove the item after a backlash from hillwalkers on social media.
The ironing board, which was left propped against the ruined walls of a 19th-century observatory, came to light last week after a bemused hillwalker posted a picture on social media.
The John Muir Trust, the wild land charity, said it would be “wonderful” if those responsible were prepared to return to the mountain to retrieve it.
“We appreciate the ascent was for a good cause,” said a spokesman. “It would be wonderful if the guys would like to go back up and retrieve it and we would be happy to help and support them.”
Summit could ‘start to look like Home Bargains’
The charity, which runs volunteer litter picks on Ben Nevis, said the summit “would start to look like a Home Bargains store” if all charity walkers left their items behind.
“A lot of people raise money for great causes on Ben Nevis, and we don’t want to discourage that,” said the spokesman.
“Those unfamiliar with outdoors culture don’t always understand the first unwritten rule of the hills, which is leave nothing behind but your boot prints.”
The men accused of abandoning the ironing board had posted a fundraising plea on Facebook with a picture of a man performing “extreme ironing” on a snow-covered mountain.
The craze involves performing the usually mundane chore in challenging locations.
In recent days, comments posted on Facebook applauded their charity climb, but others were less impressed by the abandoned ironing board.
The comments include: “I don’t mind the madcap idea of taking it up there for a laugh or good cause but take it back down.”
One person wrote: “Couldn’t bring it back down?” while another urged them to “take your rubbish home instead of leaving litter in an otherwise beautiful place”.
Strange items dumped
The Three Peaks Challenge is a 24-hour hike of Scafell Pike in England, Snowdon in Wales and Ben Nevis in Scotland.
Ben Nevis is a popular destination, attracting an estimated 130,000 ascents a year.
The summit, which is the collapsed dome of an ancient volcano, features the ruins of an observatory which was continuously staffed between 1883 and 1904.
It is not uncommon for household items to be carried to the top of the UK’s highest mountain as part of fundraising efforts for charities.
Earlier this year, a former soldier made it to the top of the 1,345m (4,413ft) peak with a fridge on his back, while a mountain rescuer carried a 100kg (220lb) barbell to raise money for motor neurone disease research.
Other strange items reportedly left on Ben Nevis include a church organ, a toilet seat and a 3ft garden gnome.