I was on BBC Highland’s Highland Cafe today. When I was first contacted by the programme, I was asked to speak about plans to fly a Model T Ford to the summit of Ben Nevis. Crazy idea, I told the producer. We mustn’t allow our mountains to be abused in this fashion.
I’ve mellowed since. Lochaber man Iain Blyth wants a helicopter to airlift a Model T Ford to the 1,344-metre roof of the UK to commemorate Henry Alexander’s famous drive to the summit in 1911. The car won’t be driven up the tourist track. It won’t pirouette across the Carn Mor Dearg Arete. Dave MacLeod won’t have the vehicle dangling on a rope on the north face. So how much damage is dropping the car on the rocky plateau likely to cause? Not a lot.
The John Muir Trust, which owns the summit plateau, initially said ‘no’ to the proposal, but have since softened their stance. They were right to declare outright opposition from the outset however. The Model T Ford stunt should be seen as a one-off rather than the norm, but this is a momentous event that should rightly be commemorated.