Ben Nevis is to be lit up tomorrow in a bid to raise money for its upkeep.

A record number of walkers and climbers scaled the UK’s highest mountain last year.

Overall, an astonishing 160,000 people conquered the Ben in 2018, according to figures from the charity which manages the 4,411ft Highland peak.

On the busiest days, more than 1,000 hikers, runners and charity racers trekked to the summit – leading to “long tailbacks” at certain points on the main path.

Now up to 100 walkers will scale the peak at night tomorrow to raise money for the Nevis Fund, which is administered by the Nevis Landscape Partnership, with music, poetry and light to add to the experience.

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The Nevis Landscape Partnership is a collective of environmental organisations, local and national, working together to protect and enhance the land of and surrounding Ben Nevis.

Among those benefiting will be Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team, who carry out around 100 rescues on the Ben each year.

The event has been organised by well-known mountain guide Mike Pescod of Abacus Mountain Guides.

Mr Pescod said that around £900,000 had been spent on repairing the bottom end of the path in recent years but that money had now come to an end.

“There is no central regular fund for maintenance of the path and it is getting busier and busier. There are nearly twice as many people using the path compared to 10 years ago,” he said.

“We hope this will become a major fundraising event to look after the mountain. It is a durable path and can take the strain but it needs care.”

Two professional guides will accompany groups of 20 who will reach the summit around 9pm. Their battery torches will light up the peak.

The event is being capped at 100 participants.

“This is your opportunity to help light up the entire mountain with a team of like-minded people, while also raising money to protect the very area that we love, as well as a charity of your choice,” says the advert.

“The biggest challenge and the biggest experience, climb to the summit of the highest mountain in the UK at night in a guided group with poetry, music and light to enhance the natural beauty.

“As well as professional guiding and support, complimentary snacks and reflectors, all participants will be able to download a free GPS tracker app which will allow you to check in with your friends as you go.

“Your position will also be displayed on the big screen at event base at the Glen Nevis Visitor Centre.

“Following the event, you can celebrate your achievement with your fellow walkers with a delicious midnight feast back at the event base.”

For Light Up Ben Nevis each walker will have a fundraising target of £250 –with £200 going to The Nevis Fund.

Above that target people will be able to donate to a charity of their choice.

There have been many unusual ways of conquering the Ben over the years.

Wheelchairs have been pushed and carried to the summit; a well-known mountaineer, the late Don Whillans, once rode a motorbike to the top. Early last century, a Model T Ford was “driven” to the summit, the idea of Edinburgh motor dealer Henry Alexander. The ascent took five days.

And two fell runners from Fort William once carried a piano to the summit. Its remains were later discovered buried deep within a cairn.

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The John Muir Trust, which owns part of the mountain, want climbers and walkers to consider their “ecological footprint” because of their toll on the iconic peak.

As well as wear and tear to paths an increasing amount of rubbish is being removed on a weekly basis.

Last year the trust estimated 160,000 people used the mountain, heading towards double the 89,483 who were logged in 2007.

Also last year supporters of Scottish independence even proposed to form a human chain of 9,000 people up the mountain – until, under pressure, they called it off.

Around £900,000 of Heritage Lottery funding has been spent on the main tourist path over the last five years.

Now that the path is fit for purpose it is estimated that it will cost around £50,000 to £60,000 each year to keep it that way.