Hiker Dies Because Husband Used App Instead of Map

Jane Wilson fell to her death in March
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2016 4:34 PM CDT
Hiker Dies Because Husband Used App Instead of Map
A woman fell to her death while descending Tryfan in Wales in part because her husband was using a smartphone app to navigate instead of a physical map.   (Ian Greig)

A hiker's fatal fall in March has been blamed on using a smartphone app map instead of an actual map. The BBC reports Jane Wilson and her husband Gary were hiking on Tryfan in Wales when it started to get dark and they decided to skip the summit. While attempting to descend the mountain, Gary was looking at an Ordnance Survey app while Jane went a short way ahead to make sure the path was safe, according to the Telegraph. The Manchester Evening News reports Gary heard his wife fall, got to safety, and called for help. Rescuers found the 53-year-old librarian's body at the bottom of a 30-foot cliff with a fractured skull.

At a hearing Friday, Jane's was ruled an accidental death due, in part, to using an app instead of a map. "Apart from potential difficulties caused by poor detail on an electronic map, batteries on mobile phones have a nasty habit of running out just when you need them most," the Telegraph quotes a spokesperson for Mountain Rescue England and Wales as saying. A detective says the app map "would have been small and not as detailed" and took the couple on a route that was not the safest. A director with Ordnance Survey says hikers should always use the app in conjunction with an actual map "due to the nature of mobile devices when navigating the real world." Authorities also say Jane wasn't wearing appropriate footwear for the hike. (Go inside the futile search for "Inchworm" on the trail.)

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