Branches of Starbucks will open their doors this summer in Glen Nevis, at the Wasdale Head Inn, and on Snowdon's summit. With a steady rise in the popularity of the national Three Peaks charity challenge, and growing numbers of visitors on each of the UK's high points, it seems inevitable that the coffee industry would capitalise on the hillwalking boom.
The announcement follows recent news that a branch of the coffee chain has opened in Yosemite.
Work has already started on upgrades to Snowdon's summit cafe, where a 'walk-thru refreshment curating service of real integrity' will soon be offering caffeine highs to pedestrian visitors.
"With an annual footfall of two million people, Snowdon is the UK's busiest mountain. It sees more passing trade than many of Britain's high streets, and as such represents the future of coffee outlets" said company spokeswoman Carmel MacAchino.
"Better still, the National Three Peaks charity phenomenon is a sector we are very keen to tap. All those sponsored walkers are doing great things for great causes, and we think they deserve great coffee too."
Real ale is dead. But no one has thought to let the Lake District know yet. Have you ever tried to find a cold brewed latte with almond milk and turmeric in Wasdale? It's a nightmare. Well this summer you won't be able to move for them - and that's exactly what walkers want
Details of any possible commercial relationship between the company and cash-strapped Notional Park Authorities in Snowdonia and the Lake District remain cloudy, as does the chain's precise arrangement with Lochaber [ad]Venture Capital.
We tried to get MacAchino to spill beans:
"We care passionately about corporate irresponsibility" was all she told us "and since the Three Peaks already demonstrates the success of the sponsorship model it seems a natural fit for us."
"All companies would prefer to minimise their tax commitment, and to donate to targeted causes what they think is fair. That's how we will best contribute to the funding squeeze in our National Parks. Blanket tax and spend is as bland as plain old coffee with milk. On the other hand the corporate sponsorship route really captures the rich flavour options available today."
From the Gore-Tex Scottish National Trial to recent commercial partnerships announced by the BMC, corporate backing is an uncontroversial model with a successful track record in the outdoors.
"In addition to our generous financial incentives, we aim to offer Park Authorities our expertise in customer-focused marketing. It's time to shake countryside management up, add some froth" gushed MacAchino.
Initially the company will be sponsoring one path on each of the Three Peaks. Rubbish bins are to be installed at regular intervals on the trails to allay fears of an epidemic of coffee cup littering.
"Path signage will be in our trademark discrete colour scheme" said MacAchino, "and in due course we will be looking at further opportunities for branding across the Parks."
To celebrate the openings, and reflect the unspoilt qualities of each mountain, unique new beverages will be on offer in the three locations: Big Ben, which is described as a "tall iced epic"; the Scafell Spike with added mint cake sprinkles; and the Caffe Misty, named in honour of Snowdon's much loved weather.
These will be available 24 hours a day to give vital stimulus to jaded three peakers and their overnight drivers.
"Real ale is dead. But no one has thought to let the Lake District know yet" bubbled MacAchino.
"Have you ever tried to find a flat white cold brewed latte with almond milk and turmeric, crafted with passion, in Wasdale? It's a nightmare. Well this summer you won't be able to move for them - and that's exactly what walkers want."