Ben Macdui

(Beinn MacDuibh, Ben Macdhui)

Rising to 1309m (4295 feet) at the centre of the Cairngorms on the border of Moray and Aberdeenshire, Ben Macdui (occasionally Ben Macdhui, Gael: Beinn MacDuibh) is the second highest peak in Scotland. It qualifies as a Munro and its name is said to be derived from the Gaelic for "hill of the black pig." The plateau area between Ben Macdui and Cairn Gorm is unique in Britain with a varied subarctic terrain that, with the peak itself, includes extensive granite boulder fields, corries, cliffs and buttresses. A stone hut just east of the summit, known locally as the Sapper's Bothy, was originally said to have been used by military surveyors. Once thought to have been the highest peak in Scotland, a trigonometrical station was set up in 1847 by the Ordnance Survey which settled the argument. Its summit is now marked by an Ordnance Survey primary triangulation pillar installed in 1936 for the re-triangulation of Great Britain. Ben Macdui is said to be haunted by a giant ghost called, in Gaelic, Am Fear Liath Mor (the big grey man). It is reported that when the Victorian mountaineer Prof. N. J. Collie was alone at the summit he heard footsteps in the snow and was so scared that he ran fleeing from the top.

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