Long thought to be the highest mountain in Scotland, if only by locals, it lost the accolade in 1810 when a survey downgraded Ben Macdouie by 100 feet (30m). This rather upset folk, particularly the landowner the Earl of Fife. One feature shared with The Ben is the ambiguity of the origin of the name. A popular interpretation derives from beinn na muic duibh - 'mountain of the black pig'. This is unlikely. Probably a more accurate interpretation says that it is from beinn mhic dhuibhe or mhac dhubhe - 'hill of the son of dubh' (dubh means 'the black one'). The Duff family (Fife) owned much of the Aberdeenshire part of the mountain until they sold their holding in the 1960s.
Do you scare easily? Then perhaps Ben Macdui isn't the hill for you! Am Fear Liath Mòr is the legend of 'The Big Grey Man of Ben Macdhui', a mythical creature that haunts the summit plateau in pursuit of weary souls. This video is an excellent summary of the legend; which leads to a very interesting photographic challenge - capturing a Brocken Spectre.
Mountain name, how to say it, what it means | its height | Mountain region; closest town(s) [may be some distance away tho!] | the view-points
Deep in the heart of the Cairngorms, the hill demands effort from you before you can begin your art - it is a long way from any conurbation; you can cycle for a good distance of the routes in. Near to the summit is a memorial to the crew of an RAF Avro Anson that crashed here in 1942. MacDui dominates the famous glen Lairig Ghru, an ancient through-route from north to south. Many visitors camp at the closed bothy Derry Lodge or closer to the hill at Corrour Bothy. Linn of Dee at Muir has excellent waterfall features, and at the northern end Rothiemurcus Forest is stunning, with a castle ruin too in the middle of Loch an Eilein.
Linn of Dee | waterfalls | Derry Lodge | Ben MacDui | Lairig Ghru | Pools of Dee | Lochan Uaine | Loch Etchachan | Glen Derry
Corrour | Bob Scott's
m020 Derry Cairngorm | m095 Carn a' Mhaim
These links lead to the variety of walks, weather and maps to aid in planning your adventure to portray this hill.
McNeish "The Munros" 1999 p.129 | SMC Hillwalkers 2013 p.132 | Walkhighlands "The Munros" 2019 p.262 | Bothy Bible 2017 p.175 + 169
Banner image © Steve Cadman, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons