BEN Macdui holds the title of Britain’s second tallest mountain, just pipped to the post by the better-known Ben Nevis. A measly 35 metres is all that’s keeping Ben Macdui from taking the title, but the 4,295 ft peak still boasts a rich - and some say supernatural - history.
The highest of the Cairngorms, the mountain is rumoured to be home to what the locals call Am Fear Liath Mòr - Gaelic for the ‘big grey man of Ben Macdui’. Described by alleged eyewitnesses as both an extremely tall figure covered with hair and – contrastingly – an invisible presence that causes unease among climbers, no firm proof of the Big Grey Man has ever been brought to light.
Legend has it that this spooky yeti-like creature haunts the summit and passes of the mountain, and many adventurers (including esteemed mountaineer J Norman Collie) have claimed to hear ghostly footsteps crunching in the snow behind them, their owner masked by thick mist on the mountain’s top. Occasionally climbers have even recounted terrifying sightings of Ben Macdui’s enormous Greyman when alone at the summit.
Scientists believe that these supernatural run-ins with the yeti are actually due to hallucinations or optical illusions experienced by climbers who claim to witness it. It’s possible that scared climbers confronted by Am Fear Liath Mòr are actually looking at their own shadow cast across the snow.