Ben Macdhui - Encyclopedia


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BEN MACDHUI, more correctly BEN MuICHDHUI (Gaelic for "the mountain of the black pig," in allusion to its shape), the second highest mountain (4296 ft.) in Great Britain, one of the Cairngorm group, on the confines of south-western Aberdeenshire and south-western Banffshire, not far from the eastern boundary of Inverness-shire. It is about 11 m. from Castleton of Braemar and about io from Aviemore. The ascent is usually made from Castleton of Braemar, by way of the Linn of Dee, Glen Lui and Glen Derry. From the head of Glen Derry, with its blasted trees, the picture of desolation, it becomes more toilsome, but is partly repaid by the view of the remarkable columnar cliffs of Corrie Etchachan. The summit is flat and quite bare of vegetation, but the panorama in every direction is extremely grand. At the foot of a vast gully, 2500 ft. above the sea, lies Loch Avon (or A'an), a narrow lake about 12 m. long, with water of the deepest blue and a margin of bright yellow sand. At the western end of the lake is the Shelter Stone, an enormous block of granite resting upon two other blocks, which can accommodate a dozen persons. Beautiful rock crystals occur in veins in the corries. The summit of Cairngorm, 31 m. north of that of Ben Macdhui, may be reached from the latter with scarcely any descent, by following the rugged ridge flanking the western side of Loch Avon. The other great peaks of the group are Braeriach (4248 ft.) and Cairntoul (4241 ft.), and 6 m. to the east are the twin masses of Ben a Bourd, the northern top of which is 3924 ft. and the southern 3860 ft. high. Ben A'an, an adjoining hill, is 384.3 ft. high.

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