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Big Grey Man of Macdui..............

Big Grey Man of Macdui..............


Postby wilkiemurray » Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:36 am

Route description: Ben Macdui and Cairngorm

Munros included on this walk: Ben Macdui

Date walked: 24/11/2012

Time taken: 6 hours

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Ben Macdui - 24th November 2012



Prologue: “Am Fear Liath Mòr; also known as The Big Grey Man of Ben MacDhui or simply The Greyman) is the name of a presence or creature which is said to haunt the summit and passes of Ben Macdui, the highest peak of the Cairngorms and the second highest peak in Scotland. It has been described as an extremely tall figure covered with short hair, or as an unseen presence that causes uneasy feelings in people who climb the mountain. Evidence of the existence of this creature is limited to various sightings and a few photographs of unusual footprints.”- Wikipedia
grey man 1.jpg
grey man

Professor Norman Collie -1890:
"I was returning from the cairn on the summit in a mist when I began to think I heard something else than merely the noise of my own footsteps. Every few steps I took I heard a crunch, then another crunch as if someone was walking after me but taking steps three or four times the length of my own. I said to myself 'this is all nonsense'. I listened and heard it again but could see nothing in the mist . As I walked on and the eerie crunch, crunch sounded behind me I was seized with terror and took to my heels, staggering blindly among the boulders for four or five miles nearly down to Rothiemurchus Forest. Whatever you make of it I do not know, but there is something very queer about the top of Ben MacDhui and will not go back there again by myself I know."

Walk Report
Initially we had talked about trying Ledge Route on the Ben, however my arm had still not healed 100% so we decided on the Grey Corries……. but a look at the forecast mid week led us to move further east and the Cairngorms. My friend had yet to go up Derry Cairngorm so we planned an attack from the Northern Corries, up and over Macdui to Derry Cairngorm.

Another early start saw us on the A9 before 7 and we arrived at the ski car park for 08.30. Things were looking promising on the route up with starry skies giving way to clear blue skies. Heading into Coire an-t Sneachda and this was still the case, looked like it was going to be an awesome day!

With thoughts more on Derry Cairngorm than Macdui at this point and with the sun splitting the sky, little thought was given to darker things and the Am Fear Liath Mòr……

My previous two trips up Macdui were contrasting – one on a fine November day in 2002 with a couple of friends and the other on a fine day from Derry lodge where I had camped for a number of nights. I must admit when I ventured up Macdi on my own I did feel a little unsettled wondering if the Big Grey Man would make an appearance, however a sunny warm July day offset these thoughts……. The sunshine today was having a similar effect as we headed toward the Goat Track.
DSC04265.JPG
looking good

We stopped and enviously watched some climbers tackle some of the mixed routes. The Goat track was also getting icy so we stopped and put the crampons on. It was at this point that I started to see the “table cloth” effect. The skies were blue overhead but the eye was drawn to the lip of the Corrie towards the plateux.
DSC04272 (2).jpg
table cloth sign
Whisps of cloud were falling over the edge and streaming in the upper part of the Corrie before evaporating. As we took a direct route up near the Goat Track we were greeted on the plateux by a spectacular sight with patches of mist floating eerily around the plateux. Perfect conditions for the Grey man…….
DSC04273 (2).jpg
looking in....


I still had hopes of a fine outing over the plateux to Macdui and beyond, however the closer we got the Britain’s second highest peak, the darker things became and soon all signs of the sun were gone. Macdui was caped in a thick mist. Initially, I was optimistic that its summit may be poking through the cloud to give a spectacular inversion, however as we reached the summit that hope had disappeared along with any chance of a view!! The clag was well and truly in and our mood lowered.
DSC04277.JPG
into the mist..
The fact that our water had frozen did not help and it was decided the Derry Cairngorm would be part of a summer adventure in 2013!!

Figures appeared and disappeared out of the mist, but these were figures of the worldy kind and like minded hikers like us heading for the top.

The descent off Macdui was a claggy, misty affair watching the ground to make sure we did not loose a foot down a boulder!! However all was not lost and as we returned to the top of the Northern Corries the mist broke again and some fantastic views were given away of the Fiacaill Ridge.
DSC00640.JPG
Fiacaill ridge
We decided to walk around Corries Edge and descend via Choir Chais…. The views back were fantastic if not a little spooky – somewhere in the table cloth mist was the Grey man!
DSC04303 (2).jpg
table cloth
Conditions had been perfect for him today but he did not make an appearance – or…. did he………- see for yourselves -check the end footage on the video – spooky…………………..


DSC04274.JPG
sun
DSC04270.JPG
skyline
DSC04298.JPG
end
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Re: Big Grey Man of Macdui..............

Postby Tinto63 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:12 pm

Great report WM especially the video, and the pictures are pretty good as well!
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Re: Big Grey Man of Macdui..............

Postby grahamdrew » Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:37 pm

A brilliant video and fantastic photo's
really good report
well done :D
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Re: Big Grey Man of Macdui..............

Postby skuk007 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:44 pm

Nice report and some cracking photos too.

Shame you didn't get to see the Grey Man - or maybe it's not. :-)
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Re: Big Grey Man of Macdui..............

Postby Bod » Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:51 pm

Enjoyed that very much, cheers :D :D :D
(my mates and I used to enjoy scaring each other about the Big Grey Man during our teenage years exploring the gorms :lol: )
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Re: Big Grey Man of Macdui..............

Postby morag1 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:17 pm

Enjoyed your report, photos and video very much :clap:

The big Grey Man is probably Caberfeidh, he is known to lurk around the Cairngorms. If so I would be very afraid indeed :(
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Re: Big Grey Man of Macdui..............

Postby SAVAGEALICE » Sat Dec 01, 2012 7:06 pm

stunning ...always enjoy your videos :clap: :D
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Re: Big Grey Man of Macdui..............

Postby wilkiemurray » Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:30 pm

Tinto63 wrote:Great report WM especially the video, and the pictures are pretty good as well!


Thanks Tinto - a different take on the video thi time!!
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Re: Big Grey Man of Macdui..............

Postby wilkiemurray » Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:30 pm

grahamdrew wrote:A brilliant video and fantastic photo's
really good report
well done :D

Thanks :D :D
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Re: Big Grey Man of Macdui..............

Postby wilkiemurray » Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:31 pm

skuk007 wrote:Nice report and some cracking photos too.

Shame you didn't get to see the Grey Man - or maybe it's not. :-)



Could be at the end of the video - haha
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Re: Big Grey Man of Macdui..............

Postby wilkiemurray » Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:32 pm

Bod wrote:Enjoyed that very much, cheers :D :D :D
(my mates and I used to enjoy scaring each other about the Big Grey Man during our teenage years exploring the gorms :lol: )


I expect if your up there on your own and the mist is in te thought of the grey man could hav you scurrying about the place!!
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Re: Big Grey Man of Macdui..............

Postby wilkiemurray » Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:32 pm

morag1 wrote:Enjoyed your report, photos and video very much :clap:

The big Grey Man is probably Caberfeidh, he is known to lurk around the Cairngorms. If so I would be very afraid indeed :(


Thanks - heading that way tomorrow hopefully - so hope he aint around when I get up there early tomorrow!! :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
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Re: Big Grey Man of Macdui..............

Postby wilkiemurray » Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:33 pm

:D
SAVAGEALICE wrote:stunning ...always enjoy your videos :clap: :D


Thanks :D :)
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Re: Big Grey Man of Macdui..............

Postby McLEOD » Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:06 pm

how treamendous was that view when you made the plateu :-P great stuff :thumbup:
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Re: Big Grey Man of Macdui..............

Postby wilkiemurray » Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:20 am

McLEOD wrote:how treamendous was that view when you made the plateu :-P great stuff :thumbup:



it did literally take my breath away - pity those did not stay with us for the full walk though :(

However - this weekend defintely made up for that dissapointment!! Win some - loose some :D
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