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In search of the Big Grey Man of Ben Macdui

Date: Sunday 16 June, 2019

Event leader: Chris McCann

Price: £25Meet time: 08:30

Estimated finish time: 17:00

Difficulty: ChallengingGroup size: 10

Distance: 11 miles (18km)

Ascent: 932m

Please note: Please see what to bring on this event.



In search of the Big Grey Man of Ben Macdui

A challenging and strenuous day summiting Ben Macdui, Britain’s second highest mountain.  At 1309m Ben Macdui dominates the Cairngorm plateau and this day out provides a fantastic opportunity to travel through some of the most beautiful, vast and exposed terrains the Cairngorms has to offer.  Heading west from the start point we will pass below the mighty and impressive Northern Corries before the real work and ascent begins.  Weather permitting the views into the Lairig Ghru, across to Braeriach (the third highest mountain in Britain) and north across the Rothiemurchus Estate, provides plenty of excellent opportunities for the budding photographer.  Also if we are quiet enough, we may get a rare sighting of the Big Grey Man of Ben Macdui (no promises) so remember to pack a camera.

What to bring:

Summer hillwalking

  • Boots (with ankle support and soles which will grip on rock, grass and mud)
  • Waterproof jacket (with hood)
  • Waterproof overtrousers
  • Thermal top
  • Fleece top
  • Gaiters (not always essential)
  • Warm hat
  • Gloves or mitts
  • Spare layer e.g. fleece top
  • Compass
  • Map (Laminated copies will be provided)
  • Watch
  • Torch (preferably a headtorch)
  • Food & Drink
  • Emergency survival bag (polythene is OK)
  • Whistle
  • First Aid Kit (small)
  • Mobile phone (not essential but if you have one then take it)

In sunny weather

  • Sunhat
  • Sun cream
  • Sunglasses

In the midge season

  • Midge repellant
  • Midge net

Where to Meet - Description

Meet in front of the entrance to the funicular at Cairngorm Ski Area Carpark Postcode: PH22 1RB

Where to Meet - Map

Use the zoom controls to view the meeting place in more detail,

About the Provider

A Moray Way Association event, hosted by Chris McCann: having been lucky enough to trek in many destinations around the world including Patagonia, Morocco, Iceland, New Zealand and Corsica, however, the Cairngorm Mountain Range is where I really fell in love with the Outdoors.  Having left home at 17, I was drawn to the Cairngorms and spent three years living and working in Aviemore, so this area has always been a special place for me.  I have been to the Summit of Ben Macdui on many occasions, and each trip has been different in terms of season and weather, but each visit has been a really rewarding journey and worth the pint afterwards.  I have been trained in mountain leadership and hold the relevant Summer Mountain Leader qualification and also hold a valid Outdoor First Aid qualification.  I have years of experience of leading groups in both mountainous and non-mountainous terrain all across Scotland.

If you need to contact the provider of this event please use this email:

Event Grading System

This is intended as a rough indication only. Every effort has been made to make the level of activity and physical effort involved as clear as possible within the event description. If in doubt contact the event provider.

  • Easy:    A gentle activity over level easy terrain (or equivalent) lasting up to 2 hours. All ages and abilities welcome; time to stop, chat and stare.
  • Easy+:    An activity over generally easy terrain (or equivalent). Likely to include some slight inclines or similar extra effort. Usually lasting up to 3 hours with rests, etc.
  • Moderate:    A more varied activity and/or varied terrain (or equivalent), involving some extra effort for part of it. Typically a short day activity.
  • Moderate+:    Typically a full day activity over varied terrain (or equivalent) requiring stamina and/or more sustained effort. Short breaks for refreshments, lunch, etc
  • Challenging:    A range of activities with something ‘special’ that will appeal to the more experienced outdoor person. See event entry for details.

Booking Terms and Conditions

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The Moray Walking & Outdoor Festival is run by the Moray Way Association and sells tickets on behalf of event providers unless otherwise specified. This means that the final contract for your purchase will be between you and the event provider.

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Refunds – Customer cancellation

Refunds can be claimed for bookings cancelled before May 31. After May 31 refunds will only be made if the places are resold as by then arrangements for events are in place. In all instances we reserve the right to levy an administrative charge of £1.

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Refunds will be provided in full for any events cancelled by providers. We are unable to provide any reimbursement or refund for any accommodation or transport booked if circumstances require an event to be cancelled.

Changes to the programme

In the event of circumstances beyond our control, we reserve the right to alter the programme and events.

Basis of participation

The organisers of the Moray Walking and Outdoor Festival recognise that outdoor activities carry a risk of personal injury dependent in part upon the skills of participants and prevailing weather conditions, both outwith the control of the organisers. Those taking part do so at their own risk and are responsible for their own actions and safety. In broad terms, the basis of participation is similar to that of individuals joining in club activities.

A key difference is that many events are led and take participants on unfamiliar routes. On led events, the event leader is responsible for route finding. A minority of events, usually offered by commercial providers, use fully trained instructors who have an additional responsibility for the overall safety of participants. If in doubt contact the provider.

Descriptions of events

Every effort is made to ensure that all events are described accurately and fairly to allow participants to make informed decisions. Ultimately event descriptions on this site are the responsibility of each event provider and the officers of The Moray Way Association cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies. If there is uncertainty over what participation in any event entails then enquiries should be made to seek clarification.

Suitability of events

The safety and enjoyment of individuals on any event is largely dependent upon the fitness, skills and health of each individual. It is expected that participants use the information provided to choose suitable events, and do not undertake any event, or challenge within an event, that is beyond their capability.
In the unlikely circumstance that on the day of the event the leader has good grounds to doubt the suitability of their event for any individual, then they have the right to refuse admission without refund.

Young People and Vulnerable Adults

Young people (under 16yrs) and vulnerable adults are welcome on appropriate events but must be accompanied by an appropriate carer or responsible adult. The accompanying adult is best placed to judge the capability of their charge and has the full responsibility both for judging the suitability of the event for that young person or vulnerable adult and for their actions during the event.


In general dogs are welcome on walks, providing dog owners act responsibly in accordance with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and ensure that dogs are kept under close control in the vicinity of livestock and in rural areas. The decision on whether dogs are welcome on individual events is the prerogative of the event provider, especially where transport is part of the event. If there is any doubt please contact the event provider before booking the event.

Updated February 2018