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book jacket

The Life and Times of the Black Pig

Ronald Turnbull, illustrated by Colin Brash

A biography of Ben Macdui — OWG Best Outdoor Book 2007

Ben Macdui — or Binn-na-Muick-duidh, the Hill of the Black Pig, in Gaelic — is Britain’s second highest mountain but its visitors are few in comparison with the 100,000 or so who trudge up the Pony Path on Ben Nevis every year. For Ronald Turnbull, however, Ben Macdui is a true mountain, preserving ‘the fundamental mountain mysteries’. He has explored it from every angle and in The Life and Times of the Black Pig takes you to the summit by seventeen different routes. On the way you’ll be beguiled by stories of dancing tailors and ravening wolves, contumacious climbers and cattle-thieves, a deluded earl and granite fudge. Ignore the funicular railway and enjoy 20,000 years of Ben Macdui.

Mr Turnbull is carving out a niche for himself writing the biographies of mountains—his first was a hymn to Great Gable. His work also serves as a guide, listing routes that’ll help you appreciate his subject at its best. Here, he tells the life and times of Britain’s second highest peak, Ben Macdui. He says it has been criminally overlooked since a certain B Nevis claimed the crown, but claims Macdui is far more interesting than the other fella. Tales include Queen Victoria’s climb of Ben Macdui (she did it in disguise) and an Irishman who cycled up it by accident. Colin Brash provides some gloriously moody illustrations.

Country Walking, Feb 2008

Pygmy Ridge

To read about Ronald Turnbull’s other Millrace books, The Riddle of Sphinx Rock and Muir and More, click on the titles.

170x120mm, viii + 184 pp
list price
978 1 902173 252