The Life and Times of The Black Pig

The Life and Times of The Black Pig cover image

Ronald Turnbull


A biography of Ben Macdui, Illustrated by Colin Brash.

Forget the quick route from the car park. Over 20,000 years and sixteen other ways up, Ben Macdui preserves the fundamental mountain mysteries.

“Ben Macdui is a 500-million year-old lump of magma exposed by erosion and half chewed away by a glacier. But this book is not so much about the summit, as the stories we tell ourselves on the way up there. Some of them are fairy stories, and some are the more serious bits of fiction we call history. Some are the peculiarly plausible stories called science. But the most important stories are about the heroes of hillwalking, the pointless adventure on the Forefinger Pinnacle. These are the tales we tell ourselves to make it all make sense. As you stand below the avalanche, battle the stormy plateau, or cross thawing ice of Loch Avon, these stories are not just serious but deadly serious. In the twenty-first century, self-deception is one of the survival arts. Lose the plot, and end up in front of the TV with a premature heart attack.”


“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

Price £14.95

ISBN 9781902173252
Publisher Millrace
Genre Non Fiction
Extent 184pp

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