The Story Behind the Ralston Cairn in Glencoe

Update: Due to all the requests - you can see a video of how to get to the Cairn on my YouTube Channel:

On New Year's Eve I received an unexpected email from someone named Trevor who had gotten in touch about my image of the Ralston cairn in Glencoe, which I have photographed many times.

It has become quite a popular spot for photographs and the cairn images are one of my most popular pages on the site. I am sure this is mainly due to people searching for the story or more information behind the cairn on Google and reaching my site but I have been none the wiser to the story behind the cairn until Trevor got in touch.

Trevor was kind enough to share the story and also to allow me to share it here so that others, who have asked me directly or been seeking information can find it.

The cairn is in memory of Ralston Claud Muir, who was Trevor's brother and who died at the age of 32. He loved to climb in the glen (his ashes are here too) and he was a train driver on the west highland line.

Ralston died on the 10th of January 2000 very suddenly after taking unwell on Christmas Day. He died from multiple organ failure caused by a rare form of Leukaemia, which he never knew he had.

Trevor says he would have loved the attention and the photos of the spot and commented how good it was that in some way is memory is kept going by all the images of the cairn being taken.

All his friends still visit the cairn and have a wee dram with him.

For anyone interested, Trevor own's the deli in Aberfoyle, opposite the Tourist Information so if your ever passing the spot, do feel free to pop in and have a chat with Trevor and I am informed the food is delicious so another reason to visit.

The words on the cairn are even more fitting after hearing the story and my thanks again to Trevor for sharing his story with us. At least for those who have sought answers we now know more about the spot that will no doubt continue to be visited for years to come.

I thought it was fitting to share this story on the anniversary of his passing and will be sure to pay tribute to Ralston on my next visit to this spot.


Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year Finalist - Commended (2015)


Usher Hall, Edinburgh