Brocken Spectre and Glory
© P.D.G. Meredith (Canon EOS1000F)

Brocken Spectre and Glory

In his book, The Scottish Peaks, W A Poucher writes:

"Brocken Spectres

These remarkable phenomena are usually confined to hill country, and in consequence may, with luck, be observed by any climber on the Scottish Peaks, especially if he happens to be on a lofty ridge enclosing a corrie filled with mist. They appear as gigantic shadows on the surface of the mist and were first observed on the Brocken in Germany, hence the name, but are said to be an optical illusion because the shadow is quite close and of actual size. It is usually only possible for each climber to see his own spectre.


These appear as a coloured ring round the shadow cast by the climber on the mist in similar circumstances. Each member of a climbing party can see only his own glory. Readers who have flown in an aeroplane will have often seen the shadow of the plane ringed by a variegated circle on the clouds beneath them."

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