Geal Charn (Loch Laggan)

Starting from the large layby on the A87 near Moy the walker has a choice of three Munros using the estate track that leads up towards Lochan na h-Earba. I'd already climbed the lower of the hills - Creag Pitridh - so my  sights were on either Geal Charn or the slightly higher Beinn na'Chlachair. Which I would climb would depend on my mood later in the walk.

The canalised River Spean between the reservoir at the Laggan Dam and Loch Laggan was much lower than on my previous visit due to the dry conditions in July 2018.

After crossing the bridge the track to the hills goes off to the left at a junction....

...and for the next few miles gradually gains height with views of the hills in the distance.

Looking back this panoramic image shows the Munros of Beinn a Chorainn and the Creag Meagaidh group.

Click on the photo for a large image and then click again to see it full size.

As the track curves uphill the three Munros of Creag Pitridh, Geal Charn and Beinn na'Chlachair come into view.

The track passes a completely dried up reservoir with Beinn na'Chlachair with its large corrie clerarly visible.

On my previous visit, as can be seen, the reservoir was full.

Lochan na h-Earba comes into view...

....with its extensive sandy beach.

Beyond the lochan the vehicle track heads across the flat area at the end of the water.. a small cairn where a path goes off to the right to  shorten the distance slightly.

The track is rejoined and becomes much rougher as it climbs uphill by the Allt Coire Pitridh...

.... to a ford which had only a trickle of water in it.

A contrasting shot from my previous visit found the ford almost impassable with several feet of fast flowing water.

Beyond the ford the track continues to climb....

...towards Bealach Leamhain with Geal Charn on the right. From here it doesn't look as though it is much higher than the bealach but there is actually over a thousand feet of ascent.

At the bealach I made the decision to climb Geal Charn and leave Beinn a' Chlachair for another day. There's a short cut off path which....

....joins onto a good stalker's path from the bealach.

This climbs up the south west shoulder of Geal Charn (on the right) with Creag Pitridh over on the left.

After a short distance at about NN 490 805 I left the path and started to climb the grassy slopes.

Looking back across the bealach towards Beinn a' Chlachair....

...and across to Creag Pitridh. It seems strange that this is counted as a separate Munro as it is so close to Geal Charn and considerably lower.

The grass eventually gives way to more stoney ground....

...and then it's simply a case of slogging on uphill trying to avoid as many of the stones as possible.

The summit is in view but there is still a lot of stone hopping necessary.

Finally, a track appears in the grass...

...and leads directly to the prominent cairn.

Hidden round the far side is the OS triangulation cylinder. The summit of Geal Charn is also marked on the OS maps as Mullach Coire an lubhair and is 1049m above sea level.

The walk from the A87 had taken me 4 hours.

The view looking east with the Munros of Beinn a Chorainn and the Creag Meagaidh group across the Laggan Dam reservoir and Loch Laggan.

Click on the photo for a large image and then click on the new image to see it full size.

A telephoto shot of the hills around Loch Trieg and the Grey Corries. Ben Nevis can be seen at the highest point. There are still some patches of snow left in late July.

I followed a slightly different route back downhill heading towards the summit of Creag Pitridh...

....before dropping down to the bealach at Cuil Mhaigh....

....where I rejoined the stalker's path.

The light had changed since I photographed Beinn a' Chachair and I was able to work out how I intend to climb this hill another time by using some of the grassy rakes between the crags.

There's now a couple of hour's gentle walk back to the A87...

...and an idyllic view of Lochan na h-Earba now in full sunlight.

The entire walk had taken me seven and a half hours including several breaks.