Unfinished business at Loch Laggan

Geal Charn panorama base OMWB

360 degree panorama taken from Geal Charn with Loch Laggan in the distance.

I have had my eye on two mountains south of Loch Laggan for some time – unfinished business from previous expeditions to the area: Geal Charn and Beinn a Chlachair. Last Thursday saw some perfect weather for mountain photography. The lure of the mountains is always irresistible and the habit has to be fed from time to time.

Lochan Na Hearba OMWB

Lochan Na Hearba is encountered on the long walk-in from the main road (the A86).

Lochan Na Hearba-panorama OMWB

The mountain landscapes of the Scottish Highlands are arguably the most beautiful in the world, especially early on a morning like this!

Geal Charn OMWB

Climbing Geal Charn first with Beinn a Chlachair in the distance.

Geal Charn summit_1 OMWB

Me – at the summit! One climbed, one to go.

Loch a Bhealaich Leamhain OMWB

I detoured from the usual path down Geal Charn, taking to the rough heather to photograph this beautiful mountain loch called Loch a Bhealaich Leamhain which sits in the wild country beyond Geal Charn.

Loch a Bhealaich Leamhain OMWB-2

Loch a Bhealaich Leamhain from the opposite side after climbing back to the path which runs NW to SE from Lochan Na Hearba towards Loch Ericht. The ancient path over the pass between Geal Charn and Beinn a Chlachair is to the right of this picture. This path takes you to the southern side of the latter mountain and the preferred route for walkers.

The pass OMWB

The colours of Scotland…looking back up the pass. I am miles from where the car was parked at this point.

Beinn a Chlachair OMWB

Finding a route to the summit of Beinn a Chlachair.

Beinn a Chlachair summit OMWB-2

Second summit of the day – Geal Charn is in the back ground. There’s a third mountain in the area which many walkers add to a day out in this group: Creag Pitridh, which is a lovely top and a good one for anyone making a start in mountain walking to tackle. I have already done it on one short and chilly November day with three feet of snow on the ground, so missed it out this time round. I took a different route around the area, avoiding some of the faint paths from time to time to see different views of the landscape for photography.

Beinn a Clachair panorama OMWB

360 degree panorama taken from Beinn a Chlachair. Cloud was beginning to move in from the south west. The centre of the picture faces north east.

walk out OMWB

Walking out – the wee burn which runs along side the path. It rejoices in the wonderful name of Allt Coire Pitridh which flows north west into Lochan Na Hearba. Geal Charn is in the back ground.

My day finished with a long walk-out ( I could have taken my bike to cycle the first few miles in and out of the area – one to remember for the future) by descending from Beinn a Chlachair around the rim of the summit and down the side of the amazing Coire Mor Chlachar which faces north east. It is off the beaten track (or what passes for beaten tracks in that area) and over some rough ground which required some care to traverse – no dangerous drops however. It should only be attempted in good weather too. I rejoined the main track which runs down from the pass and alongside the beautiful Allt Coire Pitridh burn. Ninety minutes later and I was back at the car!

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