M260 | 926 m. | 3038 ft.
Translation: White hill
Pronuncation: gyal kaarn

This hill being the first in the 2009 outing we were still quite stiff when it came to getting our act together: putting on the gear, stuffing the rucksack, lacing the boots and all. Finally we were ready, though, and set out from Garva Bridge to climb this solitary Munro.

We crossed the infant River Spey, followed the landrover track for a few hundred metres and then walked on the open turf in the general direction of Geal Charn’s southwest ridge. At the confluence of the Allt Coire nan Dearcag and Feith Talagain the grassy path started to become a little steeper and the first stones appeared. We tramped up the ridge and were soon engulfed by fog and clouds. Passing a few minor crags at about 600m located on the western side of the hill the path climbed the somewhat steeper middle section of the hill before leveling out close to the summit.

Visibility was restricted to maybe 20 metres when we reached the cairn. A short break, a sip of water, one Mars bar, rucksack back on and off we went. With no views to be had of the rest of the Monadhliath hills we skipped the idea of returning by way of Glen Markie and simply retraced our steps to the car. A good hill for a short afternoon hike. A pleasant way to start the holiday and one of the few hills in 2009 which did not put our waterproof gear to the test! 🙂

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Total distance: 13279 m
Max elevation: 929 m
Min elevation: 287 m
Total climbing: 842 m
Total descent: -832 m
Total Time: 03:42:23

Description Geal Charn is a rather isolated hill lying on the west side of Glen Markie, several kilometres west of the main group of the Monadhliath Munros. It is a flat-topped hill whose most interesting feature is the eastern corrie with its high lochan at the head of the Piper's Burn, which flows into the Markie Burn and the River Spey. The western and northern slopes of Geal Charn merge into the vast undulating expanse of the western Monadhliath. One possible route of ascent starts at the Spey dam and goes up the track on the east side of the Markie Burn and then north-west on the north of the Piper's Burn to the plateau north of Lochan a' Choire. It may be difficult to cross the Markie Burn if it is in spate, in which case an alternative route starts from Garva Bridge further up the Spey and goes up the path on the south-east side of the Feith Talagain and the south-west ridge of Geal Charn.