Càrn Mòr - 804m
Geal Chàrn - 821m

Thursday 1st November 2018

Weather/Conditions: Stunning weather all day, some snow on the tops (and a lot more on the Cairngorms!) Cold.
Distance/Ascent/Time: Carn Mor: 7.8km / 480m / 2h Geal Charn: 11.3km / 520m / 2h 40m
Accompanying: Struan

Another Corbett bagging trip with Struan!

I was just getting back to health after a couple weeks down with the cold. Struan suggested plans for heading to the north-west, but I thought we should instead go north-east to the more gentle summits of the eastern Highlands. We could stay with family friends Fiona and George in Nethy Bridge. Luckily Struan was up for that plan (and Fiona and George were around!), so I drove there the night before and Struan came up early morning from Edinburgh.

We drove to Chapeltown - this is a place I have distant family connections to, but I haven't been for beyond a decade. It's interesting to come back after many years and a lot of experience, and unlike before be able to place it in a country-wide context. The hills in this part of Scotland are all relatively similar in layout, and as I'd been ill, the familiarity and simplicity was exactly what I needed.

We parked in at Chapeltown and set off at a pace, following farm tracks out of Chapeltown. The tracks gave way to open moor, which blended into the snowline above. Carn Mor isn't a big day by this approach, but it still took a litle legwork up onto the broad summit dome. It was the usual bagging trip with Struan; good hills, great chat and a catch up.

Geal Charn was our second hill of the day. It's very much an outlier to the main Cairngorms, and it would leave us with Corryhabbie Hill and Ben Rinnes the following day. This makes travelling logical, and would wrap up our north-eastern Corbetts.

Geal Charn was lovely, isolated and golden in the afternoon sun. Park the car at the road end at Dorback Lodge, scramble down the slope and cross the river. It's best to stick near to the bank at this point - or, as we did, plod over bog to the cottage of Upper Dell, which is falling down. Beyond, a few kilometres of estate track lead to open moor, the snow line, and that final summit dome.

Over the top, we had unbroken views right into the Cairngorms, backlit by sun. They looked phenomenal - it's always nice to be back. I've said it a few times now, but being based in the west makes me forget about the east somewhat - I must make the trip over more often.

We returned the way we came down the estate tracks, with a final river ford and back to the car. I was pretty tired after this, but we had Nethy Bridge to return to. This makes such a difference, and cups of tea were on, pizza in the oven and an alarm set for more Corbetts in the morning.

Photos: Carn Mor

Photos: Geal Charn (Dorback)

360° Panoramas

Carn Mor

Geal Charn

Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 10.40am Chapeltown
(1.10) 11.50am Carn Mor
(2.00) 12.40pm Chapeltown

(0.00) 1.35pm Dorback Lodge
(1.25) 3.00pm Geal Charn
(2.40) 4.15pm Dorback Lodge
Written: 2018-11-28