|Geal Charn Mor from
Ballinluig Farm by A9, roundtrip CCW
|Estimated net time||4-5 hours|
|Drinking water||Access to running water from the stream that runs along the path for the first kilometre after the farm is passed.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage throughout the route.|
|Parking||Room for some cars just off road A9 close to the entrance for Ballinluig Farm.|
|Start height||232 metres|
|Vertical metres||650 metres for the roundtrip|
|Trip distance||12.5 km|
Drive road B9152 south out of Aviemore and get onto road A9; total distance from the round about just south of Aviemore is 2.9 km, and you will find the entrance to Ballinluig Farm. Find parking at a suitable place along the road on one of the lay-bys.
Start hiking by walking the road up to Ballinluig Farm, approximately 800 metres from A9. Pass the farm house on its right hand side and continue just over 100 metres in a western direction. From here you will see a stream coming down from north. Aim for the right hand side of this stream, and you will find a path leading north along the stream. To a large extent this path isn't really a path but a 1-2 metre wide grass area amongst the heather. Follow this path for approximately 2.5 km, in a north/north-west direction. Then turn left towards the summit of Geal Charn Mor. You will now be walking off-path but the terrain is fine for walking with relatively firm ground and low vegetation.
The summit of Geal Charn Mor is marked by a trigonometric point. From here continue south all the way down to some telecommunication installation. From here you can follow the service road that will take you almost back down to A9. Find a suitable path to take you back to A9, climb the fence, and walk along
11. May 2008
This Sunday was the fourth day Håvard and my trip to Scotland, and Håvard was off to Pitlochry to play golf with his brother-in-law. This left me in Aviemore without a car, and hence some limitations in what hikes I could do this last day before going back home. In one way I got my dose of hiking through the previous day's eleven hour hike, but a shorter hike today wasn't out of the question . . . . .
I started the day by doing some shopping in Aviemore, and in one of the sports shops I ended up in a long chat about hiking and mountains with one of the owners. He recommended the hill just west of Aviemore as a nice hike, and I more or less decided to do that. Back at the hotel I started to change, when I though that it would be silly to do a 400-something mountain when there was higher mountains not far away. I looked at the map and found that Geal Charn Mor was something I could do. Then I got hesitations about walking 3-4 km along road A9, but my mind was set on Geal Charn Mor so I decided to get a taxi to drive me to trail head. This only cost around £6 so I thought it worth the money.
When I set out from Ballinluig Farm at 13:45 the weather was quite nice, but I saw there was some traces of fog above 600 metres. I followed the farm road from A9 and passed the farm. Past the farm and all the way for the rest of the hike there was a lot of wild animals; deer, rabbit, hare, grouse, and other birds. I soon realised that I ought to have my camera ready, and some OK photos were captured during the hike.
As I got above 600 metres the fog got thicker, and at the summit I hardy had 100 metres of visibility. I therefore quickly moved on, not waiting for the fog to disappear.
Back down at the A9 I climbed a relatively high fence and started the walk back towards the entrance of Ballinluig Farm. I passed a lorry that was parked along the road and considered asking for a lift, but for some reason decided against it. When I got back to trail head it started to rain, and any doubt whether or not to call a taxi were immediately gone. After a five minutes wait the same guy who drove me earlier in the day came to pick me up and drove me back to the hotel.
At the hotel I went straight to the bar for an Irn Bru, and was delighted to watch the final few minutes of the last Premier League matches of the season, with Manchester United securing their 10th league win since Sir Alex took over as manager.
Håvard arrived about half an hour later, and we finished the night with a decent curry and a few pints.