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The ‘Toad’ to Mount Keen – Take 2 & finally bagged!!

The ‘Toad’ to Mount Keen – Take 2 & finally bagged!!


Postby suhowfar » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:39 pm

Route description: Mount Keen from Glen Esk

Munros included on this walk: Mount Keen

Date walked: 02/04/2011

Time taken: 5.5 hours

Distance: 17.5 km

Ascent: 708m

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Well in natures eyes spring has finally sprung & what a great time of the year to be fit enough to get back out in the hills. After weeks of recovering from an operation I was fit enough to tackle the one that stopped me from achieving my goal of 10 Munros for 2010 (which was not bad going I thought, considering I only started walking them at 2 ½ month prior) ‘Mount Keen’.

Both myself & Jockstar were to say the least keen (pardon the pun!) :lol: to reach the top of Mount Keen as it was the last one we attempted on old years day to try to get me my 10th for the year. But alas like so many of us out there the snow deterred me and it was a case of so near yet so far! :(

This time we were going to get to see the Cairn….. :thumbup:

We were both itching to get out again (many thanks to Jockstar for being so patient and getting me back to fitness level to be able to get out in the hills again, it’s great to have a great partner in life and also a walking partner that like so many of you out there understands your own levels you are able to achieve). :D

We set off from Invermark car park about 1:45pm and headed over the bridge and passed the quaint little church onto the road heading to Mount Keen. When we reached the big metal gate that takes you into the Glen where we had our first sight of spring. In a large puddle in the middle of the gate entrance Jockstar spotted a large patch of tadpoles (natures is so wonderful).

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Friendly birds at the carpark


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On our way


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Jockstar leading the way


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Lochlee Parish Church


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Start of Spring little Tadpoles


We carried on up the path, to finally reach the open Glen views.

As always with nature the same views can look so different in different seasons. Spectacular! We both could remember the snow covered Glen of a few months before. :crazy:

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Suowfar with views of the glen


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Suhowfar same view on old years day!


We think this was a Salmon catcher in the burn for conservation purposes, hopefully our thoughts were right!

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Salmon catcher


Along the way we met Mr Toad (think he was a Toad, due to his size and colour!). He posed for us to take a few photos, then we left him in peace and went on our way. Cute wee little fella. :wink:

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Mr Toad (cutie wee fella)


Finally we reached Queen’s Well and took a rest to admire the views and a few photo opportunities, stunning monument!

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Jockstar at Queen's Well


Onwards and upwards across Easter Burn (thank God for gaiters and waterproof boots as the stones were low and the water was above most of them!). We reached Ladder Burn and the Iron Grid to cross was just above the water, so no problems here apart from the time we took for more photo opportunities!

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Start of Easter Burn


It was then we reached the Ladder Glen….OMG this is the point of return on our last attempt due to the Ice and snow. :crazy: But looking up now it was a great sight, no snow at all in sight, so the way ahead was looking good and there was no way be were going to be beaten by this Munro again!! :D

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Where has all the ice & snow gone !!!


After he many zigs and zags of the path we had not yet seen yet we finally reached the open Moorland above. Where we met a couple on their first Munro (Sonja and Les) after discussing Munros and passing on the WH website details to them we watched them as they made their way back down at quick pace.

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Sonja & Les (Hopefully new walkers & WH members!)


Fantastic open views hit us as we reached the Moorland, the sun was shining and we were faced with great views for miles. The sound of Grouse in the distance was lovely to hear, until they kept flying out of the heathers as we walked up, what a fright they give you when the fly out of the Heathers right in front of you, way too quick to catch on camera!

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Great open sunshine views


We stopped at the fork in the path for more photos of the stunning views. Taking the path to the right and walking up a stepped path made out of large stones we soon reached the Cairn.

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Steps on the way upto the cairn, but where is the scramble!!!!!


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Yippee Munro No 10 in sight for Suhowfar


Yippee, what a feeling finally on the second attempt we bagged it! :thumbup: :lol:

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Suhowfar & Jockstar at Mount Keen Cairn


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Suhowfar at the Cairn


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Jockstar at Mount Keen Cairn


Rolls, crisps and chocolate devoured we headed back down. The climb down is so much easier as usual, apart from the odd fright of a flying Grouse across us.

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Grouse ready to fly away...



Finally we reached the car park and headed home for a wee drink to celebrate and a fish supper. End to a perfect day. Well nearly!!! :eh:

Who made the licensing laws for supermarkets to stop selling alcohol at 10pm!! :thumbdown: Both of us being totally shattered forgot the time and standing at the scanner machine in the supermarket at 10:04pm the machine would not let us scan alcoholic drink…..dam it! (or words to that effect were uttered!!) :( . They were left in the shop and we relied on the reserve store at home to enjoy a wee tipple to celebrate with our supper :thumbup: :wink: .

So in all totally fantastic Spring walking day with nature, Munro number 10 bagged for me and 27th for Jockstar, great sunshine views and a wee celebration after. Great day had by both. And finally Mount Keen Cairn was seen by us!!! No 1 for this year with many, many more mapped out already. :D :thumbup: :wave:

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Stunning!!
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Re: The ‘Toad’ to Mount Keen – Take 2 & finally bagged!!

Postby kinley » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:46 pm

Was nice in the east wasn't it?

If you passed a couple setting up a tent 1km before the car park in the evening that was us 8)
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Re: The ‘Toad’ to Mount Keen – Take 2 & finally bagged!!

Postby Merry-walker » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:53 pm

So glad you guys made this one. It's my fave hill and has so much going for it.

Mind lass.... Always... always... have the squiffy in for after a hard day :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: The ‘Toad’ to Mount Keen – Take 2 & finally bagged!!

Postby suhowfar » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:58 pm

Oh trust me MW loads always in at home, but we were worried for Sundays supplies too, Bri likes the beer well chilled :lol: :lol:
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Re: The ‘Toad’ to Mount Keen – Take 2 & finally bagged!!

Postby suhowfar » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:01 pm

Hi Kinley

Yeah we passed you both setting up camp just next to the burn! Pity we wish we had known it was you, we would have come over and said Hi. It was about 7:15pm. Hope you had a great night camping. Views were still great of the hills then :D
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Re: The ‘Toad’ to Mount Keen – Take 2 & finally bagged!!

Postby Merry-walker » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:04 pm

suhowfar wrote:Oh trust me MW loads always in at home, but we were worried for Sundays supplies too, Bri likes the beer well chilled :lol: :lol:


:lol: :lol:

Know the feeling... :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: The ‘Toad’ to Mount Keen – Take 2 & finally bagged!!

Postby suhowfar » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:09 pm

Yeah and supper seems so much better with beer!! :lol: :lol:

Know why one of your favs, stunning views & we were lucky enough to get a real clear day with sunshine too!!
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Re: The ‘Toad’ to Mount Keen – Take 2 & finally bagged!!

Postby Merry-walker » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:22 pm

suhowfar wrote:Yeah and supper seems so much better with beer!! :lol: :lol:

Know why one of your favs, stunning views & we were lucky enough to get a real clear day with sunshine too!!



I had a bonnie day too. But this wonderful walk has Charisma eh... 8) I cana wait to do the long version :D
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Re: The ‘Toad’ to Mount Keen – Take 2 & finally bagged!!

Postby Jockstar » Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:37 am

Nicely put together Su and what you didn't mention was the pace you set on the walk......i was just hanging onto your coat tails !! :lol: Great to be out again and ready for some more.. :D
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Re: The ‘Toad’ to Mount Keen – Take 2 & finally bagged!!

Postby suhowfar » Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:30 am

Thanks Brian :D , but if you only knew, I was really secretly trying to run away from the toad!! :crazy: Thank god it was not a spider would have reached the cairn in no time at all :shock: !!!!! Looking forward to a week of walking and bagging many more Munros with you in a couple of weeks time, lets start planning for our next 12. :D :thumbup:
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Re: The ‘Toad’ to Mount Keen – Take 2 & finally bagged!!

Postby Jockstar » Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:46 am

Go girl go !!!!! :D
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Re: The ‘Toad’ to Mount Keen – Take 2 & finally bagged!!

Postby Jockstar » Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:47 am

Like the number 10 !!!!! :D
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Re: The ‘Toad’ to Mount Keen – Take 2 & finally bagged!!

Postby suhowfar » Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:29 am

Just seen your report Merry-walker, good one! :D Looks like you both had a few good days away walking and staying in the caravan. Pity the weather stopped you doing your walk (the White Hackle Challenge) on behalf of the troops in Afghanistan. :(
Can see why you want to do the long version walk for Mount Keen, looks like there are some splendid views to be taken in arond the pinewoods of Glen Tanar. Looks like Brian and myself may have to visit Mount Keen at some point in the future via the long route, but so many others to visit before then!! :wink: We are planning to bag 12 more by the end of April, so no pressure there eh!! :crazy: :D :lol: :thumbup:
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Re: The ‘Toad’ to Mount Keen – Take 2 & finally bagged!!

Postby suhowfar » Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:31 am

Errr 10 is 2 short of 12 Jockstar!!!! :lol: :lol:
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Re: The ‘Toad’ to Mount Keen – Take 2 & finally bagged!!

Postby magicdin » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:17 am

Fine report suhowfar - Mount Keen is always a good day out

"The sound of Grouse in the distance was lovely to hear, until they kept flying out of the heathers as we walked up, what a fright they give you when the fly out of the Heathers right in front of you"

Got to agree with you there - annoying birds
Hard to think at times that they same bird family as the calm Ptarmigan
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