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Pleasant Mount Keen

Pleasant Mount Keen

Postby Driver84 » Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:51 pm

Route description: Mount Keen from Glen Esk

Munros included on this walk: Mount Keen

Date walked: 28/05/2011

Time taken: 5.5 hours

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With lots of dubious weather reports for the weekend; various cloud bases, severe gales, rain, snow, thunder - we thought we would go for a 'play-safe' option.

The drive up the A90 made for a somewhat 'pleasurable' :? change to the usual jaunt up the A9. The sun was shining, very few clouds in the sky: could the weather have been wrong, again? :?

Pulling in at the car park 2 hours after setting off we were about the 5th or 6th car, and to which we seen no signs of life. We were booted up (and I was dressed for the supposed wind) and on our merry way.

We were through the first gate and then through the electric fence/gate before the wind took effect. It was howling right down through Glen Mark, but we still made ground (according to the Satmap we averaged 3.5mph into a head wind) with the sun still shining, but there was more and more cloud coming into view.




As we neared the Queens Well the sky had darkened considerably, the sun vanished and the inevitable happened: Rain! :shock: Was the first time in all my outings that I had been rained on, suppose I've been lucky really. But using the legs of the Well for shelter it soon passed and we were on our way again, up past Glenmark cottage and to Easter Burn.

The water was fairly flowing down here making all the foot holds rather wet, and a misplacement of the feet held me up in my crossing, but after some shuffling I was across and soon it was the much easier crossing of Ladder Burn (a steel grated crossing at water level). The sudden change in gradient came as a bit of a shock to the system after flying along the track, but we were sheltered/protected from the wind by Counternach.

Looking for a rest and a re-fuel, and somewhere to dry off, at the zig in the path we took rest delayering and basking in the sun enjoying the views back down Glen Mark.


A quick feed and drink and we were off again, up the small incline to the zag and then flying up the path again. To which at this point we had some followers. 2 grouse chick's running along side pacing us up the track before diving off out of sight.

The well defined track made for real easy going, and upon reaching the split in the path to the summit and becoming exposed to the elements the wind really started to take effect. Constant buffeting winds made the ascent a little tricky, but the views opening up towards Lochnagar were impressive.


The likes of Cairn of Claise, Carn an Tuirc, Glas Maol were covered by a blanket of white cloud that was shedding some water. Beyond Lochnagar, engulfing the southern Cairngorms, an aggresive looking weather front was rolling in quick; I'd estimated about 30 mins before it would hit us - we were about 20 mins from the summit.

And sure enough we were at the summit within 20 mins, and still we hadnt seen a single sole. So with the summit to ourselves we prepared to batten down the hatches:- the first outing for the waterproofs, hat and gloves on, and the bags hidden out the way.
it's closing in

No sooner after doing this we were joined by a small group who were also going to sit it out and made shelter behind one of the stone windbreaks.

Up periscope! The wind was whipping, the rain was horizontal but not nearly as heavy as I'd thought it would be but that soon turned to hail and then quickly into snow.
not as bad as we expected

After about 10 mins the worst of it had passed and with this we made the decision to head back down.
is it safe to come out?

The sky was now clear but the wind was still wild - at least it was behind us now. By now we were meeting and greeting folks all the way down the track, suddenly it was a busy route, and why not? With the sun now lighting up the whole glen it was really quite beautiful.

And in about 1 hour 45 we were back at the car. A great walk, that I would happily do again, in a great wee place. :D

Last edited by Driver84 on Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pleasant Mount Keen

Postby ChrisW » Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:09 pm

Nice report Driver84 - I enjoyed Mt Keen when I did it, same happened to me, blue sky going in cloud and white sky whilst on top and blue sky as soon as I touched down again :( love that shot of the grouse chick, great capture :D
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Re: Pleasant Mount Keen

Postby Driver84 » Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:29 pm

Cheers Chris. That one wasnt feared of anything, :lol: the other one was way to quick.

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Re: Pleasant Mount Keen

Postby Merry-walker » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:05 pm

Great pictures. Absolutely love this hill - :)

I never tire from reading reports on it... thankyou :D
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