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Pacing myself on Mount Keen

Pacing myself on Mount Keen


Postby fipriestley » Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:13 am

Route description: Mount Keen from Glen Esk

Munros included on this walk: Mount Keen

Date walked: 14/04/2012

Time taken: 4.25 hours

Distance: 17.5 km

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[updated timings now I've realised some of this was based on the time stamp on photos, when I hadn't moved my camera with the clocks going forward! No wonder my pacing didn't feel right :eh: :lol: ]

Staying with a friend in Dundee the night before meant that Mount Keen was the best choice for my lone walk today (completing the Angus hills). After my usual dancing the night away then a few hours of sleep :crazy: I set off, confident I'd find my starting point as I'd done my homework [Google Street View rocks!! No sat nav, but I was able to recognise the junctions and turn offs and even the car park at Invermark as I'd already been down these roads online :D ]

This would be my third hill walk alone, good visibility was forecast and there's path all the way so I was happy to find my own pace as I sometimes struggle to keep up when out in groups. :o No GPS but I had a printout of the WH map and a compass (didn't use either of these!) and also the route description from WH. I did refer to this a couple of times, just for reassurance :lol:
SDC13175.JPG
Bear left just before the house
There were 2 gates within minutes of each other just after this then out in to the open glen. My heart sank when I saw the clag up ahead but it soon cleared and I had a first view of my target... in snow [ :think: no ice axe or crampons today but I know this is a gradual climb with no sheer drops at the top]
SDC13177.JPG
summit in view

A few snow flurries along the way I was starting to wonder if I'd passed the Queen's Well without noticing, but it was in the open on the flat and really couldn't be missed (hadn't zoomed in enough on the map to realise how close it is to Invermark Cottage).
SDC13180.JPG
Queen's Well in a brief snow flurry

Crossed Easter Burn on stepping stones no problem and I reached the iron grid over Ladder Burn exactly 1 hour after leaving the car park. Since I noted the time at this point, I used this as the marker for the start of the ascent.

The climb was straightforward on a good path. Snow spells lessened and the sun stayed out longer. As I rounded the bend in the zig zag I could see there wasn't really much snow up top after all.
SDC13186.JPG
After this bend in the path the incline levels off a bit and I was able to pick up a bit more speed - now just in base layer, fast pulse but not pushing myself to the point where I needed to stop to catch my breath. Heading up the near flat, I could see a truck parked ahead :shock: (must have come from the other side of the hill as this path isn't wide enough for any vehicle) :? First thought was that's just cheating! but it turned out to be for the workmen who were up there re-laying the path :lol: I'd only just passed the 3 workers when I saw a quite a crowd ahead of me - first people of the day! Since I hadn't seen anyone ahead of me coming through the open glen I guessed this group were on their way down.
SDC13187.JPG
path being re-layed

It was actually 2 groups though, some on their way down and some up. As I passed the group going in the same direction as me, one told me I was making this look easy :D :lol: That added a spring to my step :thumbup: as I climbed through the snow (fleece back on by now!) to reach the trig point.
SDC13188.JPG
nearing the summit

Summit reached 2hr15 after leaving the car park. Biting wind up there so I only stayed 10 mins for a snack bar and a few photos, glad to help the trio who arrived soon after with their group summit pic. Views in the distance were limited but the other side of the trig point showed evidence of driving snow (glad it wasn't coming down now!).
SDC13192.JPG
looking West
SDC13190.JPG
looking North
SDC13196.JPG
snow patterns

Heading back down the same way, views to the West opened up - Lochnagar's on my list of 'possibles' for next week :)
SDC13202.JPG
view to Lochnagar
The descent was clear but the sun and snow were taking turns and for a short time the weather closed in behind me.
SDC13205.JPG
13:51 at start of zig zag in path, looking to Glen Mark
SDC13206.JPG
13:56 at next bend, summit disappeared

I reached the iron grid and crossed Ladder Burn again 1hr after leaving the summit. From here it was a straight path back... I loved the sun/snow combo and was fascinated when they played together. Stopped by Queen's Well again (in sunshine this time), took lots of photos - some of views, some of the weather. 8) :lol: I was grinning like a Cheshire cat for most of the walk out, singing to myself along the way. :D 50 mins to get back to the car, having had a great day! :clap:

SDC13212.JPG
sun/snow combo at Invermark Cottage
SDC13217.JPG
Queen's Well (couldn't make out what it says)
SDC13223.JPG
thick snowflakes in the glen
SDC13227.JPG
almost back at the start, a beautiful day :)
Last edited by fipriestley on Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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fipriestley
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Re: Pacing myself on Mount Keen

Postby morag1 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:10 am

Nice report Fiona, Im hoping to get myself up there this year so your report was very timely :D
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Re: Pacing myself on Mount Keen

Postby jonny616 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:50 pm

Special hill for me. My 100th. You saw more of it than i did. Love the photo to Lochnagar 8)
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Re: Pacing myself on Mount Keen

Postby nomorework » Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:33 pm

Nice one, love walks with definate paths.

Hope you have a gps with you next time ;)
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Re: Pacing myself on Mount Keen

Postby fipriestley » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:47 pm

Thanks Morag - I'm sure you'll enjoy it!

Glad to share Jonny. A good hill to do in poor visibility (if there is such a thing!) as the path's excellent

nomorework wrote:Nice one, love walks with definate paths.

Hope you have a gps with you next time ;)

Thanks nomore*paid*work :lol: - will take it next weekend :thumbup:
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fipriestley
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 370
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Grahams:7   Donalds:4
Sub 2000:5   Hewitts:7
Wainwrights:3   
Joined: Sep 10, 2011
Location: Birnam/Dunkeld

Re: Pacing myself on Mount Keen

Postby quoman » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:10 pm

Hi Fiona good report and picture's

Nae bumslide then :lol: p.s you will love lochnagar
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