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Angus, Adders and Allison restored

Angus, Adders and Allison restored


Postby weaselmaster » Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:53 pm

Munros included on this walk: Driesh, Mayar, Mount Keen

Date walked: 20/07/2013

Time taken: 8.5 hours

Distance: 32.4 km

Ascent: 1553m

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I had been moaning about having to do these hills for ages - thinking they'd be boring bumps. This weekend was ideal as firstly it was a chance for Allison to do a bit of rehab after her Kintail acquired injuries on something not too taxing and secondly I was working until 9am on saturday morning which meant a short day was in order. So moaning and mumping we set off at the ridiculously late hour of 8.30. It's been scorching weather all week and I'd edited my rucksac contents, taking out my waterproofs and much of my warm gear - surely we'd not need that with summit temperatures predicted to be 15-17 degrees. Driving up to Kirriemuir I wasn't so sure - the sky had been overcast on the way up and a haar hung about the hills as we headed for Glen Clova which felt a bit chilly. It couldn't be going to rain, could it?

Signs proclaimed a Beer Festival at the Glen Clova Hotel :thumbup: - as we passed it we noticed a large field set up as a campsite and thought - maybe somewhere to spend the night after today's hills? Hmmmm beer :shh: Driving along the single track road towards Glen Doll, Allison decided the glen should be renamed "Glen of the many squished small rodents" as the roadkill numbers were grim. Arrived at the parking spot in Glen Doll, paid the £2 and used the facilities then headed off through Glendoll forest towards Corrie of Fee. The sun by this time had blasted the clouds from the sky and the heat promised to be quite something. I was now glad I'd put some extra water in my pack :)
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P1030210 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030212 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Unlike the West Coast hills, walking through this forest did not result in a host of midges or other buzzing abominations following you - not even a cleg today. We turned into Corrie of Feei which was stunning - a real scooped out bowl of green and purple loveliness, river running along the centre, waterfall up at the top end. It was also a baking bowl as the sun was concentrated and there wasn't a breath of wind. Climbing up to the rim of the corrie we stopped for a bite to eat in a welcome shady spot, enjoying the view back towards Glendoll.

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P1030213 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030215 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030216 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Once we reached the plateau the true scale of the ascent of Mayar was revealed :wink: A gentle sloping grassy incline awaited us, and even more welcome was a little bit of breeze.

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P1030217 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Over on the right we could see what I took to be the curves of Lochnagar, northeast rose the solitary dark lump of Mount Keen, tomorrow's target, whilst to the left was the dramatic climb awaiting us up to Driesh :shock: OK, I shouldn't be sarcastic, it was a lovely day but I was missing the rockier environs of the west coast hills just a little :wink:

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P1030220 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030221 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Towards Lochnagar
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P1030218 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Mt Keen
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P1030219 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Driesh
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P1030222 by 23weasels, on Flickr


There's little descent between the tow tops - or at least it seemed that way after the ups and downs of Glen Etive last weekend, and before long we'd crossed the Shank of Drumwhallo, traversed the Black Skellies and Little Driesh and had reached the cairn on Driesh itself.

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P1030223 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030224 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Lochnagar
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P1030226 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030227 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Descent
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P1030229 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Great names these Nor'easterners have for their hills. I was sorry not to be continuing east to the Sneck of Farchal, but you can't have everything in a day out, can you :roll: Instead we retraced our steps and headed north along the Shank of Drumfollow, skirting Corrie Kilbo and back into the shade of the trees of Glendoll. Refilled our watersupplies at the Burn of Kilbo and made it back to the carpark after 4 and a half hours.

Allison had met a posh old bird in the toilets who'd asked her if she was going to the Beer Festival and told her that it was "great for peoplewatching" adding with some relish "there's always fights". Hmm... We drove back along to Glen Clova and decided we'd stop for one pint rather than camp the night there, which could have been a recipe for a rather unpleasant hangover given the heat, the beer and the camping. The place was mobbed and although the festival itself had only just opened its tentflaps at 5pm we could see that the posh bird was likely to be right about the likelihood of fights given some of the clientele. We were advised that the beer tent was £6 admission each which made for an uneconomical single pint, "use the hotel bar instead", but it was busy and noisy and only had 1 ale on tap so we decided to head off towards Glen Esk and maybe stop somewhere else en route.

An interesting drive along the back farmland roads of Angus ensued, taking us to unusual places like Tannadice, West Pittendreich and a dalliance thru Brechin before heading back to Edzell - silly us, we should have taken the road through Tigerton (brilliant name) for a more direct approach to Edzell. Anyway we got there, entered the impressive town gates, looked somewhat in vain for a suitable pub before deciding kust to drive to Glen Esk and forego the pleasures of an after hill pint.

The road along Glen Esk was pleasantly windy and wide enough for 2 way traffic, apart when you get stuck behind a tractor towing a prodigious load of hay bales :( Anyway, I was in no particular hurry and it pulled in at Tarfside, leaving an unimpeded drive up to the carpark at Invermark. The priority now was to get a suitable place to camp and get some tea on. I'd spotted a couple of possible sites, one at the Water of Lee - which displayed a "No camping or overnight stays" sign, the other up by the ruins of the castle, but it was a bit too close to the track for much privacy. In the end we found a suitable spot just behind the car park beside the river, which was fine.

It was a hot night with, thankfully little in the way of flies - we were able to eat our noodles sitting beside the river with minimal interference. Trust me to forget the seats - had to make do with rocks :(

Image
P1030230 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Morning was bright and sunny, already hot by the time we got started at 9ish. There were a couple of cars in the parking area, one lady kitted out with a massive camera bag across her front. Passed by the church
Image
P1030231 by 23weasels, on Flickr

then the House of Mark, which was offering bacon butties and tea/coffee.
Image
P1030232 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The track alongside the Water of Mark was easy going, allowing good progress. Sky was bright blue, with splashes of white cloud.
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P1030233 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030234 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030235 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Shortly before the Queen's Well we almost stepped on an adder, basking itself in the middle of the path which slid away into the heather sussurating its displeasure at having its morning sunbathe interrupted. i tried to snatch a shot on my camera, but digital cameras being what they are, the boot up time meant that I only captured the tail parts :(

Image
P1030238 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Hills were clad in a glowing coat of purple heather making them look most impressive.
Image
P1030239 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The Queen's Well is a bit of a strange construction out in the middle of the glen, somewhat over the top as a memorial to her highness and Albert having a drink. There's a plaque commemorating that occasion and noting that it happened in the "year of her great sorrow" - ie old Albert died less than 3 months later. Looking at the state of the water in the well, I'm just surprised he lasted that long :lol:

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P1030242 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030245 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030244 by 23weasels, on Flickr


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P1030246 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The next section of the walk was a bit steeper, up the side of Ladder Burn before heading NW to run alongside the Burn of Crippley (see, weird names again) and taking the righthand split towards the mound of Mt Keen ahead. A clear path runs all the way up, with the exception of the final stage which was stony.
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P1030247 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030249 by 23weasels, on Flickr

We met a guy coming down who often walks in the hills here and said that adders are very frequently spotted, to the extent that he scorns anyone wearing anything less than full ankle protection. The views of Lochnagar just kept on improving as we gained height with the buttresses looking impressive in the blue haze.
Image
P1030250 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030253 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View to north - Glen Tanar
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P1030254 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Back along Glen Mark
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P1030255 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030252 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030256 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Returning by the outward path we made reasonable time. Didn't see any more snakes in the grass but did have an enjoyable few hours out. Although Allison's knee was hurting a bit, she had been able to manage the walk at a good enough pace and will be able to have a go at the Forcan Ridge next week before a bit of Skye scrambling as part 2 of her rehab :lol:

So the dreaded Angus hills are finally done and were neither dreich or boring - thankfullly the glorious heather glens and fine weather saw to that.
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weaselmaster
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Re: Angus, Adders and Allison restored

Postby Collaciotach » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:09 pm

Good weather and report :clap:

Aye the beasties aint anywhere near as bad in the East , clegs are hellish bad here in the West just now so good choice :lol:
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Collaciotach
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Re: Angus, Adders and Allison restored

Postby Collaciotach » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:09 pm

Good weather and report :clap:

Aye the beasties aint anywhere near as bad in the East , clegs are hellish bad here in the West just now so good choice :lol:
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Re: Angus, Adders and Allison restored

Postby The Rodmiester » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:02 am

Using the head there weaselmaster! :) Three munros done in warm days, better that than failing climbing from sea level on the West. Looks like two cracking days of good walking and lets face it you would not want all the hills the same. Easy walking between Mayar and Driesh, and as you say no clegs. Glen Esk is well known for its adders, glad one didn't join you in the tent :lol:
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Re: Angus, Adders and Allison restored

Postby Sabbathstevie » Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:59 pm

Fantastic pics - I've a huge soft spot for these hills so I'm glad to see they won you over. Definately a case of where the walk in is far more of an event than the peaks themselves though. :D
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Re: Angus, Adders and Allison restored

Postby Gordie12 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:27 pm

3 adders in 5 minutes at Loch Lee a couple of weeks ago..........I'd have slept in the car rather than stick the tent up :lol: :lol:
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Re: Angus, Adders and Allison restored

Postby wilkiemurray » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:33 pm

funny that - my climbing buddy also said that the only time he has come across adders was on his way to Mount Keen - must be a hot spot

I am still to come across one - never see one (hope fully one day - perhaps not when I am camping though!!)

Great report and Picture - enjoyed that :clap:
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Re: Angus, Adders and Allison restored

Postby The Rodmiester » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:05 pm

wilkiemurray wrote:funny that - my climbing buddy also said that the only time he has come across adders was on his way to Mount Keen - must be a hot spot

I am still to come across one - never see one (hope fully one day - perhaps not when I am camping though!!)

Great report and Picture - enjoyed that :clap:


wilkie, head on up Glen Lee on the next hot day, you will see an adder, but don't go camping :lol: :lol:
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Re: Angus, Adders and Allison restored

Postby Sarah86 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:04 pm

Beautiful photos, what cracking weather you had for it, really enhances the lovely colour of the heather. I do love Corrie Fee but when we were there with the dog last year it got too hot to head onto Mayar. Hopefully this year, I'd like to go back again when all the lovely heather is out
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Re: Angus, Adders and Allison restored

Postby weaselmaster » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:58 pm

Sarah86 wrote:Beautiful photos, what cracking weather you had for it, really enhances the lovely colour of the heather. I do love Corrie Fee but when we were there with the dog last year it got too hot to head onto Mayar. Hopefully this year, I'd like to go back again when all the lovely heather is out


Yes, the heather colours were particularly beautiful - mind you they were more vivid again when looking through sunglasses - the hills positively glowing!
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Re: Angus, Adders and Allison restored

Postby rockhopper » Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:06 pm

Good weather always makes such a difference - nice trip there and good to see Allison has recovered :D Would agree that there's no such thing as a boring hill as they've all got something interesting or challenging about them :thumbup: - cheers :)
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