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Mount Keen

Mount Keen


Postby Silverhill » Sun Jan 11, 2015 2:10 pm

Munros included on this walk: Mount Keen

Date walked: 27/07/2014

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Distance: 17.6 km

Ascent: 713m

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My camera stopped working after a good soaking in yesterday’s deluge, so I’d let it dry in a bag of rice overnight. Hoping that it would work again today.

I was the first in the car park. There was a small welcoming committee of midges, but they really needn’t have bothered. I was just about to turn right onto the track towards Glen Mark, when the first shower arrived. On with the waterproofs. The great thing about rain in the glens is that you can still enjoy some views! So I wasn’t complaining. :D

Glen Mark was lovely with the scattered woodland and then the heather. There were lots of freshly shorn sheep around. As the glen opened up, the views toward Craig of Doune and the other craggy hills on either side of the glen were stunning. Must go and explore that way one time. The water in the Queen’s Well didn’t look that fresh, so I stuck to the water I’d carried in. Great structure around it though. By now the rain had stopped and I took off the waterproofs. It was way too warm for them.

The Easter burn was easily crossed and so was the Ladder burn via a cattle grid. Up along the track. This was where a bit more effort needed to be put in, in comparison to the flat walk so far. The legs are getting lazy easily! The track was good and the ascent not too steep.

So what is better on a muggy ascent than a cooling drizzle? Great! Unfortunately the drizzle turned into rain and the waterproofs had to come out again. Now apparently midges don’t like rain. That is not true! Luckily there was no-one else around to witness me madly waving the midges away whilst trying to get into waterproofs. Of course five minutes later the rain stopped. It really was too warm to be goretex clad and the midges feasted on me when I took the waterproofs off. Believe it or not, 15 minutes later and it was a repeat of the above. :crazy: But where the excellent path leaves the track and heads for Mount Keen, the weather started behaving better.

Further up I met a dad and son duo, who were on their way down. The boy, not older than 10, warned me of an upcoming false summit. Good man, already familiar the hill walkers lingo. :thumbup: The steps are excellent and I whizzed up. It gets quite bouldery near the summit, and the trig point is on top of a very rocky, eh rock.

There already were 4 people on the summit. One was wearing a cycling helmet and I jokingly asked whether he had cycled up, assuming he had left his bike further down on the Mounth Road. But no, he had indeed cycled up. His friends had left their bikes lower down and walked up. They had all started from Glen Tanar and would be cycling out via Glen Mark.

It had turned into a fantastic day, blue sky, sun out, cooling breeze. And the views were just stunning. Lochnagar in all its glory, Mayar and Driesh. I could even see the tors on Ben Avon. The sense of space was overwhelming. Awesome. At this point I heard some encouraging bleeps from my camera. How very timely for it to come back to life! Hm, not quite. It was just switching itself on and off.

After a few sandwiches and more chat with the other people on the summit I started on the way down. This went very swiftly and it was very busy all the way back to Glen Mark with people making the most of a good day for the hills. In the sun the freshly shorn sheep looked sparkling white and clean.

Sorry for the lack of pictures. After a few more pitiful bleeps on the way down, my camera eventually died. :(
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Silverhill
 
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Re: Mount Keen

Postby simon-b » Sun Jan 11, 2015 3:28 pm

It's nice that there is a Munro so far east, adding to the variety of areas and scenery a bagger will encounter.

Pity about your camera. Was it in your rucksack when it got a soaking? I've found a rucksack's outer waterproof cover is not much good when it's very windy.
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simon-b
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Re: Mount Keen

Postby Silverhill » Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:31 pm

Thanks simon-b! :D I’d never been to Angus before and I agree, the Angus glens are lovely.
My camera was in a little pocket on the waist belt of my pack, so it wasn’t protected by the rain cover. I was so concerned about finding a safe place off the ridge, and completely forgot about the camera. A lesson learnt. :( The pocket didn’t stand a chance against the hail and wind. Nor did the rain cover, but the contents of the rucksack were still dry because I had packed everything in plastic bags.
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Re: Mount Keen

Postby simon-b » Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:04 pm

Silverhill wrote:the contents of the rucksack were still dry because I had packed everything in plastic bags.

I've learned to do that as well. And the outer cover sometimes gets blown up like a sail in the wind, or blown off, so I don't bother with it in gales.
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simon-b
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1904
Munros:282   Corbetts:30
Grahams:7   Donalds:12
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:156
Wainwrights:214   Islands:4
Joined: Jan 2, 2012
Location: Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Re: Mount Keen

Postby Silverhill » Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:42 pm

simon-b wrote:
Silverhill wrote:the contents of the rucksack were still dry because I had packed everything in plastic bags.

I've learned to do that as well. And the outer cover sometimes gets blown up like a sail in the wind, or blown off, so I don't bother with it in gales.

It is actually quite fiddly to remove the raincover from the pack, but I'm sure a gale will manage at some point! :lol:
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Re: Mount Keen

Postby Gordie12 » Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:49 pm

Hi Silverhill - it's amazing where you see some mountain bikes these days!!

With this hill being more in my part of the world it's another one I've done a few times - next time I think I'll try it from Glen Tanar as it makes for a longer day and the reports on this route look really good.
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Gordie12
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Re: Mount Keen

Postby Silverhill » Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:56 pm

Gordie12 wrote:Hi Silverhill - it's amazing where you see some mountain bikes these days!!
With this hill being more in my part of the world it's another one I've done a few times - next time I think I'll try it from Glen Tanar as it makes for a longer day and the reports on this route look really good.

Imagine someone doing the Cuillin Ridge on a mountain bike! :wink: I fancied the Glen Tanar approach too, but in the end it made things more complicated logistically. One for the future. I look forward to reading your report! :D
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