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Run on Mount Keen from Glen Tanar

Run on Mount Keen from Glen Tanar


Postby kolixx » Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:05 pm

Route description: Mount Keen by Glen Tanar

Munros included on this walk: Mount Keen

Date walked: 09/03/2015

Time taken: 3 hours

Distance: 28 km

Ascent: 1000m

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It happened that I could spend an extended weekend in Scotland and it was obvious that I want to run on a nice trail if possible. I was originally aiming at the peak of Ben Macdui, but people in the walkhighlands forums were advising me against it, saying that in March it is still serious winter up there and it is not for running. They suggested Mount Keen instead. I am grateful for both advises!

A short video summary of the run:
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The weekend in Scotland was splendid, with extremely rainy and sunny days. Due to the high spirits we had I did not sleep more than five hours a night so we can say that I was not rested before starting, but that's how it is. The covered distance is 28 km involving about 1000 m elevation according to the GPS.

I was on a fixed schedule so I could not adjust the timing to weather conditions, and I was blessed with interesting weather.

The route starts from the end of the public road at Glen Tanar, following the Right of Way signs, after few corners it turns into a gravel road that should be followed all the way, next to the Water of Tanar.

This is the first bridge on the left of the route. It is not to be crossed, but definitely deserves a look.
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A nicer stretch of the Water of Tanar:
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The first 4-5 kms are in a nice forest, then we reach the typical highland landscape.

The forest landscape:
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Looking back at the end of the forest:
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And looking ahead:
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Low, bushy vegetation and steeply growing hills all around. We have 3-4 kms of the gravel road in this terrain. The forest was not sheltering me anymore and there was serious wind with a bit of snow in it. You can guess the direction, it was not from the back :) I was advised to bring goggles with me, but I did not have them. This was a mistake. I could only look at the next one meter in front of my feet if I did not want my eyes to fill with ice.

A nice sign, it will have importance later on.
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When the gravel road ends we cross a metallic bridge over the Tanar and then starts the approximately 3 km ascent covering 600 m elevation, pretty soul killing. Because of the wind, the terrain was frozen from this point on. Following the advice I got in the forums I brought a set of trail crampons, without these my steps would have been much more uncertain.

The path on the way up:
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There wind was like a snifter on the peak (you can hear it in the video). I was performing more of a crawling here instead of running (0,8 km/h at points). I could not enjoy the view as there was none :)

The peak stone:
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It was on the way down that I appreciated my crampons even more. I felt that the money I spent on them would have gone to buying crutches anyway if I were to spare it.

The icy path on the way down:
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And the crampons. Due to various delivery problems I was without crampons three days before the run. It was due to the kind and fast action of the guys at Pogu from Staveley that I got these in time. Worked splendid.
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Obviously, by the time I was back on the flat track the wind stopped. Just to make sure I don't have the wind backing me up on the remaining 10 kms. Judging based on their kindliness, Scottish winds are close relatives of every other wind I had the pleasure of meeting while running.

Our sign again. Notice that it is not snowing anymore and the wind is stopped. I am pretty sure I picked the best 3 hour window to go up :)
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A nice crossing over the Tanar (not to be crossed on this trip):
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The net running time was 3:40 on the 28 km distance. I think I it is justified to call the conditions over 16kms extreme.
kolixx
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Joined: Feb 1, 2015

Re: Run on Mount Keen from Glen Tanar

Postby SAVAGEALICE » Sat Mar 14, 2015 7:36 pm

Well done! I'm glad you got to run up a Scottish Mountain. I remember your post in the forum. Thanks for reporting back! :) I used my mountain bike through the glen when I did this hill. Shame you didn't get a view from the top.
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Re: Run on Mount Keen from Glen Tanar

Postby litljortindan » Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:50 am

An impressive feat! Does look grim at the top. Battle cries at the end of the song marry well with the video.
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litljortindan
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Re: Run on Mount Keen from Glen Tanar

Postby kolixx » Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:36 pm

SAVAGEALICE wrote:I'm glad you got to run up a Scottish Mountain. I remember your post in the forum. Thanks for reporting back!

I was really enjoying my time there. The advices on the forum had a lot to do with me having all this fun, so reporting back was the least I wanted to do :)
kolixx
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Re: Run on Mount Keen from Glen Tanar

Postby Dan Scheer » Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:46 am

nice one, glad you had a good run :)
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Dan Scheer
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Re: Run on Mount Keen from Glen Tanar

Postby basscadet » Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:48 pm

It looks like you had a brilliant day - No views, but thats pretty normal :roll:
I love Mount Keen - So many approaches from so many directions - it's like doing a different hill every time :D
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basscadet
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Re: Run on Mount Keen from Glen Tanar

Postby Beaner001 » Mon Mar 16, 2015 4:44 pm

Well done you :clap:
Its a local Munro but never from that side, have to give that route a look, cheers :D
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Beaner001
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