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Mount Keen for Another Munro

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:19 pm
by andygunn23
Mount Keen for Another Munro

This would be my 20th munro 'bagged' in 12 days! Okay that is a blatant lie (that was easy - maybe I should become an MP?), 12 weekend days is probably a more accurate description. Imagine if walking paid as much as sitting at a desk for 40+ hours a week!

Monday lunch time: "I had a nice adventure in the Arrochar Alps yesterday, I go on holiday to Portugal next week, I haven't packed anything, have any Euros or even know where my passport is... Probably going to have a chilled out weekend for a change."

Friday lunch time: "Hopefully my old 'cycle to work bike' still works, then it is only a 35 mile cycle from my flat to the Glen Tanar car park. Cycle there Saturday, camp over night, climb Mount Keen Sunday morning and cycle 35 miles back Sunday night".

Turned out the chain on my bike was rustier than a tin bucket left in a monsoon. I assumed this was my sign to listen to my Monday lunch time preaching and have a chilled weekend.

This view from 6AM Sunday makes me glad I stuck with Friday's derailed train of thought!
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No bike, no car, and definitely not enough energy to walk from Aberdeen, how would I get from Aberdeen to Aboyne?

If only there was a direct train from Aberdeen out to Aboyne, what a wonderful invention that would be...

Dr Richard Beeching you have a lot to answer for! Thanks to Beeching's outrageous report, The Reshaping of British Railways, The Deeside Railway closed in 1967.

48 years later Stagecoach is reaping the rewards & I am paying the price - £11 to be precise!
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Growing up in Aboyne, and knowing Glen Tanar relatively well I was pretty confident this would be a relatively straight forward walk. I arrived in Aboyne some point late afternoon (most likely an hour later than planned due to the bus), and made my way up the Fungle road, around Craigendinnie and into Glen Tanar.

Countless games of cuppy (in literally all weather) were played on that big green patch of grass.
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I had been walking along a relatively flat path for what felt like eternity and was getting pretty ready to set up tent for the night. Surely I must have nearly been about at the base of Mount Keen.

Or not...
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Slightly disheartened by the fact I appeared to only be 'half way' (I am assuming this relates to the distance from Mount Keen to the car park) I ended up pitching up tent just as the forrest ended. Surely the trees would provide more shelter from the wind forecasted.

View looking back on where I camped (somewhere on the left) first thing Sunday morning.
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Before I go on any walk I always read plenty of reports published on here. The vast majority are incredibly useful and often very well written. It got me thinking my reports are more a personal blog / moan about buses and rarely any use for anyone actually looking for any advice.

TAKE THE LEFT SPLIT.
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Eventually you will see this (weather not guaranteed).
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Then this.
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AND then you will see how far you still have to go!
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Provide guidance and advice for other walkers looking to complete Mount Keen - check!

In all seriousness (in clear weather) this munro is by far the most straightforward walk I have done so far - you can't go wrong!

Hats off to all the staff that work in the Glen Tanar estate, the path was incredible and look there is even signs!
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Anyway, it was still only about 6AM (I love light mornings) so here are a few of my photos from the walk up Mount Keen.

Hi-ho-hi-ho it's straight up we go...
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As much as I do love seeing other hill walkers, there is something quite peaceful and pleasing being the only one at the summit - especially when the weather is as nice as it was this Sunday!

Pretty jealous of these trig points - wonder if they ever get bored of the views?
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Unintentional shadow selfie with the trig point. I also think that was Lochnagar somewhere in the distance.
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BREAKING NEWS...
I am far from drawn to any religion BUT I do now have proof that karma does exist (I am assuming karma is religion based??)

From my trip coming down from The Cobbler the weekend previously (I know I am about to sound like an old man), I was genuinely quite shocked at how much rubbish people just decided they would leave scattered down the hill.

If you are fit enough to carry up a 12 packet of M&S Teacakes (other brands are available), AND then fat enough to eat all 12, AND then lazy enough not to carry them down with you, you should maybe reevaluate your priorities.

Normally I would class this as someone else's problem, but this time I opted to pick up someone else rubbish (including a snapped walking pole - you can't even pretend that fell out your bag) and carry it down myself.

My reward (& proof that Karma is real), whoever dropped their unopened Medley bar at the top of Mount Keen I am eternally grateful!
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Full of McVitie's goodness I began my long walk back to Aboyne, this time I decided to take the short cut and enjoy a game of 'dodge the Range Rovers' along the South Deeside road. Here are a few snaps from the walk back.
Looking back down along the path.
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That-a-way to Aboyne!
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I wonder if Tesco deliver?
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Private Boat House just opposite Knockie Bridge - this bridge was where I say my first people of Sunday at around 11AM.
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I'm not an animal expert but isn't the intent to hide from predators?
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Old home sweet home.
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I learnt many trick and skills working here part-time for a long time... Did you know it IS possible to deep fry an ice cube. The Boat Inn.
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Devastated not to see any games of cuppy going on at 2PM on a Sunday! "Back in my day...." Only joking!
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Before I knew it I was sitting in the sweltering heat waiting for my 'favourite' 201 back to Aberdream :lol:.

It is far from the most challenging, most spectacular, most popular BUT it is the most easterly munro - surely that counts for something.

Also if anyone is looking for advice... take a bike, cycle to the new metal bridge, drop it off there and you'll save yourself hours! I am sure it would also be a lovely easy cycle back to the Glen Tanar car park!

Over and Out,
Andy.

Re: Mount Keen for Another Munro

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:10 am
by larry groo
Good report and pics there Andy, really enjoyed it!

It's a long drag from the car park to the base... nice enough though.

:clap: :clap: :clap:

Re: Mount Keen for Another Munro

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 11:33 am
by dav2930
Looked like a nice day for it. It's a lovely approach up Glen Tanar - a bike does help though! :wink:

Re karma - it's a Buddhist concept so strictly it's not religion based, since Buddhism is a philosophy of life rather than a religion (it doesn't involve any supernatural deity).

Re: Mount Keen for Another Munro

PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:24 pm
by andygunn23
larry groo wrote:Good report and pics there Andy, really enjoyed it!

It's a long drag from the car park to the base... nice enough though.

:clap: :clap: :clap:


Thanks - appreciated! Really enjoying writing these reports so far - all out of walks to report. Will need to get back into the mountains ASAP.

It did feel never ending (maybe it's because it's easy going so your brain has more thinking time?!).

On the plus side I reckon it would make quite a nice easy run!

p.s. I have no idea if this is the proper way to reply to comments... hopefully it works!

Re: Mount Keen for Another Munro

PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:30 pm
by andygunn23
dav2930 wrote:Looked like a nice day for it. It's a lovely approach up Glen Tanar - a bike does help though! :wink:

Re karma - it's a Buddhist concept so strictly it's not religion based, since Buddhism is a philosophy of life rather than a religion (it doesn't involve any supernatural deity).


Will have to get a bike for next time, although I am tempted to do a through route from Glen Tanar to Glen Esk next time - hopefully steal a lift from there back home!

Walking up hills and finding out facts about Buddhism, who'd have thought?! Thanks! I should maybe have paid more attention in Religious and Moral Philosophical Education at school. Generally speaking quite an agreeable concept in principle!

Re: Mount Keen for Another Munro

PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:31 pm
by basscadet
That looked fun - so much good camping in Glen Tanar :D

Of course if you were going to get the bus, it is nicer to go over from Ballater, even with the extra ascent - the added bonus is that the pies are far better in the shops there :wink: