I'd wondered how to tackle Mount Keen - away by itself many miles from home. Fortunately, a friend was flatsitting in Dundee and said we should swing by for a visit at the weekend - this would provide a staging post and the idea just grew from there.
We set off up the Glen Tanar route. The first few miles are a really pleasant forest walk and home to the biggest blaeberry bushes I've ever seen. The climb proper, which only starts at the head of the glen at a height of 400m (ish) is steep by contrast but the path is easy going - we followed it in the dark no bother. We reached the summit around 2300 and found a flatish spot just east of the summit to bivvy up. Tried to get a brew on - found that even my little pocket rocket was struggling with half a cup of water in the wind at that temperature (have ebayed a jetboil today, not going to bed with lukewarm tea again).
The wind flapping the basha all night and the aggravating coldness of the windchill made for a fitful sleep, might invest in a half decent tent before trying this again. The thermarest style mats however were amazing - I'd only slept out on a form roll mat before this and the difference is night and day.
The Mrs; cold but stoic
After the sun was up we decided it was time to go. The wind was still blowing so cooking breakfast up high seemed unwise if the cold tea of the night before was anything to go by. We got down off the plateau and over the footbridge thinking we'd get a bite there but were assailed by clouds of midges to rival any I've seen elsewhere (I subsequently counted 14 dead midges in the folds of my map case).
Looking back to Mount Keen
We pushed on the the half way hut, got a cup of (hot) tea and some warm food and had a wee snooze - the benches are just long enough to lie stretched out on. The generations of graffiti make for interesting reading if you're there for any length of time.
From there it was a short walk back through the forest to the road end.
Massive Blaeberry bushes
A nice way to break up a long walk if you ask me.
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