2 Munros bagged last weekend and I was hooked. I didn't have a lot of time this weekend but I still wanted to camp so I decided to go for a short sharp trip up Mount Keen from Glen Esk.
I headed straight up the road after work on Friday night with Molly the Labragoose and we were aiming to make the summit before sunset assuming there would be an obvious camping spot at some point for the way back down.
We started from the car park around 19:30 and while I was keen to chase the sun up the mountain, I couldn't resist stopping to take pictures of the sun and the shadows through the glen.
Didn't take too much flat walking before we made it to Queens Well, the arched monument looking much more prominent in the landscape than I thought it would. The water looking much less drinkable than I had hoped.
Molly was constantly drawn to the River Mark flowing next to us but I wasn't delighted with the thought of sharing a tent with a wet dog. She got her wish in the end when we had to cross the Ladder Burn and she got duly soaked. Thankfully she is far more interested in water of any form than sheep so there was no danger of harassing the local population.
The views back down the glen once we started to climb were incredible and I gave in to a few more pictures despite time pushing on
After the short zig zag climb up it was all open hill and still looked a long way to the top. I was keeping my eyes open for any sheltered flat section I could pitch a tent on my way back down. The best part about chasing the sun here was that I could see the shadow of Mount Keen running back where I had just climbed from.
Eventually, the rocky section started and I was sure I'd made it to the top with plenty of time to spare....before I realised it was a false summit and I still had a way to go! Head down and just keep climbing up. The sunset on the other side was well worth the late climb up although the wind almost blew me back down.
Unfortunately it was too rocky for me to trust Molly not to break her leg scampering around so she had to sit the last part out.
A semi jog down the track and after a km or so we found a sheltered hollow, flat and wide enough for the tent and threw it up quickly so I could get the chicken curry on. There was barely any wind to bother us and we settled in to enjoy the quiet with a large hipflask.
Molly decided we were getting up at 6am so we packed up and were free of midges at this height. It didn't take long to get back down the track, passing hordes of hikers heading up which made me very glad we beat the crowds the night before and were back to the car park by 8:30 and off for a takeaway breakfast!
Molly obviously enjoyed her breakfast before she would go anywhere...
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