Hillidays part 3: Just another east side story...
by BlackPanther » Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:02 pm
Route description: Mount Keen by Glen Tanar
Munros included on this walk: Mount Keen
Date walked: 26/08/2013
Time taken: 7 hours
Distance: 27 km
Ascent: 850m2 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
What started as a logical choice (my inner mr Spock was happy with that!) ended as a superb trip, another addition to my East Side Story. Luckily nobody died/was injured during this adventure
Still 2hours 15min to drive, but we started early in the morning and arrived at the car park before the hottest part of the day. A wee confusion was caused by another car park (by Bridge of Tanar - this one pay& display) but we found the right one eventually. WH walk description was very helpful in finding way on the initial stage of the route - manoeuvring between houses and forest paths can be confusing!
Once on the main Glen Tanar track, the navigation is easy...
The track follows the river through the magnificent forest. It is a fair distance to walk before we could even see our target hill on the horizon, but walking was pleasant through the woods We took a few short breaks to photograph the river...
On the stone bridge (which we didn't cross):
Further along, there are some mini-falls:
The sun was shining through the forest and the temperature was rising quickly, just as well we took double amount of water and packed in sunscreen!
The Half Way hut is not really half way to the summit of Mount Keen, but one may cheat themselves, that 50% of the hard work was done...
We emerged from the forest eventually and only now we could appreciate the beauty of this glen, especially that conditions were great for walking, maybe a wee bit hot but the blue sky... See for yourselves:
Where is Mt Keen??? At the moment, still far away, at the opposite end of Glen Tanar...
Heather in full bloom. The whole glen was scattered with flowering bushes, like purple carpets:
Soon we reached the first bridge:
Looking back north along the glen:
This approach to Mt Keen may be long, but the walk-in is so lovely that we didn't even notice when another half an hour passed and we landed by the second stone bridge:
Again, view back, the purple world of heath around:
OK, time to record some views for the 2013 movie - at least this is a safe material to show my parents, no sharp mountain ridges, no scary scrambling...
Our target mountain!!! At last! The distant shape in the sun... still seemed a long distance away. But as I had experienced earlier, objects in Scottish mountains may appear further than they are
As we neared Mount Keen, I was convinced that this is another SHE-MOUNTAIN. Laugh at me if you want, but I always felt that some hills have a definite female character. They are graceful, with delicate lines, as if drawn with soft crayons. Glamaig on Skye is one of such hills, I refer to her as "Lady Glamour". Mount Keen gave me a similar feeling. Miss Keen entered the stage
One of my favourite songs was spot on as a background tune for this particular trip:
"Just another east side story
Everybody's got a tale to tell
and like a hundred guys before me
I fell under her spell"
The third bridge is new and it marks the end of easy, flat walking:
The purple ocean:
Looking back - Glen Tanar at its best:
Miss Keen does not present a big technical challenge, there is a track/path all the way to the summit:
The first 150m of climbing goes up a wide, though a bit tumbly track, with superb views back to Glen Tanar:
Upper Glen Tanar and surrounding hills:
Higher up the path narrows, but it is obvious all the way to the summit, as this photo, taken from just below the top, shows:
We reached the summit only to discover that it was a very windy spot I had to hold my hat in place, so it didn't fly away...
The isolated position of this mountain makes it a good viewpoint, but sadly the distant views were not visible due to haze... Such a shame. Still, I liked it
Looking west from the summit:
Lower hills across the glen:
Towards Glen Esk:
Glen Tanar from above:
Posing with the trig point - just to the right of me you can (just about) see the outline of Lochnagar. That's how hazy it was.
We sat on the summit for some time, talked for a while with other walkers who have just arrived from Esk side. Even though windy, the day was warm and we enjoyed our East Side adventure
The return walk was just as pleasant, the very same picturesque landscape, like a tape played backwards... We descended down to Glen Tanar and waved good bye to Miss Keen:
Soon the keen lady disappeared on the horizon behind us, and the lyrics of "East side story" seemed appropriate:
"I think about her sometimes
I wonder if she was real..."
The return walk went smoothly, without any obstacles. Just past Half Way Hut we spotted a small slow worm sunbathing on the track (photos in Wildlife section). We kept a good, fast pace and landed back at the car park after 7 hrs 10 min of rambling
Sadly, that was the last mountain we managed to climb during Hillidays. Later that week pipes in our bathroom went on strike and we had to concentrate on plumbing rather than hillwalking We only managed one good low level walk, but the three hill trips were good enough for me - sometimes you don't get even that much with the unpredictable Scottish weather!
Yesterday we were out again, two more Corbetts bagged - TR will follow. And Glen Tanar approach to Miss Keen - highly recommended. Meow!
by mrssanta » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:42 pm
by Gordie12 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:37 pm
Looked like a really good day.
by litljortindan » Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:22 am
by BlackPanther » Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:04 am
I intended this TR to encourage people to walk up this route... I haven't seen the Esk approach, but this one is superb. Many walkers are put off by the distance on the map, but it is faster than one would think, good going on the track. One could cycle all the way to the last bridge. We considered taking bikes, but decided to walk in the end. The day was so lovely that we never regretted being a bit slower
by dogplodder » Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:36 am
by Gavin99 » Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:25 pm