walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Hillidays part 3: Just another east side story...

Hillidays part 3: Just another east side story...


Postby 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: 850m

2 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).

Some hills on the east side can be a logistical headache for Inverness-based hillwalkers. Mount Keen is one of such mountains. The shortest approach via Glen Esk is... on the wrong side of the hill :lol: meaning that getting to the starting point requires a 3-hrs drive each way :? Putting aside the financial aspect, I hate long journeys, occasionally I suffer from motion sickness. I'd rather walk a longer distance just to shorten the drive time. And in case of Mount Keen it meant walking to the hill from Glen Tanar.
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 :lol:

Track_MOUNT KEEN 26-08-13.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


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! :lol: :lol:
Once on the main Glen Tanar track, the navigation is easy...
Image
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 :D We took a few short breaks to photograph the river...
Image
On the stone bridge (which we didn't cross):
Image
Further along, there are some mini-falls:
Image

Image
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!
Image
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... :lol:
Image
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:
Image
Where is Mt Keen??? At the moment, still far away, at the opposite end of Glen Tanar...
Image
Heather in full bloom. The whole glen was scattered with flowering bushes, like purple carpets:
Image
Soon we reached the first bridge:
Image
Looking back north along the glen:
Image
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:
Image
Again, view back, the purple world of heath around:
Image
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...
Image
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 :lol: :lol:
Image
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 :D :D
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"
Image
The third bridge is new and it marks the end of easy, flat walking:
Image
The purple ocean:
Image
Looking back - Glen Tanar at its best:
Image
Miss Keen does not present a big technical challenge, there is a track/path all the way to the summit:
Image
The first 150m of climbing goes up a wide, though a bit tumbly track, with superb views back to Glen Tanar:
Image
Upper Glen Tanar and surrounding hills:
Image
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:
Image
We reached the summit only to discover that it was a very windy spot :lol: :lol: I had to hold my hat in place, so it didn't fly away...
Image
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 :D
Looking west from the summit:
Image
Lower hills across the glen:
Image
Towards Glen Esk:
Image
Glen Tanar from above:
Image
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.
Image
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 :D :D
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:
Image
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 :D

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! :D
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3174
Munros:260   Corbetts:163
Grahams:112   
Sub 2000:40   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: Hillidays part 3: Just another east side story...

Postby mrssanta » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:42 pm

I agree, Glen Tanar is lovely. it is beautiful in October as well, with the autumn colours. Although longer, a more interesting route than Glen Esk.
User avatar
mrssanta
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2963
Munros:240   Corbetts:10
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:44
Wainwrights:40   Islands:8
Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Location: north yorkshire moors

Re: Hillidays part 3: Just another east side story...

Postby Gordie12 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:37 pm

It's time I did Mount Keen from Glen Tanar as that's four times now from Glen Esk.

Looked like a really good day.
User avatar
Gordie12
Walker
 
Posts: 1771
Munros:112   Corbetts:62
Grahams:17   Donalds:21
Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:24
Wainwrights:24   
Joined: Sep 6, 2012
Location: Nr Forfar

Re: Hillidays part 3: Just another east side story...

Postby litljortindan » Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:22 am

Looks like you had a good day there. That's a very useful report I think. I can even imagine my ageing limbs managing their way along that route!
User avatar
litljortindan
Walker
 
Posts: 1720
Munros:111   Corbetts:55
Grahams:26   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:47   Hewitts:12
Wainwrights:10   
Joined: Dec 11, 2011

Re: Hillidays part 3: Just another east side story...

Postby BlackPanther » Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:04 am

Thanks a lot, folks :D
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 :D
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3174
Munros:260   Corbetts:163
Grahams:112   
Sub 2000:40   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: Hillidays part 3: Just another east side story...

Postby dogplodder » Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:36 am

Did Mount Keen a couple of times from Glen Esk side during our Dundee days but always thought this would be an enjoyable (if longer) approach. As always your photos are lovely. :D
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3445
Munros:226   Corbetts:52
Grahams:16   
Sub 2000:24   Hewitts:5
Wainwrights:9   Islands:21
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: Hillidays part 3: Just another east side story...

Postby Gavin99 » Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:25 pm

I was quite jealous looking at your photos , I was up the Glen Esk way last week and there is no comparison . Glen Tanar looks like a real treat 8)
User avatar
Gavin99
Walker
 
Posts: 1155
Munros:279   Corbetts:133
Grahams:75   Donalds:67
Sub 2000:25   Hewitts:14
Wainwrights:16   
Joined: Jul 26, 2011

2 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).



Walkhighlands community forum is now advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: BryShaz, gld73, martin.h, Sunset tripper and 16 guests