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Mount Keen. Hopefully the first of many.....

Mount Keen. Hopefully the first of many.....


Postby neilfowlie » Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:14 am

Route description: Mount Keen from Glen Esk

Munros included on this walk: Mount Keen

Date walked: 25/09/2010

Time taken: 6.5 hours

Distance: 10.75 km

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After the Lairig Ghru I needed a new challenge. I had just taking up walking at the start of the year for doing the Lairig Ghru but with that in the past now and being firmly hooked on seeing the great outdoors my next goal was to bag my first munro before the year was out. After looking at several reports and walks I decided that Mount Keen would be my first. Being the closest of all munros might have been a factor in this decision.
There are two ways we could have attacked this munro. The first being from Glen Tanar and the second starting from Glen Esk. Andrea and I decided that Glen Esk would be better suited for us as it is a slightly longer walk from Glen Tanar although walking through the forest at the start would have been nice.

our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


As we parked up it was coming on 9.45am and so we were off by 10am.
I had seen in one report this sign stating which way Mount Keen was which I thought was brilliant so I had to stop for a quick photo.
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I wonder if there is a Tuck Shop on the way????

We picked up the path that would lead us up Glen Mark towards Mount Keen and after walking past the House of Mark the view of the glen soon comes into light.
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Looking NW up Glen Mark

The weather was ok. A bit cold and cloudy but with any luck hopefully no rain. After a kilometre or so the Queens Well could been seen in the distance as well as Couternach with the steep looking path to the right.
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Couternach in centre with visable path scar

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Queen's Well just in sight

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Zoomed in, Queen's Well

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Queen's Well

I was quite surprised how many people seemed to have the same idea as us. A popular climb this must be. The almost flat path all the way to the well was a great warm up for us before the start of the ascent.
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A furry friend

After a couple of ford crossings over Easter Burn and Ladder Burn the path starts to climb and the view looking back down Glen Mark behind you is wonderful.
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Looking SE dowm Glen Mark

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Ladder Burn

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A random cairn

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Still a bit to go.

We soon came to a fork in the path. Keeping to the left would by-pass the top so we followed the path to the right which would take us to the summit. By this time it came down a thin drizzle that lasted about 15 minutes. Looking back, you could see the "wave" of rain sweeping down the glen which made for a splendid viewing.
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There goes the rain

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By now the top could almost be seen and with less than two kilometers to go we were almost there. The only thing that bothered me now was that the view would be obstructed with cloud cover which would be a shame as I love just standing at the top of a hill and take in the scenery for 5 or 10 minutes.
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Covered in cloud

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Although the views in front of us didn't look great, looking back down the way we came gave for some great viewing again.
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Glen Mark and Glen Esk

The closer we got to the top the cloud seemed to thin out with views opening up all round us which put a smile on my face. The top of Mount Keen was near with the trig point in sight.
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The top, trig point in sight

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Mount Keen, hopefully the 1st of many

It was time for lunch. There is a wind shelter just beside the trig point which was much needed as the wind by now was strong and very bitter. The views from Mount Keen are really good. With Morven to the north, Lochnagar and the White Mounth Munro's to the west and Mount Battock with Clachanben to the east. I tried to see if I could make out Mayar and Driesh as I'm sure you would be able too but cloud in the far distance hindered me. I could even make out Bennachie. Superb.
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Morven, 871mtrs

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Looking west towards Lochnagar and the White Mounth Munro's

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Lochnagar

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Clachnaben with it's distinctive tor

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Looking north, Water of Tanar and Glen Tanar

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Bennachie in the far distance

After taking several more photo's it was time to make a move and head back to the car. The sun by now was starting to shine and with a feeling of real achievement it had been a really good day out.
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Re: Mount Keen. Hopefully the first of many.....

Postby Alastair S » Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:01 am

Neil, well done on your first Munro. Haven't done Mount Keen from that side yet. From Glen Tanar may be longer but if you have a MTB its an nice & easy ride up the glen (& an fast & fun way ride back). Leave/lock you bike at the modern bridge near the Shiel of Glentanar & its just an hours walk from there.
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Re: Mount Keen. Hopefully the first of many.....

Postby Merry-walker » Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:13 am

Cracking report, loved that last picture :lol:

Keen's a fab hill, I hope to do the long version this year
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Re: Mount Keen. Hopefully the first of many.....

Postby monty » Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:06 am

Great first report neil. Lucky you getting good views from the summit. This is a nice one as an intro to the munros. Well done. :D
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Re: Mount Keen. Hopefully the first of many.....

Postby dooterbang » Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:59 am

Well done that man - and you figured out how to load photos first time :)

Only 282 to go :wink:
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Re: Mount Keen. Hopefully the first of many.....

Postby neilfowlie » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:00 pm

Thanks folks for your comments. It was a great day out. :D I would like to tackle it again but from the Glen Tanar side and have thought of taking my mountain bike along. I like the whole starting off on a forest path, beside a stream then it opening up behind you as you start your ascent. The best of all words sort of thing. I really fancy doing Mayar and Driesh soon as it looks to have this feel about it???
What Munro's would you recommend that I should do next???
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Re: Mount Keen. Hopefully the first of many.....

Postby Alastair S » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:15 pm

How about Lochnagar - my favourite Munro (so far) & has to be Aberdeenshire's finest. Will have lots of snow on it now so unless you have all the gear you will probably need to wait till April/May.
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Re: Mount Keen. Hopefully the first of many.....

Postby neilfowlie » Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:18 pm

Alastair, that is on my list of Munro's to do this year. Was up walking round Loch Muick last year and the scenery was just awesome so I can only imagine what it would be like up top. I would prob leave it til April/May as you have sugguested as I don't think I have the proper gear for that trip. I have thought about doing the White Mounth Munro's but not sure if my fitness would hold up. Is this something you have done yourself???
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Re: Mount Keen. Hopefully the first of many.....

Postby rockhopper » Sun Jan 16, 2011 6:38 pm

Nice first munro neil - now you've got the bug there'll be no holding you back :lol: Think I remember seeing your report on the lairig ghru which I'd noted for future reference - cheers :D
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Re: Mount Keen. Hopefully the first of many.....

Postby Graeme D » Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Well done Neil on getting up and running. You've got years of fun ahead of you! The last shot is classic! :D
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Re: Mount Keen. Hopefully the first of many.....

Postby neilfowlie » Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:23 pm

rockhopper wrote:Nice first munro neil - now you've got the bug there'll be no holding you back :lol: Think I remember seeing your report on the lairig ghru which I'd noted for future reference - cheers :D

I definitely have that bug so the Scottish hills is my oyster, so to speak :D. The Lairig Ghru is just awesome. That is one walk I'll be doing again through the summer.
Graeme Dewar wrote:Well done Neil on getting up and running. You've got years of fun ahead of you! The last shot is classic! :D

Thanks Graeme, I'm sure there will be a few more laughs on the way :thumbup: . We had such a good time and walking back down having a muck-about just added to the day :D .
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Re: Mount Keen. Hopefully the first of many.....

Postby stomper » Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:54 pm

Nope i havent done it either but all being well come march i should have bagged this by end of it by the looks of it the scenary looks great will be using a bike though
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Re: Mount Keen. Hopefully the first of many.....

Postby Alastair S » Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:09 pm

neilfowlie wrote:Alastair, that is on my list of Munro's to do this year. Was up walking round Loch Muick last year and the scenery was just awesome so I can only imagine what it would be like up top. I would prob leave it til April/May as you have sugguested as I don't think I have the proper gear for that trip. I have thought about doing the White Mounth Munro's but not sure if my fitness would hold up. Is this something you have done yourself???

I have done them all now but not all in a day. Its around 30km but there is not a huge amount of ascent between the peaks once you get onto the plateau. Best work your way up to such distances - I've now settled on a 30km limit for myself after knacking my knees for weeks with a 42km jaunt last year.
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Re: Mount Keen. Hopefully the first of many.....

Postby Merry-walker » Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:35 pm

Alastair S wrote:
neilfowlie wrote:Alastair, that is on my list of Munro's to do this year. Was up walking round Loch Muick last year and the scenery was just awesome so I can only imagine what it would be like up top. I would prob leave it til April/May as you have sugguested as I don't think I have the proper gear for that trip. I have thought about doing the White Mounth Munro's but not sure if my fitness would hold up. Is this something you have done yourself???

I have done them all now but not all in a day. Its around 30km but there is not a huge amount of ascent between the peaks once you get onto the plateau. Best work your way up to such distances - I've now settled on a 30km limit for myself after knacking my knees for weeks with a 42km jaunt last year.


What about doing it over 2 days, and having a wild camp? :)
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