walkhighlands

Loch Lee, waterfalls, wild camping and Mount Keen

Route: Loch Lee and waterfalls circuit, Glen Esk

Date walked: 17/06/2021

Time taken: 20 hours

Distance: 34.3km

Ascent: 1118m

After careful planning and waiting for the right weather, my husband Charles and I were ready to take on our first wild camping since 2019 and bag our first Munro. We've set out on Thursday afternoon from Aberdeen and after about 90 minutes driving we arrived to Invermark church parking lot.

We started walking around 5pm and only met walkers and hikers coming back to their cars.

After passing a side route that would take us to Mount Keen the next day, we continued by Loch Lee and noticed how very quiet the whole area was.

We found Falls of Unich without any issues after a pleasant walk on a good path. After a few mandatory pictures and resisting the urge to take a swim there, we continued towards Falls of Damff. This part of the walk was a lot more challenging than either of us expected and walking on the almost invisible path, high above the river and with no phone reception, we regretted not having our Garmin InReach activated. Upon arriving to the Falls of Damff we didn't get a very good view of the falls but weren't willing to risk any off path exploring so we went on.

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We have arrived to a wooden bridge and weren't sure whether to cross there or keep walking and cross the river later on as all of our navigation apps showed the path as a dead end. We decided to cross the wobbly wooden bridge and after a few minutes of following the river further up, we found the perfect swimming spot with tiny waterfalls all around it. Charles got in the water and enjoyed some cool down after the previous ascent.

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As it was getting a bit late, we set off in a bit and really just guessed our way and followed the ViewRanger app to find the connecting path higher up. The sun was very slowly setting as we walked over the highest point of our walk. We decided to set up our tent with a view of Loch Lee. Carlochy was not visible from our spot, but was just on our left.

After a really good sleep on such a soft ground that we didn't actually end up using our inflatable matts we woke up around 5am to a stunning view of Loch Lee and the sunrise.

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We made our way back to the car to drop off our sleep set up and anything we would not need on a Munro.

Sometime between 8 am and 9 am we set out to tackle Mount Keen. Quite long and flat access path was a nice break from our morning descent. The path to Mount Keen is very clear and the only challenge was our fitness level. After about 100 stops to "enjoy the view" (aka catch a breath) we finally made it to the summit at 11:45am and had our celebratory Irn Bru. A few pictures later and lunch in the wind shelter we were on our way back to the car.

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We've really enjoyed the solitude of the evening waterfall hike as well as the morning Munro and will definitely plan our other trips for the "odd times" again.

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nelawolford



Munros: 7
Sub 2000: 1
Long Distance routes: West Highland Way   



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Statistics

2021

Trips: 1
Distance: 34.3 km
Ascent: 1118m


Joined: Dec 09, 2020
Last visited: Jul 24, 2021
Total posts: 1 | Search posts