Hi Folks, how’s your week going? Me, well I’m so glad that my expectations for how this trip would turn out were far exceeded, and I can bring you this post, which will allow me some extra time, to photogrpah some recipes that I’ve got coming next week! Mount Keen had been on the cards for some time and we were just waiting for a good weather forecast. Fortunately that happened last weekend and we were able to take full advantage as you can see below!
Mount Keen is one of the easiest Munros in Scotland, and this trip was an excellent opportunity for Liam to do his 3rd Munro and Lynne her second. For myself it was an opportunity to actually hope to see something, as my previous climb of this mountain had been an extremely wet and cold one.
And so, after having a brief stop to pick up some fresh coffees, we headed off from Dundee at 7am on the Saturday with the sun shining, with high hopes of a great day out for all. 🙂
We arrived at the car park at Invermark at 8.30am which was already beginning to fill up. It was funny that I’d moaned at Liam in a previous hillwalking post that I didn’t get any of his scotch egg, and that time I’d brought a batch of my banana blueberry breakfast muffins for him to try. So this time Liam had muffins with him, ha ha, so we had a tasty treat start to the day, which we were soon to burn off.
The view above is looking back, just after leaving the car park and passing through some woodland to begin a 2 mile trek through Glen Esk before we start our climb. All the rocks to the right are strewn about where there would have been buildings or some kind of settlement here at some time in history past.
Walking North now into Glen Esk, these old rusting iron gates probably date back to the 1800’s when Victorian Estate Landlords were very specific about what parts of land belonged to them. It’s different now, as the majority of Scotland has a countryside code allowing free access for all walkers as long as they are responsible and leave no traces of their passing.
Lynne and Liam pose here in the stunning early morning sunlight on the relatively easy flat part of the walk. Yes, Lynne was the only sensible one to bring her sunglasses, which Liam and I regretted!
Before the main hawl, we arrive here at Queens Well, which was errected to commemorate a visit by Queen Victoria in 1861. The well still flows, albeit the water is a little stagnant looking!
Glen Esk rounds the corner to the left in the distance. Here, we leave the glen floor, now following landrover tracks probably built to carry victorian gentleman on shooting expeditions during the stag shooting season.
The track begins to wind upwards in the distance through the gaps in the hills, making its way slowly to the plateau, before the steeper climb to the top of Mount Keen.
Looking back down to the floor of Glen Esk, you can see we’ve covered a fair distance. The building you can see is Glenmark Cottage which is available for hire for holidays. Perfect if you’re looking for no modern conveniences. Like electricity!
I know that I’ve been really fortunate to post some good weather photographs of our hill walking times in Scotland, so far. But honestly, the last time I did this one I couldn’t see further than that large grey boulder coming up on the left!
Looking back again you can see little dots on the track where as it’s beginning to get busier behind us and other people also have the same idea to make use of such a stunning day.
Here, we’re reached the plateau and the track to the summit is now clearly visible. Many of the original hill tracks in Scotland have become so worn that they have had to be repaired, especially the easier more popular climbs, like here. This new, well made track, prevents people walking in the heather. Thus preventing the track becoming any wider and scaring the mountain further. The track is built in such a way that it drains adequately in wet weather, so people don’t have to walk on the heather to avoid the puddles.
Here I am, finally at the top! And in not bad timing at all, we actually summitted at 11.30. So 3 hours to do the 5 miles was pretty good going! And for this time of year, it was surprisingly warm, about 9 degrees C so there’s actually a slight heat haze showing in these photographs. The large rocky mountains to the right in this photograph above are of another Munro, Lochnagar. That one is situated very near to the Queen’s Highland Estate of Balmoral.
Over to the left in the far distance in this photograph are the 2 Munro’s of Dreish and Mayer that Liam and I did recently. Still with a covering of snow, like when we climbed them!
And so, it’s time for lunch as Lynne and Liam catch up here. I have to say it’s not often you get a chance to sit at the top and actually enjoy your lunch, and a sit about, for as long as we did without getting cold! It really was the most perfect of days. 🙂
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed these pictures. Click here to see our other hill walking pictures. And stay tuned for more, later in the year, as we are hoping to plan a camping and walking trip up Scotland’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis.
And of course today, as its Thursday. It’s time for the blogging link up with Amanda at Running with Spoons be sure to check out what’s going on over there!
See you next week! 😀