Monday, 26 July 2010
Inasmuch as I got up a hill last Saturday, but failed miserably to see Bon Scott's statue in Kirriemuir. Admittedly that was because there is, in fact, no Bon Scott statue in Kirriemuir, but it was still a wee bit of a let down. There's a plaque...but I couldny be ersed seeking that out, reeling from disappointment as I was. The lesson learned, of course, is that it's not enough to google things if you then fail to read the search results carefully. Or, apparently, at all.
Still, Mount Keen was nice! It was my third trip there. The first time was windy. Actually "windy" doesn't do it justice. We got to the top, but it's about the only time I can remember being unable to stand up because of the ferocity of the wind. The second trip was snowy. See?
Saturday was fine though.
The hill gets a bad press among the Munro, ahem, cognoscenti, but it's a nice walk through a rather fetching glen, and there's decent views all the way. Ideal as a gentle reintroduction to hillwalking after a two month layoff, and it only took us about four and a half hours, so we even had time for a pint in the pub in Edzell on the way down.
One remarkable thing however. In a stretch of very quiet rural road no more than 10 miles long, between the car park at Auchronie and the Edzell turnoff, there were just under 100 deid critters on the tarmac. Mostly rabbits, but a wheen of squirrels, and at least one sizeable rat. I've never seen roadkill like it. I wonder if it was maybe connected to the rabbity disease thing that we discovered after the last trip? If they're too ill to run away from dugs, they're hardly going to be able to outpace cars. Slightly unsettling, whatever the cause.
Matters more wholesome - photies:
It's a road, more than a path, up Glen Esk. Still doesn't explain why Gordy looks so angry though. :0)
Soon however, the rounded hill called Couternach at the head of the glen becomes recognisable, and the sight of it seems to have cooled him doon. ;)
(Extra points if you spotted Jorja there, trying to see if there's anything worth chasing.)
It's just after this bit that you get to see the Queen's Well.
Which has been drunk from not only by Queen Victoria and her Prince consort...
...but by at least two Lanarkshire dugs:
You pass the house, "Glenmark" according to the map, and then the path starts to ascend for the first time, skirting to the right of Couternach. A slowly collapsing chicken wire and scaffolding pole bridge wasn't the Wee Black Dug's favourite part of the day but as it was only 6" above the burn there was no actual danger involved. And it was beauteous enough to warrant a photie of its own. ;)
Heading up, things got purpler.
Nice views looking back down the glen:
And once you've followed the zigzag in the path the vista opened up quite the thing. The summit of Mount Keen hoves into view:
While Lochnagar lurks in the distance over to your left:
Jorja even found some stairs.
I reckon the chap who arrived at the summit on his bike had missed them out though. Aye, on his bike. He was distracting Jorja and ruining my attempts to get a photie of her at the top. She was too busy looking over, clearly thinking he was the type of fit, hardy soul whose panniers would be stuffed with high energy biscuits.
I got one of her face eventually.
The summit having been achieved in jig time really it was a relaxed wander back down the path. Remember to look out for the "B" if you're ever in this neck of the woods.
B for baffled, in our case.
This is a good, easy, dog friendly walk. A few sheep near the start, but once you're a wee bit up the glen it's made for dogs. And fat guys who haven't been out walking for a while. Recommended. Here - the sun even shone just before we got back to the cars!