Date: 23rd April 2006
Distance: 7.1 miles
Ascent: 2109 feet
Time: 3 hours 50 mins
With: Lisa, Val and Dave
Start Grid Ref: NO419831
A straightforward there and back route on to the top of Mount Keen, the easternmost Munro in Scotland.
Route Summary: Glenmark Lodge - Ladder Burn - Mounth Road - Mount Keen - Mounth Road - Couternach - Ladder Burn - Water of Mark - Glenmark Lodge.
1. Val and Dave carefully crossing Easter Burn
2. Craig Breostock and Hard Hill
3. Looking back down to Glen Mark Lodge
4. The path climbing up alongside Ladder Burn
5. Mount Keen and the head of Ladder Burn
6. The path as it leaves the Mounth Road to climb Mount Keen
7. Lochnagar from the top of Mount Keen
8. Val and Dave on the final climb up on to Mount Keen
9. Lisa on the top of Mount Keen
10. The view towards Mayar and Driesh
11. Looking down into Glen Mark from Couternach
12. Leaving the top of Couternach with Mount Keen in the background
14. The Water of Mark and the cliffs of Cuys
Walk Detail: One of the attractions of staying in isolated Glenmark Lodge was that the Mounth Road passed straight past the cottage and up almost on to the top of Mount Keen.
As we climbed The Ladder we got our first views of Mount Keen and its neighbour Braid Cairn as well as back to Glen Mark. Not long after we saw our first mountain hare of the holiday. The most impressive sight on the way up though had to be the very impressive profile of Lochnagar several miles to the west.
However else people may describe Mount Keen it is still the most easterly Munro and is quite detached from the rest so the view from the summit is extremely impressive. The summit itself was an unexpected build up of rock surmounted by the OS column. Some of the rocks had been formed into a number of shelters which protected us nicely from the stiff westerly breeze.
After enjoying some of Lisa’s flapjack we headed back the same way making a quick detour on my request to the top of the spur of Couternach. I’m glad I suggested it because we got brilliant views of Glen Mark in all directions. Finally Lisa and I went on a small expedition further along the valley towards Craig of Doune but we were were unable to cross Water of Mark in order to visit the lochans. That was the only disappointment on what had been a good walk, blessed with excellent views. I doubt that Munro bagging gets much easier than this.