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Wham, Bam, thank you Bian!

PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2021 11:43 am
by Craig 7483
My brilliant but unpunctual hillwalking companion for this day had me flirting with the wrong side of the speed limit as we headed northbound on the clag-ridden A82 for the Three Sisters carpark.

Poor timekeeping got us there for a later than planned 0900hrs and thankfully, just managed to secure a space as it swelled to its capacity.

By now, the Three Sisters were beaming in view as conditions began to subside.
Gearr Aonach
The route was planned and we set off on the path that leads high into the corrie of Gearr Aonach and Aonach Dubh. The path was in great condition and the views of the nearby waterfalls and behind to the famous Aonach Eagach ridge were nothing short of spectacular.
Coire nan Lochan
There was one part that required a bit of care in the early stages as a large slab pointed like a chute into the waterfall below but with time and care you can position and manoeuvre away from the drop.

Having researched the route, the plan was to head over and take in the pinnacle and south buttress rather than the direct approach to Stob Coire nan Lochan.
Stob Coire nan Lochan
Path comes and goes here but just headed for the obvious ridgeline ahead to the right.
On the ridgeline
A boulderfield then had to be negotiated; path visible at times but keeping higher up when not obvious made life easier as we closed in on the summit.

By the time we summited Stob Coire nan Lochan we were treated to the remnants of a cloud inversion towards the east and felt very atmospheric.
Looking ahead to Bidean nam Bian
The ascent of Bidean nam Bian itself was a case of its bark being worse than its bite. It looked difficult but was enjoyable and no real difficulties were present in current summer conditions.

After bimbling along for almost three and a half hours from we left the car with plenty water breaks - no records were going to get broken today - we were on the summit of Bidean nam Bian.
Stob Coire nan Lochan from Bidean nam Bian
Stob Coire Sgreamhach in the distance
It took under an hour to Stob Coire Sgreamhach where a decent break was had. My eyes were continually drawn to the lost valley below, I was fascinated in particular where the stream just appeared to stop.
The lost valley
Stob Coire Sgreamhach
We then retraced our steps to the cairn marking the way of the conventional descent into the lost valley. It was very steep from here and required use of the backside at times alongside a foot to anchor to prevent slipping/sliding.
Descent into the lost valley
It was a long walk back and we took our time admiring the surroundings. The path then appears on the right after not long when Allt Coire Gabhail appears to terminate when it actually goes under the valley floor.
Looking back to the lost valley and the descent
We then had a water crossing then eventually a bridge to cross which prior to that had cables fixed onto the wall, I would advise using them as the rocks were slippy to walk on at this point. A flight of steps then taken us up to the path that taken us to to car park which by now was at the point of overload. It was only possible for one car to either enter or exit at a time as you were sandwiched between abandoned cars blocking the entrance!

A thoroughly enjoyable day although was relieved to get to Tyndrum to stop off for some chilled supplies after a long day in the hills.

Re: Wham, Bam, thank you Bian!

PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2021 9:50 pm
by Iain R
Great report and pics! Very inspiring, Stob Coire Sgreamhach is on my list of things to do; had many a trip up the Bidean, but always just done the zigzag route up Gearr Aonch, onto SCnL then BNB and back down the lost valley, without ever heading across onto SCS. High time I changed that.

Re: Wham, Bam, thank you Bian!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2021 10:24 am
by Craig 7483
Thanks, Iain.
I would defo consider the Gearr Aonach approach should I do that again.
I think from the cairn marking the descent into the lost valley it only took around just under half an hour os so to the summit of SCS. Was a good day out.