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Hi and Dry on Bidean nam Bian

Hi and Dry on Bidean nam Bian


Postby Redrock » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:09 am

Route description: Bidean nam Bian

Munros included on this walk: Bidean nam Bian, Stob Coire Sgreamhach

Date walked: 07/11/2011

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 10.7 km

Ascent: 1407m

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Bidean nam Bian has always struck me as an imposing mountain whenever I have travelled through Glencoe. I had finally worked up the courage to climb it and at last a day showed up on the radar when I was free and there was a chance of good weather. I had hoped to find someone to join me, but being one of these people who works weekends but gets time off in the week, I sometimes find I have to walk alone! So it was up early and away from Cowdenbeath at 6am on the road north. I don't take well to these early rises :( but it's the only way to make the most of the daylight hours at this time of year (Whose idea was it to put the clocks back anyway! :? ). I probably should have started out earlier as I was soon driving in fog and progress was not as I'd hoped. But things got better as I crossed Rannoch Moor as the fog thinned and revealed glorious views of the Buachaille rising out of the fog into a clear blue sky. I was tempted to stop to take a picture - but I had a different mountain to climb and it wasn't going to wait for me. Finally I was parked and ready to start walking at 9am. There was a chill wind blowing down Glencoe as I set foot on the trail with the great massif of Bidean nam Bian rearing up in front of me.

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Towards Bidean nam Bian


The path up Coire nan Lochan rose steadily uphill gaining height in a satisfying way.

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Uphill into Coire nan Lochan


Soon Glencoe was falling far behind me.

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Looking back to Glencoe


Just below the waterfall I crossed the burn and headed west up a steep path which eventually took me to the west of the lochans.

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Crossing the burn


It was about this point that a minor - and unexplained - disaster struck. I went to drink from my Platypus tube and got nothing out of it. It had had 2 litres of water in the pack (lightly flavoured and salted) and I hadn't drunk all that much at that point so I assumed the tube or the pack had got kinked. But when I stopped to investigate the pack was empty! :shock: I certainly hadn't been aware of water running out - sure I was perspiring a bit - but I couldn't see me missing it. And my rucksack didn't feel all that wet! It was as if all my water had been beamed out! :o I have to assume it must have leaked out somehow - I hadn't drunk 2 litres of water in an hour and a half! Thankfully I had a spare 500ml bottle of water in my rucksack and a flask of coffee - they would have to do. I decided to keep as cool as possible to avoid sweating and drying out!

Getting over my disappearing water incident I started to appreciate the views that were opening up around me again.

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Towards the mists of Rannoch Moor


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The cliffs of Stob Coire nan Lochan


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Aonach Eagach with Ben Nevis behind


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Beinn a' Bheithir and Loch Leven


I found my way onto the north-west ridge of Stob Coire nan Lochan and made my way up amongst the rocks following the path when I could find it. Despite sun glasses and skip cap It was really hard to see my way ahead with the sun shining directly down the ridge! (I'm not complaining, by the way! 8) ). Every now and then there were views all the way down in to the corrie! :lol:

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The view down!


And then the final ascent of Stob Coire nan Lochan called me on! It's a bit of a scramble up there as far as I am concerned! :)

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Up Stob Coire nan Lochan


Just before the summit I met my first fellow walker of the day. He was on his way down having started up the Lost Valley route an hour before me. I hadn't even reached a Top yet! :( We chatted for a bit then it was time to move on. The top of Stob Coire an Lochan proved to be a marvellous place with great views all round. I spent a wee bit time here taking it all in. :D

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Rannoch Moor from Srob Coire nan Lochan


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Ben Nevis, the Mamores and Aonach Eagach


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Loch Leven and beyond


But I couldn't just stay there watching the view. There was more to come! heading of along the ridge and looking ahead the approach to the summit of Bidean, up the side of Diamond Buttress, looked intimidating indeed! :shock:

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The approach to Bidean nam Bian


But it proved to be a very straightforward climb up to the summit with the path starting on the right and then taking to the left up the steep part of the climb.

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The way up to the summit!


Soon I was at the summit of Bidean nam Bian and feeling like I was on top of the world!

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On the summit of Bidean nam Bian


It was time to enjoy all the sights around on an amazingly clear day!

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Sgor na h-Ulaidh and south west


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The beautiful Loch Etive


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The Buachailles with Rannoch Moor and Schiehallion in the background


But the way ahead lay down the ridge to the south-east. I had one more Munro to claim and the day was moving on!

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From Bidean nam Bian to Stob Coire Sgreamhach


This was a pleasant ridge walk - although quite rocky in places. Soon I could see the bealach ahead with the descent to the Lost Valley. A solitary figure stood at the top of the red gully.

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Bealach Dearg and Stob Coire Sgreamhach ahead


I reached the bealach and chatted for a while with the walker in red who had been resting there. He was heading for Bidean nam Bian whilst I was on route for Stob Coire Sgreamhach. It was now after 2pm and I had to make a decision - descend or carry on to the next summit. I reckoned that I had time to head on and get back down all the way to Glencoe before dark - just! So I headed off up the hill. I reached the summit cairn in about 20 minutes.

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The summit of Stob Coire Sgreamhach


After a brief sojourn at the summit I turned and headed back down the ridge taking in new views of Bidean and Bain and Stob Coire nan Lochan.

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Bidean and Bain and Stob Coire nan Lochan from Stob Coire Sgreamhach


Soon I was at the bealach and my descent route. I chose the goat track on the right rather than the red gully and in no time at all I was heading down into the Lost Valley. It's a long way down that valley and care was needed on the path high above the gully through which the Allt Coire Gabhail runs.

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The Lost Valley


The light was fading fast as I reached the flat part of the valley with the huge boulders guarding its entrance. I made my way up to the right and then followed the path all the way down to the River Coe and then back to the car by 5pm. I was glad to be back for it would soon be dark! And I was glad to quaff a bottle of Coke too by then. I had finished my little reserve bottle of water up in the Lost Valley and I was beginning to get a bit obsessed with the thought of drinking that Coke. It's not good to get dehydrated!

I had thoroughly enjoyed my day on Bidean nam Bian - made all the better by the amazing weather. There had been a gentle breeze on the summits - but just enough to keep you cool. The sun had shone all day and the visibility had been tremendous! The only thing that would have made it better would have been company. I'm quite comfortable as a solitary walker but sharing these adventures adds to the enjoyment - and chatting away takes your mind of the work of walking too! But no complaints - it was a great walk on a formidable mountain!
Last edited by Redrock on Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:04 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Redrock
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Re: Hi and Dry on Bidean nam Bian

Postby rockhopper » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:19 am

This all looks very familiar, Redrock. :lol: It certainly is a lovely walk and looks like you got even better weather than me the day before ! cheers :D
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Re: Hi and Dry on Bidean nam Bian

Postby tomyboy73 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:21 am

nice report redrock, looked like you had a great day :) it s been my favourite hill day out so far up there
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Re: Hi and Dry on Bidean nam Bian

Postby Bod » Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:38 am

A great mountain walk....great effort Redrock.......one of my favourites and hope to go up and visit SCNL on a fine winter day. It must be simply stunning .......:):):)
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Re: Hi and Dry on Bidean nam Bian

Postby Redrock » Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:48 am

rockhopper wrote:This all looks very familiar, Redrock. :lol: It certainly is a lovely walk and looks like you got even better weather than me the day before ! cheers :D


I'm sure I saw a Rockhopper's footprints on the way round! :lol: I liked the swirling clouds in your pics! :D
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Re: Hi and Dry on Bidean nam Bian

Postby Redrock » Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:49 am

tomyboy73 wrote:nice report redrock, looked like you had a great day :) it s been my favourite hill day out so far up there


Could be one of my favourites too, tomyboy. :D
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Re: Hi and Dry on Bidean nam Bian

Postby Redrock » Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:51 am

Bod wrote:A great mountain walk....great effort Redrock.......one of my favourites and hope to go up and visit SCNL on a fine winter day. It must be simply stunning .......:):):)


Thanks Bod, you'll need the crampons on on the ridge! 8)
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Re: Hi and Dry on Bidean nam Bian

Postby Caberfeidh » Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:31 am

Redrock wrote: I was glad to quaff a bottle of Coke too by then. I had finished my little reserve bottle of water up in the Lost Valley and I was beginning to get a bit obsessed with the thought of drinking that Coke. It's not good to get dehydrated!


Is the water in the burns so toxic? :?
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Re: Hi and Dry on Bidean nam Bian

Postby Johnny Corbett » Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:54 am

Caberfeidh wrote:
Redrock wrote: I was glad to quaff a bottle of Coke too by then. I had finished my little reserve bottle of water up in the Lost Valley and I was beginning to get a bit obsessed with the thought of drinking that Coke. It's not good to get dehydrated!


Is the water in the burns so toxic? :?


Lost valley water is the freshest ive tasted :D

I've only managed Bidean out of these two when i went up a year past May, couldn't get over the ridge due to snow and no crampons. Great the report of a brilliant walk
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Re: Hi and Dry on Bidean nam Bian

Postby Redrock » Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:13 pm

Johnny Corbett wrote:
Caberfeidh wrote:
Redrock wrote: I was glad to quaff a bottle of Coke too by then. I had finished my little reserve bottle of water up in the Lost Valley and I was beginning to get a bit obsessed with the thought of drinking that Coke. It's not good to get dehydrated!


Is the water in the burns so toxic? :?


Lost valley water is the freshest ive tasted :D

I've only managed Bidean out of these two when i went up a year past May, couldn't get over the ridge due to snow and no crampons. Great the report of a brilliant walk


Call me a wimp :( - but I only drink from clear springs, Caberfeidh, and I wasn't that bad that I needed to go and find one. The water in the burns did look nice and fresh though - but I still had some water left at that point!

I imagine it could be difficult on Bidean in snow with no crampons, Johnny. I've still got unfinished business on the Buachaille due to snow and ice this time last year! I'll be back! :lol:
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Re: Hi and Dry on Bidean nam Bian

Postby pollyh33 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 4:07 pm

Fantastic stuff Redrock!

Your photographs are brilliant and I must admit that I always examine them for evidence of paths and notable landmarks!!! :D Very very helpful report. :D Looking forward to getting up there next year!
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Re: Hi and Dry on Bidean nam Bian

Postby Redrock » Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:43 pm

pollyh33 wrote: Your photographs are brilliant and I must admit that I always examine them for evidence of paths and notable landmarks!!! :D Very very helpful report. :D Looking forward to getting up there next year!


Thanks pollyh. :D There's good paths most of the way. There's a bit of route finding from Coire nan Lochan to the ridge and then again to get out of the Lost Valley, where the path climbs up to the right as you approach the BIG boulders before descending. It's an amazing place - I thoroughly enjoyed the visit! 8)
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