walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

First Steps in Glencoe

First Steps in Glencoe


Postby Rossco » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:32 pm

Route description: Bidean nam Bian

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

Date walked: 26/09/2011

Time taken: 8.48 hours

Distance: 14.2 km

Ascent: 1613m

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

I'm a wee bit behind in writing this, I had a backlog of reports building up and was dreading sitting down to do them as I'd probably forget everything that happened! :lol:

Anyway, I'd wanted to hit Glencoe ever since I started hillwalking in April 2011. I remember spending all summer looking over walk reports for so many hills in the area and trying to decide which ones to do and whether or not Aonach Eagach was within my grasp yet. Eventually decided that going up Bidean nam Bian and Stob Coire Sgreamhach with my dad would be the perfect introduction to the area.

We had started the walk about 10am I think, the times on my camera and phone I think were messed up for this walk so not sure 100% of how long it took and when we started/finished, etc. I was immediately mesmerised by the area anyway and wasted a lot of time at the car park and for the first hour or so just looking around me and taking photographs. As expected, the piper was there too playing for all the buses of tourists that came and went quick as you like.

Image
Two of The Three Sisters by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Image
Starting off up Coire nan Lochan by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Image
Stob Coire nan Lochan (1115m) by Rossco 7, on Flickr

I remember the path up until this point was well laid out with many rocks making easy steps to walk up which surprised me but it must attract a lot of tourists so they've made some effort to let them walk up part of the hill easily I guess. By this point we were starting to get better and better a view of the Aonach Eagach ridge behind us. When you see it from this close in real life instead of just pictures you really appreciate how amazing it looks. :D

Image
Slippery Surface by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Image
Good place to cool down! by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Image
Am Bodach (943m) by Rossco 7, on Flickr

After a couple of hours we reached the sort of plateau below Stob Coire nan Lochan which gave a great view of the hill and ridge in front of you. I kinda wanted to just run straight up the middle of it but it looked a wee bit too scree-y for that so had to follow the prescribed WalkHighlands route and veer way to the right to attack it from the North ridge. We stopped for lunch here and had a great view over Glencoe for the period as the cloud wisped about around us. And as expected when up this far north, we spotted a few fast jets out for a jaunt but couldn't get them on camera!

The rest of the ascent from here was pretty spectacular viewing. The huge drops and high pinnacles were amazing to look at. I was really taken aback by it all and wanted to just hang about the area and climb on them but alas I could not, we had actual Munros to climb and this wee hillock was just a stepping stone to that.

Image
Billy and Stob Coire nan Lochan (1115m) by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Image
Glencoe by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Image
Aonach Eagach by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Image
Stob Coire nan Lochan (1115m) by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Image
Looking down Coire nan Lochan by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Near the top of Stob Coire nan Lochan, the cloud shifted and we eventually got a view of the final ascent to Bidean nam Bian which looked brilliant. From this direction it looked pretty steep and treacherous! :shock: A quick stop on top for a photo and quickly moved on to attack Bidean nam Bian. We also got a view of the rest of the walk for the day including Stob Coire Sgreamhach and the route down the red stone at Bealach Dearg which was quite intimidating. Didn't look the easiest place to descend the hill from.

Image
Bidean nam Bian (1150m) by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Image
On top of Stob Coire nan Lochan (1115m) by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Image
Stob Coire Sgreamhach (1072m) by Rossco 7, on Flickr

The ascent to Bidean nam Bian ended up being pretty easy. Looked worse than it really was. Got to the top though and there were loads of people there all sitting around the cairn. This is a pet hate of mine now as I like to take photos at the top and not have them spoilt by some strangers sitting on the cairn. :( So we just moved on and headed straight for Stob Coire Sgreamhach. On the way we got a good view of the red ash slide we had to go down to get to the lost valley. Even up close it looked pretty bad!

Image
Lost Valley Buttress by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Image
Lost Valley by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Image
Stob Coire Sgreamhach (1072m) by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Image
No Going Back by Rossco 7, on Flickr

The rest of the walk up the ridge to the summit was pretty easy, there in no time, and not really that much to ascend either. Munro number two for the day done and just the long walk back to the car through the Lost Valley to deal with now. And what a never ending descent that was. It went on forever, but the closer down you got the better the view of the Lost Valley got. A huge flat section of land right in the middle of these two hills, it looks quite bizarre when you are standing at the bottom looking across it. And even better when at the other side looking back up where you came from.

Image
Stob Coire Sgreamhach (1072m) summit and Bidean nam Bian (1150m) by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Image
Lost Valley by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Image
Looking back up the Lost Valley by Rossco 7, on Flickr

We mucked about here for a while, my dad telling tales of previous excursions up here and I tried and failed to climb the big house sized rock. It was a bit wet n slippery so that’s my excuse! :lol: We walked further down past the valley and eventually reached a river that had to be crossed. Having never had to get my feet wet before out on the hills, I was determined to find a way across that didn't involve taking my boots off so hunted up and down the path for 10-15 minutes until I gave up and resorted to wet feet!

My dad went first and being so old and hardy, he just calmly walked through the water slow as ever. Amazing I thought, it must not be that cold after all. So I got my boots n socks off, tied them around my neck so I had my hands free in case I slipped and jumped in. :shock: INSTANTLY I thought my feet were gonna fall off. It was freezing. The old man had being doing it so slowly to make sure he didn't slip, not because it wasn't as cold as the bloody Arctic Ocean!! There was no going back now though, I was in, my feet were wet and it was getting dark so I just ran for it. Screw the chance of falling! I got across and threw my bag down and grabbed a top out of it to dry my feet. At this point I was honestly imagining a helicopter coming to get me and getting my feet amputated due to them being so cold. :lol: I realise now what I wimp I was being but at the time it was brutal.

Image
Big Rock by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Image
Get yer boots aff! by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Image
"IT'S FREEZING!" by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Image
"Aw crap!" by Rossco 7, on Flickr

From here, we got our boots back on and started back down the path. We wasted a bit of time at the Lost Valley and crossing the river so it was getting dark now. I had a small torch with me which helped but it was then I realised a proper head torch was necessary for this kind of situation. (Which I only just got last week, three months later!) Near the bottom of the path, there is a rope to help you descend as it's on quite large flat rocks that in the wet could be pretty dangerous. We got down here fine though, crossed the bridge and were back at the car eventually, in pitch black! As we walked back though, a car had pulled up having noticed our car was still there so late at night. I think they got a fright as we appeared from the night but it's good to know people would stop to check in such a situation.

Image
Getting a wee bit dark now by Rossco 7, on Flickr

Thankfully, we had the caravan over at Duror so didn't have a long drive home that night. It was a great day out though and some amazing hills to start me off in Glencoe. Can't wait to get back up there as it's a different world from the Loch Lomond/Crianlarich area I'm used to.


Bidean-nam-Bian(1).gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



Bidean nam Bian and Stob Coire Sgreamhach Profile.png


http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=1304429
User avatar
Rossco
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 183
Munros:129   Corbetts:12
Grahams:6   Donalds:4
Sub 2000:7   
Joined: Apr 18, 2011
Location: Stirling, Scotland

Re: First Steps in Glencoe

Postby rocket-ron » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:37 pm

Well done looks like you had a good day
rocket-ron
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 895
Munros:102   Corbetts:32
Grahams:9   
Sub 2000:7   
Joined: Jul 19, 2010
Location: Inverness

Re: First Steps in Glencoe

Postby mgmt! » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:41 pm

good report rosco, glencoe is such a wonderful area, once it gets hold of you, your hooked.
mgmt!
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 540
Joined: Oct 18, 2010

Re: First Steps in Glencoe

Postby dooterbang » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:43 pm

Brilliant 1st walk in Glencoe - the area certainly takes your breath away.

Glad you got weather and fantastic views.

Superb photos.

Im sure your well capable of doing the AE.
User avatar
dooterbang
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1828
Munros:256   Corbetts:58
Grahams:18   Donalds:10
Sub 2000:10   Hewitts:18
Wainwrights:21   Islands:19
Joined: Oct 27, 2009
Location: Isle of Skye from Feb 2019 (Originally Glasgow)

Re: First Steps in Glencoe

Postby Rossco » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:57 pm

Cheers. :D Yeah, I deffo have to get AE done this year when the weather is better!
User avatar
Rossco
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 183
Munros:129   Corbetts:12
Grahams:6   Donalds:4
Sub 2000:7   
Joined: Apr 18, 2011
Location: Stirling, Scotland

Re: First Steps in Glencoe

Postby rockhopper » Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:36 am

Fully agree - did this walk back in November and really enjoyed it. Great views out to Loch Etive and Loch Creran as well. Fortunately was able to cross the Allt without much trouble so the water levels must've been down then. cheers :D
User avatar
rockhopper
 
Posts: 6487
Munros:282   Corbetts:207
Grahams:63   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   Islands:19
Joined: Jun 1, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: bjoechn, DizzyVizion, FerryGraham, Jimorrz, Myles_kelly, natubat, oneilljon1984, urpaldan, WEIR and 72 guests