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Beinn Fhada and Bidean
by mike216 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:57 pm
Munros included on this walk: Bidean nam Bian, Stob Coire Sgreamhach
Date walked: 15/01/2012
Time taken: 9 hours
Distance: 11.3 km
Ascent: 1200m6 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
After enjoying a spectacular sunrise over Loch Lomond, I set off from the carpark just before The Study on the A82 just after 9am and headed off into the Lairig Eilde; a lot of folks on the Wee Bookil as usual but few heading this way. A steep, unrelenting slog up from direct under Beinn Fhada's 823m minor top, some gentle scrambling higher up, stopped for elevenses and watched a fell runner make his serene and peaceful progress up the glen far below.
A fine day dawning overhead – blue skies, little cloud or breeze, and it was wonderful to emerge on the ridge to fabulous views of the snow-clad Bidean massif.
Over the several, narrrowing, tops of Beinn Fhada, noting along the way the sections that had caused problems last year in low visibility, breezed past this time out. Crampons on early and made quick progress on lovely hard snow.
As the notch in the ridge approached, so did the anticipation of the ascent onto Stob Coire Sgreamhach, hitherto did we come a year before, but no further. This time with blue skies and perfect conditions underfoot, it was a breeze to find the route up, starting on the left (south-west) side a narrow ledge passes under the initial crags before doubling back and onto the crest of the ridge, from here it's steep and slabby with some sections requiring care but no serious difficulties, then a gentle climb to the summit of the munro.
Wonderful views on reaching the ridge, temperature inversions had been promised and some of the hills to the south-west did indeed have blankets of cloud forming below their summit, Ben Lui the best example.
Major cornicing at the top of the Bealach Dearg, not a wise plan ascending or descending this way in winter unless you're a serious climber – the snow slopes looked near-vertical.
The route had seen steady but gentle progress as the plan had been to be on the summit of Bidean for sunset – I was a bit early for that but it was getting a little cloudier so a spectacular sunset seemed less likely; not to worry, more time in the Clachaig before the bus home!
'Normal' descent route over Stob Coire nam Beith – a descent into Coire nam Beitheach can be made from either the col at the 907m minor top or 300yd further on at the 850m bealach. Either way is steep but the former has the advantage of dropping into a perfect, uniformly-sloping upper corrie which is ideal for a long, uninterrupted glissade, provided there is ample snow to cover the loose rocks.
Last hour or so of the descent made by torchlight, some tricky sections especially in the dark and if the rocks in the Allt Coire nam Beithach, which must be crossed several times, are iced over. Arrived at the Clachy in time for a couple of tasty ales. Another great day on one of the finest mountains in the land – the first one I've climbed four times and it certainly won't be the last time!
by Johnny Corbett » Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:24 am
by Bod » Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:47 pm
by kevsbald » Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:03 am
by rockhopper » Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:22 am
kevsbald wrote:Wonderful - bumping this. Pity it is overlooked for Frogwell's amazing report but this report itself is fabulous.
I'd fully agree with kev - not just for the great photos but it looks a fine route for these two hills - enjoyed reading it - cheers
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