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Bidean nam Bian

Bidean nam Bian

Postby gman » Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:08 pm

Route description: Bidean nam Bian

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

Date walked: 24/02/2012

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 11 km

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Drove past loads of hills on the way & most of the snow had gone, brought crampons & axe so here's hoping. Loads of room in car park but just after I arrived a few cars & minibus pulled up, they were all in the same group.

Path leads down to wooden bridge then up left hand side of burn. Further up there's the box canyon, then a plateau with Stob Coire na nLochan covered in snow(!) behind:
Bidean Nam Bian_24Feb2012_0007.jpg

Path further up, there's a bit of scrambling to keep you interested. And with all the melting snow & rain the sound of gushing water is pretty loud. Cross the stream to the right before the big rock.
Bidean Nam Bian_24Feb2012_0020.jpg

Closer to big rock:
Bidean Nam Bian_24Feb2012_0024.jpg

Group of Geordies on the path across the stream, today was the most wintery day they'd had all week. At this height the earlier rain had turned to snow:
Bidean Nam Bian_24Feb2012_0028.jpg

Approaching the plateau with some wintery hills behind:
Bidean Nam Bian_24Feb2012_0030.jpg

WH route suggests heading right for a low part of the ridge, plenty of climbers were taking the direct route instead. Looked pretty steep so I went right :D
Bidean Nam Bian_24Feb2012_0031.jpg

Here's the easy bit I made for, as you can see weather was changeable today. Snow was icy here & parts looked as though there had been avalanches.
Bidean Nam Bian_24Feb2012_0040.jpg

Looking down to the flat bit with the today's ridge in background:
Bidean Nam Bian_24Feb2012_0044.jpg

Got steep towards to top so nae photies. No clear path, was very rocky going towards summit. View of Glencoe:
Bidean Nam Bian_24Feb2012_0050.jpg

Climber nearing the top of gully. What's the etiquette here, ask if they need a hand or pelt them with snowballs? Wasn't going to make a faux pas so proceeded in silence.
Bidean Nam Bian_24Feb2012_0056.jpg

Rocky road to the top:
Bidean Nam Bian_24Feb2012_0057.jpg

Stob Coire nan Lochan cairn, blowing a gale at this point and visibility deteriorating:
Bidean Nam Bian_24Feb2012_0063.jpg

Next bit, over to Bidean nam Bian. Wind blowing snow felt like needles in face. Couple ahead decided to traverse from bealach rather than head to summit but thought I'd give it a go.
Bidean Nam Bian_24Feb2012_0069.jpg

More of today's ridge:
Bidean Nam Bian_24Feb2012_0071.jpg

Was very blowy so I went right and climbed up rocks instead of being blown about on snow. First 'interesting' decision of the day, it soon got v. steep and snow was icy & hard to kick steps. Here's where I came up, wasn't getting near edge again! :D
Bidean Nam Bian_24Feb2012_0072.jpg

Onwards, still getting blown about:
Bidean Nam Bian_24Feb2012_0073.jpg

Beinn Fhada with Buachailles behind:
Bidean Nam Bian_24Feb2012_0075.jpg

Near whiteout at cairn so camera didn't come out, soon cleared up though:
Bidean Nam Bian_24Feb2012_0077.jpg

Towards Stob Coire Sgreamhach, snow cornices building up:
Bidean Nam Bian_24Feb2012_0086.jpg

Here's the point of descent according to WH route. Very steep snow over the edge of cornice so care needed. Thought about walking down Beinn Fhada instead but looked pretty craggy on map:
Bidean Nam Bian_24Feb2012_0090.jpg

Second Munro of day with Aonach Eagach behind:
Bidean Nam Bian_24Feb2012_0099.jpg

Ridge up to here:
Bidean Nam Bian_24Feb2012_0107.jpg

Back to bealach & over cornice, was improvising reverse front pointing crampon technique, but got knackered so slid down on bum instead.
Bidean Nam Bian_24Feb2012_0119.jpg

Looking down to Lost Valley, path is pretty high up on left of burn.
Bidean Nam Bian_24Feb2012_0120.jpg

Met 3 guys from Glasgow after the valley, we were looking for a place to cross the stream. Found some rocks behind a dead tree lying across burn. They had been watching my fancy crampon shenanigans with interest as they'd bumslid immediately. Apparently they'd met with disapproval from guided groups as they didn't have crampons & axes but had no probs on hill.

Excellent day out, varied terrain & weather and the walk back through lost valley was pretty atmospheric with shadows coming down.
Last edited by gman on Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bidean nam Bian

Postby Redrock » Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:31 pm

Great fun, gman! :D It was good to see this route with snow on it. I was up there in the autumn just the snows had arrived. Ice and snow fairly changes the whole character of a mountain route. Your "reverse front pointing" sounds impressive - but the bum slide sounds much more fun! :lol: (when it's safe to do so - of course! :angel: ). Cheers. 8)
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