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100: Bidean nam Bian from the Lost Valley

100: Bidean nam Bian from the Lost Valley


Postby GariochTom » Wed May 09, 2012 11:19 pm

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

Date walked: 05/05/2012

Distance: 12.5 km

Ascent: 1499m

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The Three Sisters of Glen Coe were in misty cloud at the start of the walk, as we set off from the car and headed down the well-made footpath to the bridge over the River Coe.

Image
The Three Sisters by GariochT, on Flickr

We made our way up a very scenic wooded glen, alongside the Allt Coire Gabhail and its babbling falls and pools. After a short while we started to struggle up a steep slope of unstable scree, until we realised that this was completely off-piste and not the 'official' route... oops! We retraced our steps and rejoined the path that wends its way up the glen.

Image
P1030316 by GariochT, on Flickr

Image
In the Lost Valley by GariochT, on Flickr

After twenty minutes or so the corrie opened out to reveal the Lost Valley, and a stunning Alpine backdrop of the snow-iced peaks of Stob Coire Sgreamhach and Bidean nam Bian.

Image
Stob Coire Sgreamhach and Binean nam Bian by GariochT, on Flickr

As well as hiding some of the MacDonald cattle, the Lost Valley was effective at hiding the burn too, which disappeared into the ground only to emerge further down the glen.

After easy walking through the wide alluvial plain, we started to ascend the back of the corrie, passing a few icicles on the way.

We then reached the bottom of a steep section of hard snow, so decided to practise a few ice axe arrests. I managed to draw blood – not with my ice axe, but scraping my knuckles on the icy snow. That'll teach me to wear my gloves!

We started to ascend the snowy slope. Someone above accidentally dislodged a rock which tumbled at speed down the slope, and they called out a warning so that we could avoid it - it might otherwise have caused serious damage.

It was initially quite easy to kick steps into the snow but as we ascended the snow became increasingly glassy and more hard going. I had by now overtaken the others so ended up breaking the trail and kicking steps for the others to follow, at one point having to use my ice axe to cut a couple of steps. It was a great relief to finally reach terra firma – a craggy area which I scrambled up to reach the bealach.

Image
Hard snow by GariochT, on Flickr

There were excellent views from the bealach, including down the Lost Valley and down to Glen Etive to the south.

Image
The Lost Valley by GariochT, on Flickr

Image
The Lost Valley by GariochT, on Flickr

We had a short rest here before heading up the ridge to Stob Coire Sgreamhach, pausing to enjoy the views as we went.

Image
Stob Coire Sgreamhach by GariochT, on Flickr



Image
Glen Etive by GariochT, on Flickr

After bagging the Munro we returned to the bealach and then continued along the rocky ridge. After passing a number of precipitous voids and crunching through a few snow patches along the ridge, we reached the summit of Bidean nam Bian (the 'Peak of the Animal Pelts', or maybe 'Peak of the Mountains'). There were fantastic views from here.

Image
Bidean nam Bian by GariochT, on Flickr

Image
P1030412R by GariochT, on Flickr

Image
P1030425R by GariochT, on Flickr

A couple were already sitting at the summit cairn so I decided to wait until they had gone before touching the cairn and officially bagging my 100th Munro. However, within minutes a large group of walkers appeared and loitered around the cairn – I couldn't have it all to myself after all - oh well. I had a celebratory swig of Aberlour from my hipflask - not too much, I didn't want to be tipsy during the awkward descent - then gate-crashed the party at the summit to touch the cairn.
Sometimes I don't bother with the cairn-touching ritual, especially when they are at the top of a tor, but I thought that I would this time, given the special number.

We then descended the northeast ridge, crossed another bealach then reascended to Stob Coire nan Lochan. From here, the view of Loch Leven and Ballachulish was excellent.

Image
Loch Leven from Stob Coire nan Lochan by GariochT, on Flickr

Image
Void by GariochT, on Flickr

We descended again, over awkward rocks and an even more awkward boulder field. The low sun highlighted the jagged features of the Aonach Eagach ridge to the north.

Image
Void by GariochT, on Flickr

Image
Aonach Eagach and Ben Nevis by GariochT, on Flickr

Image
Aonach Eagach Ridge by GariochT, on Flickr

Eventually we arrived at the lochans in the corrie which provided welcome relief from the scrambling. It was then a long descent down the Coire nan Lochan, past more waterfalls and pools and then down a zig zag path to the valley floor of Glen Coe, where I waited for the others, gazing up to the Three Sisters in the gradually fading light.


bidean-nam-bian.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Last edited by GariochTom on Wed May 09, 2012 11:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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GariochTom
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Re: 100: Bidean nam Bian from the Lost Valley

Postby GariochTom » Wed May 09, 2012 11:35 pm

Video from Stob Coire Sgreamhach:
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Re: 100: Bidean nam Bian from the Lost Valley

Postby rockhopper » Wed May 09, 2012 11:45 pm

congratswave.gif
on your 100 and what a great couple of hills on which to achieve it ! Like you I really enjoyed the trip up here and you certainly get great views - cheers :D
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Re: 100: Bidean nam Bian from the Lost Valley

Postby soulminer » Thu May 10, 2012 7:28 am

Always a special moment when you add a digit :lol: A great place to do it :)
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Re: 100: Bidean nam Bian from the Lost Valley

Postby jonny616 » Thu May 10, 2012 12:36 pm

Great walk for the 100 well done 8)
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Re: 100: Bidean nam Bian from the Lost Valley

Postby EwaMH » Thu May 10, 2012 1:23 pm

An awesome day for your 100th, well done! Lovely lovely photos too :)
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Re: 100: Bidean nam Bian from the Lost Valley

Postby GariochTom » Thu May 10, 2012 5:35 pm

Thanks very much everyone :D
I'm just wishing I put suncream on... very sunburnt now! :?
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Re: 100: Bidean nam Bian from the Lost Valley

Postby morag1 » Thu May 10, 2012 6:09 pm

wow, didnt take you long to reach the century

congratulations, great photos of a very special place :clap:
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Re: 100: Bidean nam Bian from the Lost Valley

Postby thebaldfalcon » Thu May 10, 2012 6:17 pm

Congrats on ur 100th
I did that one last weekend , in the other direction
when u climbed up the snow, we slid down on our bums, didnt take long
but a bit hairy
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Re: 100: Bidean nam Bian from the Lost Valley

Postby dooterbang » Thu May 10, 2012 7:30 pm

Splendid day out and all the more memorable for hitting the century - well done.
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Re: 100: Bidean nam Bian from the Lost Valley

Postby quoman » Thu May 10, 2012 7:38 pm

What a way to hit the 100 mark and the picture's a fantastic you must have some camera.well done
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Re: 100: Bidean nam Bian from the Lost Valley

Postby Bod » Thu May 10, 2012 8:30 pm

Superb day for your 100th, great stuff! SCNL must be one of the best tops around :D :D :D
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Re: 100: Bidean nam Bian from the Lost Valley

Postby Stretch » Thu May 10, 2012 11:03 pm

Awesome pics and vids of my fav munro. Congrats on reaching 100!
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Re: 100: Bidean nam Bian from the Lost Valley

Postby GariochTom » Fri May 11, 2012 6:23 pm

Thanks all :D

morag1 wrote:wow, didnt take you long to reach the century


I bagged my first munro during the May weekend 4 years ago, so it was quite apt to do the 100th during this May weekend. Those 4 years have flown by though!

thebaldfalcon wrote:I did that one last weekend , in the other direction
when u climbed up the snow, we slid down on our bums, didnt take long
but a bit hairy


Well that's one way of going down it! You'd have descended it much quicker than it took us to ascend it then... :D Lucky there wasn't a precipitous drop at the bottom of it... :?
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Re: 100: Bidean nam Bian from the Lost Valley

Postby 2dalmatians » Fri May 11, 2012 8:44 pm

GT Great report and congrats on the 100 :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
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