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Sliding on the Snow on Bidean

Sliding on the Snow on Bidean

Postby Quadbarrel » Tue May 27, 2014 6:14 pm

Route description: Bidean nam Bian

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

Date walked: 27/05/2014

Time taken: 7.25 hours

Distance: 13 km

Ascent: 1600m

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Ever since I caught the munro bug in August after doing Ben More and Stob Binnien, Bidean nam Bian has been the name staring at me to complete. I've always wanted to do , so when the weather looked okay, I convinced dad away from the Tarmachan ridge to do this one, and I'm so glad he gave in!

We got up at the usual 5:30am, and headed off to Glen Coe to the main viewpoint car park. We were the first people there by about two seconds, as a van with a man in it pulled up just at the same time. It turned out we would see this man a lot during our walk, as he was doing the exact same route as us!

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We headed down to the track and turned right down it, then left onto the path to the footbridge over the River Coe, before following the path up Coire nan Lochan. Stob Coire nan Lochan looked impossible to get up.
How do we get up there?

Kept heading up the corrie and where the path split, we went left, following the main path, rather than following the Walkhighlands route to the right. There was a bit of scrambling to make us think we'd made the wrong decision, but then there was just on of these moments when your vocabulary shrinks to the word 'wow!'

Stopped for a snack at this point and to layer up. The man we'd seen at the car park then caught up, and after a chat we found this was Alan MacKay, who has conquered cancer and is back in the hills! :clap: :clap: :clap: What a hero :clap: :clap: :clap: ! He also told us about his blog, which you can find at alanfmackay.wordpress.com
After our meeting, we left Alan to his tea/coffee and headed over to the north-west to gain the ridge, but first we had to cross the snow, which is easy for dad because he's an adult, but not me, as every single safe patch of snow had to be covered, which took a while!
I love snow!

Once we were on the ridge, the views opened up to the west and south-east
Gearr Aonach, Beinn Fhada, Buachaille Etive Beag to the south-east

The Amphitheatre (ooh), Beinn a' Bheithir, Loch Leven to the west

Amazing the rock formations on the ridge

Chimneys! The cracks in the rock are vertical

The view to Aonach Eagach

Reached the top of Stob Coire nan Lochan -more views. Although it is a top, many people think Stob Coire nan Lochan should be a munro in itself - I have to agree with them. It's funny looking from a peak that isn't a munro DOWN onto one that is.
Me, Stob Coire Sgreamhach on the near ridge

Me and dad at the top

The ridge - we're going to the right

Met Alan briefly and then set off for Bidean nam Bian. The bealach was covered in snow so we had to go across the top. What an amazing feeling up there :D :D :D

Just the final push to Bidean.
Cornicing still around

And then we were there - the highest people in Argyll!
Ben Starav above Loch Etive, Cruachan behind

Me at the top, Aonach Eagach down to the right with the Mamores behind

Me and dad with Starav and Etive behind

We stopped for a snack and then chatted with Alan, before descending to Bealach Dearg with him to see what descending into the Lost Valley could be like in this much snow.
The Lost Valley

Decided going down there would be too dangerous and we would be risking our lives, so we decided after Stob Coire Sgreamhach we should carry on along the ridge towards Beinn Fhada. First, though, we had to get to Stob Coire Sgreamhach, or 'peak of the dreadful corrie' - nice! :crazy: Once we reached the top, we had lunch with Alan (is it seriously only lunchtime! :o )
The three of us

Snow on the south ridge

Bidean and Stob Coire nan Lochan tower above us - how are we on a munro?

Decided we would head for the first bealach and descend from there, so once we were down in it, we decided to head down this way. Headed down to the top of the snow before nipping across the snow onto the tongue that stuck out from the snow - who knows how deep that is?

Once we reached the bottom of the tongue the only way to go was across the snow. It looked quite steep though. What should we do?......... (DUN DUN DUN etc. etc.)

:roll: :roll: :roll: Have a laugh was the answer :roll: :roll: :roll:

Met a guy at the bottom of the Lost Valley once we had descended and recovered from wetbumititus who asked us whether he could/should go up Bidean. Seemed like a nice guy but it was a definite no, especially after what we had done! Headed down to the bottom on the valley to the rock where dad and his wife mum had been 19 years earlier before I was here and drank soup. The rock they sat behind was soon nicknamed 'the Rock of Romance' by guess who, and when we arrived at it, it was time to say goodbye to Alan (hope to see you again). After, we started to descend, but first...
I couldn't resist!

Looking back up the Lost Valley - the recommended route from Bidean is straight up the middle

Headed down the path back to the car park, meeting someone we knew from back home! Talk about coincidences!
I'm knackered but wait... how is dad not?!?

Amazing how hard it is to fit all the photos in, what an amazing day.
Last edited by Quadbarrel on Tue May 27, 2014 9:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Sliding on the Snow on Bidean

Postby SAVAGEALICE » Tue May 27, 2014 6:23 pm

Great stuff ...well done you :clap: :D
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Re: Sliding on the Snow on Bidean

Postby Malckyb » Tue May 27, 2014 7:56 pm

Great stuff!...we descended the same way when we done this one a couple of years ago,though there was not as much snow...its a very steep descent eh!..I remember spending most of it on my bum!..lol Its a fantastic mountain...looks like you guys had an awesome day.. Well done! :-)
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Re: Sliding on the Snow on Bidean

Postby Fife Flyer » Tue May 27, 2014 8:14 pm

What a great & well written report with some excellent photo's :clap: :clap:
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Re: Sliding on the Snow on Bidean

Postby AnnieMacD » Tue May 27, 2014 8:19 pm

Fantastic report and what an amazing walk. Would love to go in to the Lost Valley sometime. You are very good at describing and communicating the feel of the hills as you go. Really enjoyed it and great pics too. Keep 'em coming!
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Re: Sliding on the Snow on Bidean

Postby Quadbarrel » Tue May 27, 2014 9:09 pm

Thanks guys :D
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Re: Sliding on the Snow on Bidean

Postby Alteknacker » Tue May 27, 2014 10:37 pm

Great report, great pics. I am surprised to see so much snow, but you got the best out of it.
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Re: Sliding on the Snow on Bidean

Postby Hill-loving lady » Wed May 28, 2014 5:57 pm

Brilliant report and great photos too - well done! I love your sense of fun in your report - can imagine you're great company out on the hill :-)

The wet bum comment made me chuckle LOL
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