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.

Eagles at Bidean nam Bian

Eagles at Bidean nam Bian

Postby ancancha » Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:10 pm

Route description: Bidean nam Bian

Munros included on this walk: Bidean nam Bian

Date walked: 29/06/2014

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 11 km

Ascent: 984m

3 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).

I'd been wanting to do this walk for a long time, and just after 11am on Sunday decided this is it and set off from Edinburgh, getting to the main car park around 2pm.

Quickly put on my boots, crossed the bridge and set off up the winding path

Bidean nam Bian start of the winding path.jpg

The sun came and went, and with it the heat, but very pleasant all in all going up the path and past the tranquil pool

Bidean nam Bian pool by the winding path.jpg

and on towards the waterfall at the top which I image would be awesome after some heavy rain

Bidean nam Bian waterfall at the top of the winding path.jpg

I think I took a wrong turn somewhere or the gps on the smartphone must have been bouncing off the buttresses as it was all over the place on the way up.
Anyway I scrambled up the path beside the waterfall easily and onto the plateau below Stob corie nan lochan and the buttresses

Bidean nam Bian Stob corie nan Lochan.jpg

Took a look around on the plateau and the imposing Stob corie nan lochan, buttresses and the pools which feed the waterfall; there must have been a great deal of snow over the winter for there to be so much left at this time of year and for it to still be frozen in some of the pools.

Time was getting on, so as the gps seemed to have gotten back to normal I headed for the main route again and the start of the climb up to Stob corie nan Lochan.

The path disappeared into the rock on and off as I climbed up; sturdy boots required

Bidean nam Bian shattered and cracked rocks.jpg

The views are like nothing I've seen before, this looking down into the plateau below Stob corie nan Lochan and the ridges and mountains beyond

Bidean nam Bian pools in the plateau below Stob corie nan Lochan.jpg

The rocks were very manageable and quite interesting, with some evidence of the hexagonal crystalising as they cooled from the volcanic activity

Bidean nam Bian hexagonal formation.jpg

The views all around just got better and better as I continued up. This view of the ridge between Stob corie nan Lochan and Bidean nam Bian

Bidean nam Bian the ridge to Bidean nam Bian.jpg

I stopped to take in the views and four eagles soared overhead, manged to get three in the photo, though have cropped the photo down to two. The one on the left in distinctive dive shape, fantastic.
Wish I'd had a better camera with me, but at least this is proof of their existence and my first positive identification. I'd thought I'd seen them before on other walks, but couldn't be sure, now I am.

two eagles.jpg

And from the top of Stob corie nan Lochan the Aonach Eagach ridge with the distinctive shape of Ben Nevis behind

Bidean nam Bian Aonach Eagach ridge with Ben Nevis..jpg

Views west down Loch Linnie are equally beautiful

Bidean nam Bian views down Loch Linnie and west.jpg

Had a sandwich at the top of Stob corie nan Lochan and then on to the main objective Bidean nam Bian.

The decent back down into the lost valley didn't look too promising from what I could see as I came down form Stob and along the ridge, but I'd got this far...

Made it!
An interesting although not as scary as it first looks climb up to the summit of Bidean nan Bian and a fabulous view south west

Bidean nam Bian southern view.jpg

Bidean nam Bian Stob corie Sgreamhach.jpg

Aware of the time and the fact that my knee was starting to hurt, thought I would just find my way down into Bealach Dearg and make a decision on whether to try for Stob corie Sgreamhach as well.

A last look back at Bidean nam Bian from the lower peak

Bidean nam Bian from the lower peak.jpg

Got down into the Bealach and the small cairn which marks the steep start of the decent down into the lost valley and decided it was time for home. I'll be back for Stob corie Sgreamhach another day.

I was certainly paying attention as I descended making sure of secure hand and foot holds. There had been a small rock fall which was in the middle of the "path" but I wasn't taking off my gloves to take a photo!
It was still tricky going as I reached the top of the snow

Bidean nam Bian decent at top of lost valley.jpg

and the snow at the side of the "path" was in places still about a metre and a half thick.

Bidean nam Bian snow along the side of the decent.jpg

Continuing carefully down sometimes backtracking to find an easier route as the snow had covered the "path", once I got to a point where it I was comfortable I'd be able to control my rate of decent it was onto the snow and a quick slide down on the derriere feet first to the path proper as it emerged from the snow.

Perhaps they could also name this as land of the deep gorges, very interesting and the waterfalls they facilitate dramatic

Bidean nam Bian upper lost valley waterfall.jpg

The lost valley floor is almost perfectly flat

Bidean nam Bian lost valley.jpg

and judging from the variety of stones on the valley floor perhaps an explanation of the deep gorges as the flaws and faults in the geology have had little defense against the ice and water over the century's

Bidean nam Bian lost valley stones.jpg

The time of year for the alpine plants to show their finery and colour

Bidean nam Bian lost valley flowers.jpg

Looking back up past the stones that guard the exit or entrance (depending on which way you're traveling) of the lost valley towards the Belach and to the left of it Stob corie Sgreamhach, Bidean nam Bian and lower peak to the right.

Bidean nam Bian looking back up to the Bealach from the stones.jpg

Exiting wasn't all that straight forward, entailing some scrambling over large boulders; must have been some rock fall!

Bidean nam Bian did I miss the path.jpg

Perhaps I missed the path or perhaps there isn't a path to start the exit from the lost valley. Perhaps before the rock falls there was a path for getting the cattle up into the lost valley. Certainly now I can't see any way you would persuade cattle to clamber over some of the boulders. From my experience and it's current terrain a physical impossibility in most places.

One last wildlife treat in the presence of a large frog which didn't seem to mind having a few closeups taken

Bidean nam Bian frog.jpg

There's more secluded beauty on the way down the gorge

Bidean nam Bian tranquil pool.jpg

before emerging into the open again and site of the car park about a kilometer away.

A very scenic and interesting adventure, I'll be back!

our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Last edited by ancancha on Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Munro compleatist
Posts: 989
Munros:84   Corbetts:3
Grahams:1   Donalds:1
Joined: Jun 30, 2014
Location: Killadysert

Re: Eagles at Bidean nam Bian

Postby meangarry » Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:45 pm

Brilliant report and some fantastic pics especially nevis. However your eagles look more like ravens to me. Ravens are still pretty cool birds to see though!
User avatar
Posts: 398
Munros:27   Corbetts:18
Grahams:13   Donalds:56
Sub 2000:5   Hewitts:16
Joined: Mar 24, 2012

Re: Eagles at Bidean nam Bian

Postby Mantog » Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:03 am

Good stuff!
Munro compleatist
Posts: 89
Munros:41   Corbetts:1
Joined: Mar 17, 2013

Re: Eagles at Bidean nam Bian

Postby Silverhill » Sat Jul 05, 2014 5:29 pm

Lovely pictures and report. This is one of my favourite hills and walks. I took a slightly different route up Stob Coire an Lochan and its interesting to see the lochans below from a different angle. I agree about the descent, I also found it very tricky. But the lost valley was a very good reward! :D
User avatar
Posts: 1335
Munros:282   Corbetts:12
Grahams:6   Donalds:33
Sub 2000:23   
Joined: Jan 13, 2013

Re: Eagles at Bidean nam Bian

Postby Fife Flyer » Sat Jul 05, 2014 8:17 pm

Nice report & some excellent photo's :clap: :clap:

This is on my to do list, hopefully sooner rather than later :lol:
User avatar
Fife Flyer
Munro compleatist
Posts: 2435
Munros:224   Corbetts:49
Grahams:24   Donalds:50
Sub 2000:121   Hewitts:2
Joined: May 15, 2013
Location: Guess?

3 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).

Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

Your generosity keeps this site running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?

Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Fife Flyer, freebird15, litljortindan, ness64, spiderwebb, Stenny1903, tararaboomteay, TonyShiv and 24 guests