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In-spectre Bidean (Now with photo's!)

In-spectre Bidean (Now with photo's!)


Postby JimboJim » Sat Oct 18, 2014 11:42 am

Route description: Bidean nam Bian

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

Date walked: 13/10/2014

Time taken: 5.9 hours

Distance: 11 km

Ascent: 1320m

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Time for another solo, as Big Jasper child minding and BillyGoats sleeping! More 'local' options becoming more distant, or challenging with onset of winter. Bidean has a bit scary reputation to me, but hopefully could manage it myself, in decent weather. Unfortunately, had to start very early, to fit in parental duties later in the day, so it was still dark when I rolled into the Glencoe car park, at the back of 7 a.m. By the time I had gear on, the moon and daylight were giving sufficient light to hit the trail.
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Path upwards between Gear Aonach and Aonach Dubh, at half seven.

As described, there is a lot of well made path, heading up between Gear Aonach and Aonach Dubh. Unfortunately, this maybe helps one move faster and with the steep going, I was soon sweating and puffing plenty, however gaining height quickly. I found myself needing a few breaks, to catch my breath and take a rest. Visibility was quite good, so Stob Coire nan Lochan was a good target, dead ahead, luring me towards the emerging crags.
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Getting up near the 'box canyon' waterfall on left.
I had been deliberating whether I'd make my way up the east ridge, or north ridge, but eventually opted for the latter. I was surprised the track where one crosses the burn below the 'box waterfall' wasn't a bit more distinctive. I walked up close below the massive, Great Pinnacle and South Buttresses, as a few noisy stags, broke the silence of the hills.
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Early sun on the buttresses.
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Noisy chappy.

I didn't think it would take too long to work my way round to Stob Coire nan Lochan, but spent ages admiring the views, taking photo's towards towards Ben Nevis, Aonach Eagach, Beinn a'Bheitheir, Ballachulish Bridge and so on. I found progress a bit more tricky than the simple walk, as described on WH. Higher up, the ridge from Bidean to Stob Coire emerges spectacularly to the SW, then, finally I made it to the summit of SCnL in about two and a half hours.
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Aonach Eagach Ridge.
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Beinn a'Bheithir
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Shadow of Bidean over Glencoe. (Clachaig Inn, sits awaiting.)
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Aonach Eagach Ridge and Ben nevis.
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Looking down from buttress.

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Summit cairn Stob Coire nan Lochan, looking over to Bidian. Looks steep!
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Bidean. Looks clear just now.
From here, I could see the route to Bidean nam Bian quite clearly, but there was cloud moving over Buachaille Etive Mor, heading my way. I didn't think much of it, as I had a cup of coffee, some grub and took more pictures, but as I once more looked at the route ahead, Bidean was now enveloped in thick clag. Doesn't take long to change! Ah well, should be okay if take time, check compass, keep to the track. The route is clear almost all the way, though quite steep in places. It was difficult to tell I was near the summit, until the last few yards from the cairn. It had only taken a further half hour, maybe 40 minutes, if that?
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Heading east off ridge from Bidean towards Bealach Dearg.

Disappointed there was nothing to see, I cursed my luck briefly, then reflected on the great views I'd already enjoyed. I guess some folk see nothing the whole trek! Anyway, headed off SE along the ridge towards the Bealach Dearg. Progress was quite easy, despite the fog, just got to watch your step here and there. Nor, was it difficult to spot the bealach, red, as red and steep and smooth looking. Why worry, just now, still got a hill to climb. By now things were beginning to clear again, with intermittent glimpses south to Loch Etive, Cruachan and Starav, the Lost Valley, as well as surrounding hills.
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Clearing again. Beinn Fhada, Buachaille Etive Beag and Buachaille Etive Mor emerge.
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The Lost Valley. Reminded me the planking either side of a wooden vessel.

Something then caught the corner of my eye, in the glen below. Initially, I just thought it was part of a rainbow, but it had a spherical appearance and I realised this must be one of these 'Brocken Spectres' I've seen other folks going on about! Quite an amazing spectacle it is too. I wish my photo's could do it justice. My shadow outline looked quite massive in the ball, projected onto the side of Stob Coire nan Lochan and I could quite clearly follow my arm and leg movements as I put on a one man mime show for myself. Tried some photo's and video, but cannae do it justice.
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"In-spectre Bidean," with Stob Coire nan Lochan for a backdrop.
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A Brocken Spectre. I had foolishly thought it was called a 'broken spectre' and wondered what an 'unbroken' one looked like!?

On to the top of Stob Coire Sgreamhach. Was four hours to that point. Made my way back to the bealach, where a lady had appeared beside my deposited rucksack and another was tentatively making her way up the slippy, slidy scree. I didn't envy their task coming up there accompanied by their two dogs apiece, but they didn't look like they had broken sweat. Me, on the other hand, was pretty whiffy, I'm sure, but the ladies were too kind to say! We had a nice wee banter, but couldn't linger too long as the day was getting on. Hope you had safe trip back to Livingston and Motherwell.
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Bealach Dearg
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Him again. Starav and Cruachan behind.

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Looking back to Stob Coire Sgreamhach and drop from Bealach Dearg, on the right.
They had made it up, so I must be able to make it down, so gingerly, I edged my way, from one foothold to the next, which gradually moves on to more stony, loose scree, sliding down parts, before making it onto more solid ground. The walk down the Lost Valley is quite majestic. I was half expecting dinosaurs, or cattle rustlers to appear, but aside from the bellowing stags, it was only other walkers gradually appearing from the Glencoe end, who reminded me of reality. The path down from here is a bit tricky in places, but I was pressing on quite quick. Finally made it back to car in just under the six hours. Had been expecting to be nearer 7. A wee bit of time in hand, so why not nip along to the Clachaig Inn, to sup a pint. Why not, indeed?
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Shadow of Bidean over Glencoe. (Clachaig Inn, sits awaiting.)
Attachments
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The view back up to Stob Coire nan Lochan, in daylight.
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Looking back up Coire Gabhail, with Stob Coire Sgreamhach rising on the left.
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Opening of the Lost Valley. No dinosaurs, or cattle rustlers to be seen.
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Cruachan, Loch Etive.
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Ben Nevis.
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Ballachulish Bridge.
Last edited by JimboJim on Sun Oct 19, 2014 5:53 pm, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: In-spectre Bidean

Postby AnnieMacD » Sun Oct 19, 2014 12:56 am

Photos, please, or it didn't happen :lol: Sounds like you had a great walk though.
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Re: In-spectre Bidean

Postby JimboJim » Sun Oct 19, 2014 11:52 am

AnnieMacD wrote:Photos, please, or it didn't happen :lol: Sounds like you had a great walk though.


Am getting round to it, Annie. I mistakenly pressed 'submit,' instead of 'save draft.' Wally!
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Re: In-spectre Bidean (Now with photo's!)

Postby Fife Flyer » Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:19 pm

Nice one Jimmy, so much better with photo's :lol: :lol: The photo's are outstanding, hopefully I will pay Bidean a visit next month from Tyndrum :wink:
The Lost Valley looks amazing :wink:
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Re: In-spectre Bidean (Now with photo's!)

Postby JimboJim » Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:45 am

Thank you, FF. Photo's do help, no matter how bad. Some truly spectacular views and places on this walk - if you get the weather. Fingers crossed for you all on the WH meet-up. Am off that w/e, so tentatively thinking off dipping my toes in and coming along to join up with some of you, weather, family commitments, rtv, permitting.

Am looking at this Fri as a possible, if you're out on the loose?

Jimmy
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Re: In-spectre Bidean (Now with photo's!)

Postby Wanderlust7 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:35 pm

Thanks for sharing Jimmy looks like you had a good day. I done these two on a great summer's day and am looking forward to seeing the difference in winter now it is on its way.

Nice photos too.
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Re: In-spectre Bidean (Now with photo's!)

Postby Fife Flyer » Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:22 pm

JimboJim wrote:Am looking at this Fri as a possible, if you're out on the loose? Jimmy


Unfortunately not available until next week, down in Englandshire this week :wink:
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Re: In-spectre Bidean (Now with photo's!)

Postby Collaciotach » Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:16 pm

A cracking hill indeed and well done on the Broken Spectre ..... :clap:
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Re: In-spectre Bidean (Now with photo's!)

Postby AnnieMacD » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:18 pm

OK, now I believe you!!!!! Great photos - especially the one of the buttresses with the golden sunlight.
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Re: In-spectre Bidean (Now with photo's!)

Postby Big Jesper » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:42 pm

Great pictures jimmy and another good day as well. The weather has been on your side recently and here's hoping we'll manage a trip or 2 soon. BJ
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Re: In-spectre Bidean (Now with photo's!)

Postby dawnfoth » Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:37 pm

Fabtastic!! Glencoe is an amazing place for photos - everything is so rugged and beautiful. I too thought dinosaurs would emerge from the Lost Valley - it's an amazing area. I'll need to go back - it's been such a long time! :D Well done - I'm well jealous of your broken spectre - I think you've captured it well. :D
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Re: In-spectre Bidean (Now with photo's!)

Postby Scott69 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:09 pm

Cracking trip report Jimbo, had a bit of everything really. Great photos, a noisy beast, weather and a Brocken Spectre.

I really enjoyed reading that :clap:
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Re: In-spectre Bidean (Now with photo's!)

Postby Silverhill » Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:40 pm

Well done on another solo adventure! And lucky you to spot a brocken spectre! I absolutely loved these two, was in awe all day. 8)
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Re: In-spectre Bidean (Now with photo's!)

Postby jac the lassie » Tue Oct 21, 2014 7:16 pm

Those are some cracking photos! :clap:
I've only made it as far as the lost valley before( had the mutts) , so looking forward to some of those views you got! :D
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Re: In-spectre Bidean

Postby JimboJim » Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:15 pm

Thanks, all. Was lucky with weather. Your day will come, Jac. Shame you might need to leave the dogs at home tho. Had a great time myself, Silverhill, though was a bit nervy about the hills in light of previous fatalities there. Can see how snow would change things dramatically. Seems to be the season for spectres - Halloween?
As Dawn, says, no dinosaurs, though I'm getting a bit long in the tooth myself! The hills are alive with the sound of horny stags, as well as the "Dawn" chorus!

Was hoping I might manage out this Friday, Big Jasper, but optimism becoming pessimism. Don't suppose you're free?

Jas.
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