In-spectre Bidean (Now with photo's!)
by 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: 1320m5 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).
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. 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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
- The view back up to Stob Coire nan Lochan, in daylight.
- Looking back up Coire Gabhail, with Stob Coire Sgreamhach rising on the left.
- Opening of the Lost Valley. No dinosaurs, or cattle rustlers to be seen.
- Cruachan, Loch Etive.
- Ben Nevis.
- Ballachulish Bridge.
by AnnieMacD » Sun Oct 19, 2014 12:56 am
by JimboJim » Sun Oct 19, 2014 11:52 am
AnnieMacD wrote:Photos, please, or it didn't happen Sounds like you had a great walk though.
Am getting round to it, Annie. I mistakenly pressed 'submit,' instead of 'save draft.' Wally!
by Fife Flyer » Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:19 pm
The Lost Valley looks amazing
by JimboJim » Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:45 am
Am looking at this Fri as a possible, if you're out on the loose?
by Wanderlust7 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:35 pm
Nice photos too.
by 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
by Collaciotach » Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:16 pm
by AnnieMacD » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:18 pm
by Big Jesper » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:42 pm
by dawnfoth » Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:37 pm
by Scott69 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:09 pm
I really enjoyed reading that
by Silverhill » Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:40 pm
by jac the lassie » Tue Oct 21, 2014 7:16 pm
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!
by JimboJim » Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:15 pm
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?