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South West Face of Bidean nam Bian

PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 9:17 am
by Play2End
I have found no mention of this route on WH, so here it is! From the parking spot at Dalness I followed the minor road down Glen Etive to the forest clearances. I ascended on new tractor paths through the off cuts and forest to emerge on the S.E slope of Beinn Maol Chaluim. The ground was steep but I soon ascended to the ridge line and the first minor top. The narrowing ridge to the summit was a delight with great views of the two Munros on my right.

From the summit I was able to observe the route up the SW face of Bidean nam Bian. I was to aim for a substantial crag with two small parallel gullies leading to it then go left and ascend in between two streams leading to the scree slopes of the summit ridge. The descent to the bealach was without incident but as I got lower down and closer to the S.W slope the crags and gullies began to loom up in an ugly confusion. I aimed for the gullies and what I originally thought were paths were just storm damage rubble. The going was steep and I was glad I had spent some time assessing the route and didn’t just do it ‘off the cuff’. After about an hour I began to ascend on to the gentler scree slopes of the summit ridge. I did see a fellow hillwalker scratching his head when he saw me appear near the ridge line but I was never able to catch him up to ask his route.

The going over the two Munros was straight forward with clear weather to guide by. I headed towards my descent point S.E of Stob Coire Sgreamhach to only find the route blocked by a substantial corniced snow slope. So instead of a descent into the Lairig Eilde I ascended to the 778m top and headed due south to the east of a large gully and descended next to two parallel fences and very steep slopes back to the car. I doubt this route will become the norm!

Re: South West Face of Bidean nam Bian

PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 12:34 pm
by Mal Grey
Interesting route, its often good to challenge the "norm".