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SCNL & Bidean

SCNL & Bidean


Postby gman » Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:27 pm

Date walked: 17/03/2016

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 10 km

Ascent: 1500m

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I wasn't sure how much snow would be left in Glen Coe, but Ken Applegate posted in the Fbook Ground Conditions page about guiding Dorsal Arete so I asked if any Gullies looked OK and he suggested Forked on SCNL and Central on Bidean. Drove through fog all the way up, fingers crossed for an inversion.

SCNL from the car park, fog lifted after the wee Buachaille.
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Met a couple on the way up who were going for Dorsal, they were thinking about NC Gully too which made me think about checking it out. SCNL looking good higher up.
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Headed across to NC.
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NC looked good from a distance but there was a mini crevasse near the start. Thought about jumping across but the snow was higher on the other side and looked pretty unstable so...
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It was Forked Gully instead
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Bit of cornice at the top.
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Crampons off for SCNL summit. Had a chat with a couple of guys here who were out for a wander, they were talking about doing higher grade ice routes on the Ben.
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Plenty of snow at the col between SCNL and Bidean so no problem descending from there to the start of Central Gully.
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Snow was firm and icy going down from the col:
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Mix of loose snow, good neve and ice made the left start interesting.
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Could see loose stones had dropped into the gully and bits of ice were hitting off my helmet on the way up. Getting towards the top.
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Collie's Pinnacle separates the left and right starts to the gully.
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Tricky step at the right exit, looked easy from a distance but again was awkward finding firm snow/ice to grip on.
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Reached the top of the gully as a group passed from Bidean to Stob Coire nam Beith.
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Gratuitous inversion pics west of Bidean, Sgurr na h-Ulaidh:
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Towards Cruachan
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Starav
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Central Gully from the descent to SCNL
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Crampons off again for SCNL, had another blether with a climber on the summit. There weren't may folk on the hill today but it seemed like everyone had seen or chatted to everyone else. I decided to descend the north east ridge to Gearr Aonach - I came up here a few weeks ago but today I stuck to the crest of the ridge for a bit of scrambling.
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Interesting bits to ascend.
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And descend
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Ridge is a bit loose in places but a good option to get up SCNL.
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Wasn't expecting much given the recent heatwave but it turned out to be a great day.
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Re: SCNL & Bidean

Postby Petr Dakota » Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:56 pm

You love the Gullies ! :D :clap: 8) :clap:

Great inversion shots :clap: 8) :clap: :clap:
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Re: SCNL & Bidean

Postby gman » Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:25 pm

Petr Dakota wrote:You love the Gullies ! :D :clap: 8) :clap:

Yeah, they're the crack cocaine of winter hillwalking! :lol:
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Re: SCNL & Bidean

Postby Alteknacker » Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:47 pm

Some smashing pics there! :clap: :clap: :clap:

I'd love to do a bit more snow/ice routes, but I'm somewhat neurotic about avalanche risk :( .

I'm quite surprised that you found the snow conditions OK. I was on Chaluim and h-Ulaidh the day before you and generally the snow was pretty slushy, even on the North sides, and there didn't seem to be too much snow on Bidean. When you compare how it was for Petr Dakota on 6th March, and then for me on the 16th, I fear that winter has gone :-(.
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Re: SCNL & Bidean

Postby gman » Fri Mar 18, 2016 7:35 pm

Alteknacker wrote:Some smashing pics there! :clap: :clap: :clap:

I'd love to do a bit more snow/ice routes, but I'm somewhat neurotic about avalanche risk :( .

I'm quite surprised that you found the snow conditions OK. I was on Chaluim and h-Ulaidh the day before you and generally the snow was pretty slushy, even on the North sides, and there didn't seem to be too much snow on Bidean. When you compare how it was for Petr Dakota on 6th March, and then for me on the 16th, I fear that winter has gone :-(.


I was on SCNL a couple of times in Feb, there was loads of snow but it was pretty soft and unstable - Central Gully yesterday was possibly the iciest route I've done this year. Guides post photos of routes on the Facebook Ground Conditions page and seem OK about taking questions, I'm hoping to do something on the Ben later this month. Fingers crossed for a bit more winter.
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Re: SCNL & Bidean

Postby Petr Dakota » Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:03 pm

Alteknacker wrote:When you compare how it was for Petr Dakota on 6th March, and then for me on the 16th, I fear that winter has gone :-(.

10th of March and 15th of March :wink: Quickly melted really in last a few days :shock: :o hope some mountains will still stay in winter-snowy conditions for more weeks ahead :? , I'm sure Ben Nevis will be under snow on the top until summer 8) :D
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