Stay at home
Scotland is under national lockdown. People are asked to stay at home except for essential purposes.
Click for details
A Winters Tale - Bidean Nam Bian & 3 Students!!
by dooterbang » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:38 pm
Route description: Bidean nam Bian
Munros included on this walk: Bidean nam Bian, Stob Coire Sgreamhach
Date walked: 04/02/2018
Time taken: 5 hours
Distance: 11 km
Ascent: 1500m4 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).
The highest mountain in the old county of Argyll, Bidean nam Bian is the whole majestic range of mountains on the south side of Glen Coe. It's dramatic northern ridges are known as the Three Sisters, whilst the highest summits of the group are hidden away behind.The terrain is steep, rocky & complex, furthermore the descent from Bealach Dearg tricky due to cornices!
5.30am rise, leaving Glasgow at 6.30am. Booted up for 8.30am and I was on my merry way . Not much snow on the lower slopes, that kicked in around 500m. Looking upwards towards Stob Coire Nan Lochan it looked busy with climbers.
I set off at a decent pace, overtaking some climbers, and soon was above the snow line. SCNL ever nearer
You can see 3 people in the distance. I think this was the 3 students...not the 3 sisters
I soon caught up with the 3 students, all studying at St Andrews. Maths, Econimcs, & Medicine. A Swiss Girl, A Canadain Boy, & A Scottish Lad (Borders). This was there first winter walk of the season, and the first time doing BnB. I ended up walking a big part of the route with them, keeping an eye on them
Climbers at SCNL
I had decided to follow the WH route as I knew this opened up great views up North, the students all ascended Broad Gully.
Now on the ridge proper, and heading up to SCNL summit, the ground ahead was a mix of rock, ice & Neve. I was wearing my microsspikes but before the last steep ascent to the summit I stuck on the crampons
First sight of the route up to the first Munro of BnB. This view certainly increased the adrenalin & excitement levels
Before the summit of SCNL, I watched the 3 students come up Broad Gully. All smiling, all having a fantastic time
Was now a steep rocky climb to the summit of SCNL, the summit providing some spectacular views
Met two climbers at the summit who kindly took a summit pic
Decided to drop down the ridge ahead, before heading up the steep narrow ridge to BnB, and had some food. The 3 students would ascend it just in front of me.
The route ahead
This part was steep with big drop offs, but the snow was compact and crusty which made for good going.
Final part of the ridge to the first munro of BnB.
Looking back to SCNL, and route walked.
After 2hrs plus I was standing on the first munro summit
The views East over both Bookils simply stunning
Has a chat here with the students about the descent from the Bealach into the Hidden Valley, and that one winter I had to reascend BnB due to cornices. We would have a look as we passed it on route to munnro number 2.
It was now a very pleasurable walk along the never ending ridge
We had a look from the Bealach and although it was extremely steep it was doable. I would walk to the 2nd Munro of Stob Coire Sgreamhach with the 3 Students and show them how to descend into the Hidden Valley.
Our eventual descent route, bottom left. Very steep
We all reached the summit of ScS without issue. We sat and had something to eat, the students sharing their tasty lime Doritos with me We then headed back down to the Bealach.
I would go first down the steep ascent, the first 10 - 15m is basically vertical. Thankfully there were good step already placed in the snow, however I'd be going down backwards/facing the wall of snow. Once I got down about 30m I gave the go ahead for the students to descend, which they did without issue.
And now it was time for some serious sliding, and the students practisicng ice axe self arrests
Once lower down, and nearing the hidden valley, I pushed on and left the 3 students to wander out at their own pace knowing that they were safe.
Once in the Hidden Valley I looked back to our descent route.
Once out of the Valley I met two lads from Barrhead and walked out with them to the car park, had some good banter with them
This was an absolutely belter of a day for doing these mountains, one to live long in the memory. It doesn't get much better . Reminded me of a similar day 4 years ago doing CMD Arete & Ben Nevis in similar conditions, so I'm hoping to revist that one on a good day
by kev_russ » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:47 pm
by Collaciotach » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:40 pm
by rockhopper » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:26 am
by Mal Grey » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:51 am
I can't believe how many good reports there are at the moment, in my heart I know it will all change before I make it up there in a couple of weeks time for the annual trip!
by dav2930 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:34 pm
Walkhighlands community forum is advert free
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?