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A Steamy Night on Bald Mountain

A Steamy Night on Bald Mountain


Postby Jaxter » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:30 am

Route description: Bidean nam Bian

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

Date walked: 02/06/2018

Time taken: 7.22 hours

Distance: 14.35 km

Ascent: 1385m

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“The forecast has brought the Apocalype forward by a few hours”

“Bummer”

“Wanna just go now?”

“Sure”

And so it seemed that David was crazy (or stupid) enough to go along with one of my mental plans :roll: I abandoned my friends in the pub, grabbed the car and picked up David on the way to Glencoe.

We arrived at just before 1 and booted up quickly (the wee beasties were out :shock: ). I then annoyed David by losing my headtorch….the amusing irony of needing a headtorch to find my headtorch was lost on him :lol:

We headed off down the path, a wee bit of slipping and sliding as we got used to walking in torch light. Meeting the track we turned right before finding the path down towards the bridge. There was no wind so we had to keep walking in order to keep the midgies at bay :lol:

It was a good path as we headed upwards. I was trying to take it easy to not aggravate my ribs but it was so difficult to walk slower than my usual pace when I was concentrating on other things :roll:

Despite being the middle of the night it was incredibly warm and muggy and I was not regretting wearing my shorts. We negotiated the awkward sloping slab crossed over the river (interesting in the dark :lol: ) and picked up a path. The last time I’d been here had been in snow and I’d just followed a bearing towards the ridge, but the path led us further left, before we had to skirt back right to be able to gain the ridge.

As we reached Coire nan Lochan the skies were starting to become light enough to think about photography….David was very patient as I attempted to keep my camera still enough to get some pictures….

Stob Coire nan Lochan
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We had looked at the wee snow gully on Stob Coire nan Lochan and I’d thought it might be a possible route up (it wasn’t really a serious suggestion :lol: ) but soon after David says “did you hear that?”

I hadn’t but we heard what I initially thought was an animal running across snow, falling through ice and then….fireworks….. :crazy: :crazy: at which point we realised it had been rockfall from the cliffs :shock:

The moon popped out from behind the clouds just before it dipped behind Stob Coire nan Lochan (cue more camera stops :lol: )
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We finally made the ridge (and found the path :roll: ) which meant that the worst of the ascent was over. The views were AWESOME 8)

Ben Nevis
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Now on the ridge were enjoying a bit of hands on and the sheer size of some of the rocks! And also some of the drops :shock:
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The ridge was a joy and we reached the top of Stob Coire nan Lochan without incident. Bidean itself looked unassailable from here :shock:
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We followed the path down towards the bealach where we found some snow to walk across….
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The moon just hanging over the ridge
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Looking ahead to Stob Coire Sgreamhach
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Early morning light over the Glencoe hills
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Looking back to Stob Coire nan Lochan
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We were both dripping with sweat as we headed up the final ascent to Bidean. It was a lot easier without the snow :lol:
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We were nearly there but this view back the way was awesome….
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And we were at the top!! It was such a fantastic feeling to be there, pre-dawn and to have the whole mountain to ourselves 8) But it was pretty hazy so we weren’t hugely optimistic for the sunrise :roll:
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The moon over Loch Etive
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Loch Etive, Beinn Trilleachean, Beinn Fhionnlaidh, Sgorr na h-Ulaidh & Beinn Maol Challuim
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The continuation of the ridge and Beinn a’ Bheithir behind
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Our route ahead
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The Glencoe hills
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I voiced my conundrum – it was just after 4; do I eat my sandwiches or something more breakfast? I settled for my flask of tea and a fruit bar :D

Then…against all the odds, David noticed a wee bit of light in the sky :shock: It turned out to be the sunrise! There was a gap in the cloud that enabled a fabulous Lion King style sunrise 8)

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Ben Nevis
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With the sun up, the haze lifted a little and the views down Loch Etive improved so that we could start to see Ben Starav and Ben Cruachan
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Ben Cruachan
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Ben Nevis behind Stob Coire nan Lochan
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Ahead
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We figured we may as well get going, so headed off down the ridge….
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Beinn Maol Challuim
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Some awesome light over the Bookles 8)
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Looking back up towards Bidean
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Ahead to Sgreamhach
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Approaching the Hidden Valley entry we could see snow blocking the route, but could see a possible way down to the right.
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Stob Coire nan Lochan from the bealach Dearg
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Starting up Sgreamhach the amazing light had got even better!
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Looking down the Hidden Valley
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Sunlight hitting Beinn Maol Challuim with Loch Etive and Ben Starav behind
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The sun reaches the Hidden Valley
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The twin…err.. peaks of Bidean nam Bian and Stob Coire nan Lochan :lol:
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It was an easy climb to the top of Stob Coire Sgreamhach and the views down the ridge of Beinn Fhada looked awesome with the sun hitting the Blackwater Reservoir
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Ben Nevis and the Mamores
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Wee Bookle, Big Bookle and Creise & Co
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The light hitting Beinn Mhic Chasgaig
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Looking down the Beinn Fhada ridge
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The Aonach Eagach
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Loch Etive
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Panorama time 8)
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The light hitting Creach Bheinn near Beinn Sgulaird
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Glen Etive much clearer now
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The Mamores
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Ben Cruachan
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Ben Starav
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Sgorr na h-Ulaidh
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We waited around for ages but eventually figured we ought to get going….Looking back to Bidean
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Time for a photo before we headed down…
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It was very steep, the small rocks were loose and the larger ones slippery. It was clear how much concentration was required as we were both virtually silent, other than the odd “Whoooaaahhhh” :lol:

Once down the worst bit we were onto a vague path which was still tricky to walk on so I suggested making for the snow patch to get us down the steep bit.
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The top section was quite icy and required a lot of concentration, but the rest was lots of slippery fun :D
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From there it was a lot better underfoot and we soon picked up an actual path which we couldn’t find until we stepped onto it :lol: Losing paths seems to have been a theme of the day :lol:

Looking back up :shock:
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Now on the path it was easy walking but it was even warmer now :shock: We were tempted to go and jump into this :lol:
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In fact it was so warm that David had to stop and turn his trousers into shorts :shock: And I dug out the suncream 8)

It was a relief when we hit the shade!
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As we crossed the base of the Hidden Valley we could see a tent pitched near the big rocks. It was shortly after 7, so we joked about going to wake them up although the amount of noise the birds were making was probably doing the job better than we could :lol:
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That’s some ridge :shock:
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There was a wee bit of ascent to take us out of the valley (our legs were definitely feeling it :lol: ) before following the path down through a jungle….
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Once out of the jungle we were back into the sun :shock: 8) But the Aonach Eagach looked awesome (I did suggest going up…. :roll: )
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We made our way over the bridge and up the metal ladder (the sheep rustlers were way ahead of their time :lol: ) before hitting the track.

Gearr Aonach & Aonach Dubh looked impressive
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Looking down Glencoe
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What a mountain :shock:
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Taking the boots off felt amazing, as did a change of t-shirt. We watched a lot of folk set off up hills - it was 8.15am :shock: After the brocken spectre amazingness of my previous visit I knew I'd need something special to improve on it...well, this definitely came close 8) After finishing off my tea and a wee sandwich we headed back down the road after the best night I'd had in ages :lol: 8) :D


Bidean night hike.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

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Jaxter
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Re: A Steamy Night on Bald Mountain

Postby Alteknacker » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:57 am

Some great pix there - top many to pick out any in particular. Sunrise is definitely the best time to be in the hills, especially ones like these. Doesn't Sgurr na h-Ulaidh/Stob an Fhurain look wonderful from BnB???

PS when I click on your panos I don't get a full screen image, even when I click again on "view image". What size images are you loading?
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Re: A Steamy Night on Bald Mountain

Postby dogplodder » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:29 am

Brought back memories - but I did it in daylight.... Wow! :-P
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Re: A Steamy Night on Bald Mountain

Postby malky_c » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:22 pm

Excellent - looked even better than the photos you put up on FB 8)

Jaxter wrote:It was very steep, the small rocks were loose and the larger ones slippery. It was clear how much concentration was required as we were both virtually silent, other than the odd “Whoooaaahhhh” :lol:


Hmm, I wonder who was responsible for most of those? :lol:
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Re: A Steamy Night on Bald Mountain

Postby Jaxter » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:58 am

Alteknacker wrote:Some great pix there - top many to pick out any in particular. Sunrise is definitely the best time to be in the hills, especially ones like these. Doesn't Sgurr na h-Ulaidh/Stob an Fhurain look wonderful from BnB???

PS when I click on your panos I don't get a full screen image, even when I click again on "view image". What size images are you loading?

Thankyou - yes I absolutely love Glen Etive - those hills look fabulous from any angle 8)

The panos open fine on my computer, could it be your settings/browser? If not, try the direct Flickr link here :wink:



dogplodder wrote:Brought back memories - but I did it in daylight.... Wow! :-P

It's a great hill isn't it! I'll definitely be back again and again 8)



malky_c wrote:Excellent - looked even better than the photos you put up on FB 8)

Jaxter wrote:It was very steep, the small rocks were loose and the larger ones slippery. It was clear how much concentration was required as we were both virtually silent, other than the odd “Whoooaaahhhh” :lol:


Hmm, I wonder who was responsible for most of those? :lol:

I'm saying nothing..... :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Location: Glasgow

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