Himalayas or the Scottish Highlands?

Route: Bidean nam Bian

Munros: Bidean nam Bian, Stob Coire Sgreamhach

Date walked: 01/03/2020

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 15km

Ascent: 1500m

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Stuck in lockdown I found myself reminiscing about one of the best days in the mountains to date.

For me, the adrenaline and excitement always starts pumping when Aonach Eagach comes into view as you round the bend from Glencoe village.
Aonach Eagach

The days goal was the amazing, complex and fathers favourite mountain, Bidean Nam Bian. accompanying me was my childhood friend Harris who had just turned 20, we set off from the car park towards Coire nan Lochan feeling absolutely tiny in the presence of the 3 sisters.
Coire nan Lochan looking imposing

Harris making his way up


Simply stunning conditions

walking beneath Coire nan Lochans buttresses and icy gullys always reminds me of the Lord of the Rings
signs of skiing

moving on we ascended Coire nan Lochans western ridge passing by impressive cornice and pinnacles and eventually made it to the summit.
western ridge


Coire nan Lochan summit


After a few minutes we descended to the bealach between Stob Coire nan Lochan & Bidean nam Bian, as we paused to put on crampons we met another hill walker and nervously laughed together looking at the very steep icy ascent to the first munro of the day. we waited for the hill walker we had just met to ascend first allowing me to get some amazing pictures of her showing the sheer scale of the mountain!
can you spot the person?

zooming in

there they are

can just make out the person nearing the top - a little dot

now it was our turn!
Harris on his way up

nearly at the summit of Bidean now

Finally on top of Bidean Nam Bian the views were spectacular, it felt like we could've easily been in the Alps or Himalayas! the heat was amazing we were both in t shirts 1150 meters high in Scotland in March!
after spending some time taking in the views we continued down the brilliant ridge on route to Stob Coire Sgreamhach.
on top of Bidean



Ridge to Stob Coire Sgreamhach

Looking back at Bidean

Just before we started the ascent to Stob Coire Sgreamhach we saw that our original plan to descend into the Lost Valley was not possible as massive cornice was blocking our way, this didn't really matter as when I was planning the route I knew it was unlikely we couldve safely gotten down that way so I had a plan B which was to descend down the north east ridge to Beinn Fhada. after making it to the 2nd munro of the day, Sgreamhach, we continued down towards Beinn Fhada. initially it was very steep and exposed which was exciting but levelled out more after a scramble down a sizeable cliff.
the route we had taken down from Sgreamhach, can make out the large cliff near bottom of the shot we had to descend


Just before Beinn Fhada we saw an opportunity to safely descend into the Lost valley, it was less steep than descending into Lost Valley via Bealach Dearg's incredibly steep head wall and so we carefully made the descent. now on the tourist path it was straight forward all the way back to the car. what a day!
Looking back at where we had descended


Lost valley

Lost Valley and Bealach Dearg's steep head wall


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Joseph Harper

User avatar
Location: Slockavullin Argyll
Occupation: Student
Activity: Mountain Walker
Pub: The George
Mountain: Sgurr Mor... so far
Place: Colonsay
Ideal day out: Winter climb in the sun.

Munros: 36
Sub 2000: 2

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Trips: 1
Distance: 15 km
Ascent: 1500m
Munros: 2

Joined: Jun 25, 2020
Last visited: Jun 01, 2021
Total posts: 1 | Search posts