Climbing Bidean nam Bian & Stob Coire Sgreamhach
After a failed winter attempt with Grant Elliott in March 2018, having turned back at Stob Coire nan Lochan, I had Bidean nam Bian on my radar since.
I took a Wednesday off work and got super lucky with the weather. It was over 20°C at points during the day - which made it tough but you can't beat a shorts and t-shirt day on the hills.
The initial climb (once you're on the hill) is steep, but the path is in decent enough condition to make it a nice walk/hike. Climbing between Gear Aonach and Aonach Dubh, you can't help but keep looking back as you gain height pretty quickly and the views back are brilliant.
Doing a solo climb usually means I don't get a photo of myself on the hill but because it was such a nice day I had the tripod with me and managed to get a couple.
After my photoshoot, there was a short but steep hill up to a large grassy plateau with Coire nan Lochan towering above.
Stob Coire nan Lochan is a magnificent mountain. I think it's a shame it's not classed as a separate Munro and baggers may completely miss it by taking a different route up Bidean.
The standard route up without using ropes is to venture to the right and go up the side, which is very gradual but has a decent amount of boulders and requires mild scrambling at times. Here you get up close to the crags you had just seen from below. They are just as impressive.
Only after reaching the summit of Stob Coire nan Lochan you are faced with Bidean, quietly sitting behind. There's a simple but steep descent and similar steep accent required to summit Bidean.
The views from Bidean, which is the highest point in Glencoe, are phenomenal. To the North, you feel like your within touching distance of Ben Nevis and Aonach Eagach, to the East the Buachaille Etive Mòr and Buachaille Etive Beag and to the South a bird's-eye view right down Glen Etive. Perfect place to stop for a scran.
The route to Stob Coire Sgreamhach is nothing more than a walk and can feel a little underwhelming compared to the route you've just taken in with Stob Coire nan Lochan and Bidean but since I hadn't been up I went.
The descent into the Lost Valley is fairly tricky. The main path was blocked by snow and there's a lot of loose scree and rocks, combined with the steep descent care was needed not to dislodge rocks for folk below.
By the time I got into the Lost Valley, I'd climbed 3 peaks on a roasting hot day and was pretty knackered. When I crossed the footbridge across the River Coe I was choking for a freezing cold glass of Coke.
I stopped in at Kingshouse on my way home and sat with the deer and had 2 pints of Coke looking at Stob Dearg. What a day out!
Posted in: scotland, hiking