Thursday, 28 August 2014

Bidean nam Bian, Aug'14

Steven was leading a day's hike up Bidean nam Bian and it's nearby neighbour Stob Coire Sgreamhach.

I met today's gang in the car-park by Loch Achtriochtan at the foot of Bidean nam Bian. We had a real international bunch today - Jelena from Russia, Iryna from Ukraine, Sylvie from France and Paul, Margaret and myself from Scotland, though everyone now lives in this wonderful country ! After a quick brief of the day and check of our gear, we aimed south and started up the fine path aside some lovely waterfalls. 

Further up, a decision needed made - would we turn south-west and get the views earlier, or head south east and take the more gentle slope up to the bealach before Stob Coire nan Lochan ? With the fine weather developing, a unanimous verdict - let's brave the steeper hillside and get the views ! Upon reaching the top of the shoulder, 'wow' was the response from everyone. The views were astounding and we weren't even up 3,000ft yet. Camera's clicked away and some of the group took the short detour out to An t-Sron just for the heck of it. With the zoom-lens, we could even make out scramblers on the Aonach Eagach ridge on the other side of Glencoe !

A faint path was traced up to Stob Coire nam Beith, from where we gauped down the massive coire below - still some big patches of snow holding on. And finaly we reached Bidean nam Bian's summit. We hadn't seen anyone yet, then all of a sudden around 20 folk arrived at the summit the same time as us - a cheery Glasgow Meet Up group ! Time for lunch.

Food in and drinks down, we started to our next Munro summit, Stob Coire Sgreamhach. One or two wee scrambly bits, otherwise a doddle most of the way meant we could drink in he views en route. As we were returning to the bealach between Bidean and Sgreamhach, we opted to leave our sacks there, making the last climb of the day even more enjoyable. Onto the summit, more camera clicking ensued and we even tried a timer shot of the group.

Back to the bealach for the start of our descent. This is a rough, loose section, requiring care, particularly avoiding dislodging boulders onto people below (ie me !). The scree further down was a joy and quickly we were hiking on the fine path below. One final food-stop by some bold erratic boulders allowed us to savour the views back up the 'Lost Valley'. The path took us down to the Meeting of the Three Waters, from where walked back to Loch Achtiochtan (yes, I know, we should have dropped a car off at the top of the glen !!!!).

A great day on a superb mountain with awesome views and in good company.

More photos are up on our Flickr site !