Bidean nam Bian, Glencoe

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.

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I always get a good feeling when I see the Buachaille Etive Mòr
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One of the three sisters with Stob Coire nan Lochan at the top left
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Summer mornings in Glencoe

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.

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Looking back over the A82 after a few minutes of walking
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Stopped at this wee pool the first time, the water is crystal clear (and freezing cold)

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.

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Respectable self photo
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A wanky one but it turned out not bad

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.

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Stob Coire nan Lochan
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Stob Coire nan Lochan

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.

© All Photos Copyright Chris Collins
Stob Coire nan Lochan
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View back down to the A82 cutting through the mountains

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.

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Bidean nam Bian summit from Stob Coire nan Lochan

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.

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Ben Nevis and Aonach Eagach
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Looking down towards Glen Etive
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The perfect backdrop for a photo
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Summit of Stob Coire nan Lochan from Bidean
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Looking across to Buachaille Etive Mòr and Buachaille Etive Beag. Next stop: Stob Coire Sgreamhach, seen on the very right.
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Bawbag

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.

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Looking down on the Lost Valley

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.

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The descent into the Lost Valley, it looks simpler than it is.

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.

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Looking back up at where I had been

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!