Bidean nam Bian, 16th September 2006

Weather looked promising as we left the Loch Lomond area and it held up too! Turning in to a fresh blue sky day.

It was a bit blowy at the car park in Glencoe but it was bright and looked promising.

At 10am Niels, Bob, Jonathan, Louise and myself headed up toward the Hidden Valley. Dropping in to the gorge at the start of the walk we entered the shadows. It was a cool and pleasant walk up between the first 2 of the 3 Sisters.

Climbing over boulders and streams we entered into the valley basin an hour or so in to the walk. This natural amphitheater was truly impressive and crossing to the North side we entered back into the sun for the path that leading to the head of the valley. After stopping for a snack Jon headed back down with Louise who had had enough.

Niels, Bob and myself continued toward Stob Coire Sgreamhach. The gradient increased dramatically and the going became extremely tough on the loose scree and soil. Niels steadily increased his lead up this face. I was struggling. Must get out more.

With Bob in front of me, loose stones and rock would occasionally fly past. At this point it must be said that it was less of a walk and more of a scramble. The saddle was just beyond a narrow chute, once this was negotiated the vista ahead was breathtaking. Blue sky and not a drop of wind. Then I realised just how knackered I was. We took a breather then headed along the ridge toward the peak of Bidean nam Bian, stopping for lunch about half way.

A slow and steady ridge walk saw me eventually catch up where once again we could take in the view. This gave Bob another chance to loudly exclaim regarding the spectacle – “Boring!”.

Another brief rest and we head down Stob Coire nan Lochan and took a rather precarious goat path down back toward the Hidden Valley. This was really sketchy and hard going on tired legs.

Once we had negotiated boulder fields on the descent we decided to open the bottle of red we had relieved Jon & Louis of earlier. We felt it rather foolhardy to try higher up. Wine drunk we headed back to the valley basin down the steep valley wall. I must say it was a relief to get back on the footpath, even with cramping thigh muscles (note to self-must exercise!) We retraced our steps down through the valley back to where we started, although for me at a rather slower pace than before. We finally were reunited at the car around 5.45. A long walk!

Very knackered we headed to Oban where an Indian restaurant had been booked and a night in the pub was ahead. Needless to say, I sailed through that exercise.