Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Hike from Glen Etive up Bidean Nam Bian

View down Glen Etive
Glen Etive
We did this awesome walk out of Glen Etive up Bidean Nam Bian and Stob Coire Sgreamhach when we were staying in Glen Etive a year or so ago (at the same time as we did this walk) but I never had the chance to log the hike so here it is.

We started off from the car park in Glen Etive (158508) and walked northerly up the road until we reached the stream (164509). We left the road heading along a hiking trail straight towards Stob Coire Sgreamhach with the stream on our right hand side.

The ascent of Stob Coire Sgreamhach from Glen Etive
The ascent of Stob Coire Sgreamhach
We went for a full frontal assault of Stob Coire Sgreamhach which was heavy going as it was pretty steep but the views down Glen Etive were spectacular giving views of the whole Glen through to Loch Etive (see the above photo). We were pretty lucky with the weather too, some of the guys had been up a couple of years earlier to try the same ascent but had low cloud so had rubbish visibility and gave up through safety reasons with much frustration.

We continued along the hiking trail to the top of Stob Coire Sgreamhach and took a breather whilst we took in the scenery, the beauty of this Munro was the fact that this was a touch off the beaten track and so was pretty quiet.

Bidean Nam Bian from Stob Coire Sgreamhach
View of Bidean Nam Bian from Stob Coire Sgreamhach
Once we'd caught our breath we set off for Bidean Nam Bian which wasn't to be too far. We headed up the ridge with what was apparently the hidden valley to the right, I don't think this is its actual name more a name give to it by the chaps I was with from an earlier visit, no matter it was awesome.

From Stob Coire Sgreamhach to Bidean Nam Bian
The Hidden Valley?
It snowed, which seemed to bring the temperature down further, but it didn't last long and we were kitted for it.

We hit the top of Bidean Nam Bian not long later and met a throng of other hikers at the top who must have taken a different route of ascent as we'd barely seen anyone to this point. Fair play though I can see why it's so popular, the views were breathtakingly staggering.

Bidean Nam Bian descent
Looking for a way down
With the photos taken we commenced our descent and rather than heading back the way we came we headed over the top of Bidean Nam Bian and descended to the saddle at the top of Glean Fhaolain. This was fairly unstable underfoot meaning we all headed down one at a time for fear of falling debris.

Unscathed we all met at the top of Glean Fhaolain (136537) for the last leg of the walk into Glen Etive.

The final leg from Bidean Nam Bian to Glel Etive
Glean Fhaolain
My dodgy knees were giving me a touch of gip at this point but they'd had a fair hammering so couldn't really moan. In the absence of a hiking trail we followed the stream down Glean Fhaolain and into Glen Etive to the finish point, spotting a few deer on the way, which was a great way to finish the day.

Back where we'd started at the car park in Glen Etive we'd done 7.7 miles and bagged two glorious Munros - an incredible day.


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