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Bidean nam Bian via Stob Coire nan Lochan, Glencoe

Highland Walk

County/Area - Highland - Fort William Lochaber

Author - Andy Smith

Length - 5.0 miles / 8.1 km    Ascent - 4050 feet / 1227 metres

Time - 6 hours 30 minutes    Grade - hard

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer 384Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer 384Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 41Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 41Digital Map1:50kBUY

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Bidean nam Bian via Stob Coire nan Lochan, Glencoe
Click image to visit gallery of 6 images.

The Pass of Glencoe and Three Sisters range is an inspiring sight to any newcomer with its intense greenery and waterfalls crashing off the near vertical mountains. This is a real taste of Scotland and the range can be seen for miles from the Rannoch Moor approach. It has been said that Glencoe is considered the wettest part of Scotland and parts of the walks around this area can be impassable during or after heavy rainfall. Therefore it is wise to study the weather forecast so you can pick a day when weather conditions are good.

The only real options for parking are the lay-bys off the A82, the best being at grid ref. NN170568. This however is the main tourist viewpoint and can be full as early as 8am, so an early start is highly recommended. After parking, simply walk though the outlet in the wall downhill towards the river Coe, which is crossed on a footbridge. The route ahead is very clear as you climb steeply towards Coire nan Lochan. Here is a great place for a well-earned break as you admire the waterfalls crashing down from the ledge above you. At certain times of year it is unlikely you will see such a force of water anywhere else in the southern Highlands.

Once you have recovered from the steep climb, there now follows an even steeper one! Ignore the scree in front of you even though it seems the obvious choice. Instead turn slightly left where a faint path can just be seen which avoids most of the crags up onto the ledge, although a scramble can be expected at times (Grid ref NN155552). Once the mild scramble is completed you find yourself on a huge flat area with the summit of Stob Coire nan Lochan high above. Turn left at this point, and relocate the track as you head slowly towards the summit. After a while the path just about disappears into a boulder field but the way ahead is obvious. After a good half hour and an impressive narrow ridge walked, Stob Coire nan Lochan summit is finally reached with great views of Loch Leven far below.

Leave the summit to the south taking the huge ridge walk behind, simply continue along this to the summit of Bidean nan Bian which dominates the view just 800m away. Views on a good day look north towards Loch Leven and Ben Nevis far beyond. After admiring the views head back along the ridge towards Stob Corie nan Lochan and follow your ascent route down. Care must be taken in poor conditions not to stray from the route as there are many precipitous drops close to the path made worse in this direction.

Other walks nearby

Walk 2955 Ridges & peaks of Bidean Nam Bianvery hard10.5 miles
Walk 2808 Buachaille Etive Beag, Glen Coehard9.0 miles
Walk 2819 Stob na Broige, Buchaille Etive Mor, Glen Coemod/hard6.1 miles
Walk 1496 WHW - Day 6 - Kinlocheven to Fort Williammoderate15.0 miles
Walk 3010 Stob Dearg (Buachaille Etive Mor) from Altnafeadhmod/hard4.0 miles
Walk 3269 The Munros of Buachaille Etive Mormod/hard8.2 miles
Walk 3118 Sgor na h'Ulaidh from Achnachon, Glen Coemod/hard8.0 miles
Walk 3106 Binnein Mor from Kinlochlevenhard10.2 miles
Walk 1039 Am Bodach and Stob Coire a' Chairnmod/hard9.5 miles
Walk 1094 Blackwater Reservoirmoderate11.5 miles

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