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Walk 3251 - printer friendly version

Bidean nam Bian via Stob Coire nan Lochan, Glencoe Walk

Author - Andy Smith

Length - 5.0 miles / 8.1 km

Ascent - 4050 feet / 1227 metres

Grade - hard

Start - OS grid reference NN170568
Lat 56.667058 + Long -4.9878968
Postcode PH49 4HX (approx. location only)

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.

Walk 3251 Route Map

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