in Glencoe bristle with their defensive crags; so steep that the highest
peak on the south side of the glen, Bidean nam Bian, remains very elusive.
With one of the newer Munros, Stob Coire Sgreamhach, this walk provides
a neat circuit taking in both, and all complete with grand cliff scenery.
In winter condition some judgment may be necessary as to slope conditions.
may be done in either direction; if clockwise, Coire Gabhail (The Lost
Valley) is at the beginning. Views are probably that bit better if done
anti-clockwise however and this is the way the route is described.
the car park just west of the cottage at Allt-na-reigh (172 568). Cross
the River Coe by the bridge below Coire an Lochan and take this path,
which has had some recent pathwork, up the steep-sided and narrow coire
to gain the coire below the cliffs of Stob Coire nan Lochan. Turn these
cliffs by going south and onto the easy section of ridge where Gearr Aonach
merges into Stob Coire nan Lochan. Follow this ridge west then west up
the steepening ridge to the summit of Stob Coire.
up, you now have to descend! Bidean nam Bian lies 800m to the south-west,
with the Diamond and Church-Door Buttresses dropping down the west flank
of the connecting ridge into Coire nam Beith. Descend 100m to a bealach
then climb up the narrow ridge beyond to the summit of Bidean nam Bian,
the highest peak in Argyll.
We now descend
the south east ridge to gain the bealach at the head of the Lost Valley.
A climb of about 120m then lands us on the summit of the second Munro,
Stob Coire Sgreamhach. From here we are heading for the Lost Valley, Coire
Gabhail but have to make a decision as to the route. The one with the
least route finding is taken by returning to the bealach at the head of
Coire Gabhail then if the snow conditions allow carefully picking a way
down the initially steep slope. The path will be joined lower down amongst
route is to traverse the Beinn Fhada ridge north east from the summit
of Stob Coire Sgreamhach. There is a short scrambling section near the
top. Traverse over the first two tops on the ridge, Beinn Fhada (952m),
and the North-East top (931m), then at the bealach at 169 548, before
the third top, descend the steep slope leading down into Coire Gabhail.
Stay out of the stream and gully to the west, and so gain the peaceful,
flat meadow that is the heart of the Lost Valley, with its huge boulder
marking the start of the boulder field at its north end.
field, the result of some old landslide, can be fun on a sunny day with
time in hand, zig-zagging through its tortuous maze, or a tedious nightmare
in fading light with a dying torch. There is an alternative way down on
its east flank, under the cliffs, if you can find the start. In either
case, on exiting the boulders the river is crossed to gain the path on
the west bank and so to the River Coe bridge and the car park.