Walk of a lifetime
Take an unforgettable stroll in the supreme loft of Glen Coe.
“Along the way you will climb past gorges and up numerous craglets into a lofty mountain cirque”
Travelling through the Pass of Glen Coe gives you tantalising glimpses of Bidean nam Bian, the highest peak in the range. It is a complex mountain hidden behind the combined might of the towering buttresses of the Three Sisters (Aonach Dubh, Gearr Aonach and Beinn Fhada) and the elegant summit pyramid of Stob Coire nan Lochan. To get to it you have either to climb these jagged peaks of the fore range or somehow circumvent them by nipping up one of the steep hanging valleys that penetrate deep into the interior.
If you are confident navigating ridge crests, and don’t mind a bit of easy scrambling, then the loop that collects Bidean nam Bian and its entourage make for an absolute classic mountain day. Coire nan Lochan and Coire Gabhail are the most obvious thoroughfares into these peaks. Both are visually stunning in their own different ways and really must form the basis for any approach. Coire nan Lochan rears up and climbs directly to a steep-sided bowl at the very foot of the summit cliffs of Stob Coire nan Lochan, and although it’s a fairly stiff ascent it gains height quickly and is a very motivating route as the first summit of the day is in view all the way up. Along the way you will climb past gorges and up numerous cragglets into a loft mountain cirque.
Coire Gabhail (aka the Lost Valley) is a stepped hanging valley and is perfect for the descent. It’s still rough-going but its levellings give a little bit of respite to mountain-worn knees. If you have a bit of spare time at the end of the day it’s a great place to linger and contemplate the forces created it.
Cover photograph: Worm’s Head, the Gower.
Achnambeithach cottage across Loch Achtriochtan, dwarfed by Stob Coire nan Lochan.