I’ve driven along the A82 through Glencoe many times. The road is an outdoor addicts dream as you pass mountain after river after ridge after yet more stunning views. Despite the many drive-throughs, I had no idea the Lost Valley (or Coire Gabbail) existed until about 4 years ago when I walked the Bidean Nan Bian circuit and my return was through the Lost Valley. The promise was made to return and properly enjoy the atmosphere of this magnificent amphitheatre, something I wasn’t properly able to do that day 4 years ago after 8 hours walking in the summer heat.
Along with Paul, James and Gav, I found myself in the big car park opposite the Three Sisters, a phenomenal viewpoint even if going no further than the low wall that surrounds the car park. But we were ready to go further. Four big kids full of excitement at where we were heading with our tents and our whisky.
The good path headed east and then quickly turned south into the gorge at the bottom of the corrie and then steeply up into the corrie itself.
As we climbed higher and the breathing became deeper the flat valley floor, famous from a thousand images, came into view.
As a venue for a camp, the valley is beautiful. High mountain cliffs on three sides and a flat floor with a mix of stones and grass. The Allt Coire Gabhail flows clear and fast at either end, although curiously disappears in the valley itself. Camp was set up and we ate lunch.
Despite being only a few short miles from the main road, you get the real feeling of being far removed from civilisation in the Lost Valley, something all four of us were craving.
With no real plan other than to explore, we headed up the path that leads to the Bealach Dearg, the pass between the two Munro’s, Bidean and Stob Coire Sgreamhach.
At a ford and crossroads, we headed up the side of the Gearr Aonach ridge but went in different directions, each seeking our own mini adventure and solitude.
For me that included a foot dip and some snowman building.
We came together again later at the bottom of the path where the valley flattens.
A meal was cooked and a fire was created. As we admired our surroundings it was clear how small we really were compared to the huge mountain theatre we found ourselves in.
A breeze kept the worst of the midgies at bay and we had a really fab evening.
The next day was very wet with an extra large dose of midgies. We quickly ate some breakfast (our first), decamped and headed back the now much slippier stone path towards the bottom of the corrie and the car park.
When we reached the car park, it was agreed that a second breakfast was necessary so we headed for Tyndrum and the rolls and hot drinks were a fitting end to an amazing trip.
Take a look at the film below.