I met Liam and Sam on Monday in Glencoe, and due to the yarn being spun by MWIS, we plumbed for the classic round of Bidean nam Bian, up Coire nan Lochan, then the NE ridge of Stob Coire nan Lochan and on to Bidean itself. The lads had a few munros between them before, and really enjoyed the easy scrambling up the ridge, despite the greasy rock. They had to take my word for it that there were some spectacular views to be had as we munched our lunch on the summit. (John West pasta salads...a good idea for taking to the Alps for lunch at the end of the month N.B. Good idea fellas!).
I was happy to see the bank of snow on the headwall of the Hidden Valley had finally gone as we passed it to summit Stob Coire Sgreamhach. After bagging the munro, we returned that way, and the guys got a taste of some undignified scrabbling down the lovely eroded gully into the valley. The scree gave Sam a few issues as he bum-surfed occasionally on the unfamiliar terrain, much to Liam's amusement - What are mates for but to enjoy your less dignified moments eh? This soon gave way to some large snow fields in which I kicked steps to facilitate our crossing to the path proper, and it was then just a case of follow our nose down into the atmospheric Hidden Valley, to where some of the survivors of the Glencoe Massacre are supposed to have fled.
Today, the meadow was 'full' of tourists, Americans, Australians and other indeterminate nationalities, all clicking away and ooing and ahhing. We joined in. It is so pretty and well worth a visit if you have a couple or three hours to spend and don't want to go too high.
The evening was spent in the Clachaig, where I continued to 'educate' the lads on the delights of Glencoe, and we bumped into the nice Aussie couple again too, so had a good old chin wag.
Tuesday dawned bright and was supposed to remain so until the afternoon, so the fact the guys needed to get South early meant the Wee Buachaille was a perfect choice. We zipped up the excellent new path well ahead of schedule (and Naismith's Rule, which the lads were testing out), and even timed ourselves to the first summit, Stob Coire Rainneach. The views more than made up for the day before, and gave a spectacular vantage point of the whole route we had done. It looked all the better for being a surprise as it were.
By the time we hit the last summit, Sam's legs were complaining that they hadn't been consulted on the effort required for two days following a lay off from the hills, and were most categorically NOT looking forward to the descent! Aren't legs fickle things? Just when you need them to perform, they start whinging and moaning eh!? The path helped however, and we were at the car bright and early, having had a cracking day out to augment the day before.
The remit had been for the team to enjoy themselves experiencing some of Glencoe's delights, bag some munros, have a couple of good mountain days, whilst learning a thing or two. I enjoyed their company immensely, and I declare it was mission accomplished.