2 April 2013
Scotland’s finest “little mountain” – Stac Pollaidh may be only 612m high, but it is a very special, unique mini-mountain. This was to be my third ascent, but still the actual summit was a step too far!
Our first day at Inverkirkaig was bright and clear. Not sure whether our post-winter fitness levels were up to tackling Suilven the long way on our first day out, so we decided to re-visit Stac Pollaidh. So, it was off down the “wee mad road” to the car park at Loch Lurgainn. We parked at 10.30am, but already the car park was pretty busy.
On our last visit, we had climbed the scree slopes directly up to the bealach, but since then the National Trust have done a superb job of improving a good path around the eastern end, which has allowed the scree scars to heal completely.
It is also a much more enjoyable route, with a gradual ascent, and excellent view across to Cul Mor, and Ben More Coigach.
Further round, the vast wilderness of Inverpolly comes into view, dominated by the profile of Suilven, seen in all its glory.
From the bealach, I scrambled up to the lower eastern top, which I hadn’t done before. An easy scramble, and well worth it for the views along the ridge.
Returning to the bealach, we continued together along the western ridge, in and out of various gullies and pinnacles. We continued as far as the difficult step before the final tower, and decided “discretion rather than valour”.
To the south, Ben Mor Coigach looked like a Norwegian glacier-covered plateau.
Just before the final tower, we found a fine place to sit and enjoy a lunch with a view!
Depsite the blue sky, there was a chill in the air, so we didn’t linger too long, and soon found our way back to the bealach. We descended NW to re-join the path that circumnavigates the hill, and followed it round and below the western (highest) summit, marvelling at a frozen lochan en route.
By 2pm, we were back at the car. Too early to go “home”, so we continued on out towards Achnahaird, and sat in the sun for a while admiring the views.