Is It Because I Lied When I Was Seventeen?
by Salahuddin » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:52 am
Route description: Stac Pollaidh ridge and circuit
Grahams included on this walk: Stac Pollaidh
Date walked: 04/07/2011
Time taken: 2.5 hours
Distance: 4 km
Ascent: 612m8 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Knowing the forecast for the next few days was going to be Scottish in nature we planned this walk almost on the spur of the moment. Setting off at 6:30am from Ullapool we reached the car park approx 30 mins later and to our delight we were the only ones there.
Warm, hazy morning in this glorious landscape surrounded by stunning hills we could only imagine what views we would have at the summit. What made this walk even more special was the absence of Midges and Clegs?!? maybe they were waiting for us enroute?
We set off from the car park throught the gate across the road, and made our way up the very well maintained path, immediate views are spectacular. Stac Pollaidh is unlike any of the other hills in the area its once great pinnicles have been shattered by the elements and the remains sit like a decaying crown and In this beautiful sunshine you can even see the jewels shine.
The path initially goes through much growth but the path itself is at no point boggy or obstructed so it is easy going. The walk is moderately steep but begins to level out further up beyond the 'treeline'. It was at this point i thought my curse of bad weather prediction was back to haunt me... i must have done something to upset mother nature at some point as a really nasty looking cloud threatened to engulf me on accent...
Approaching the east side of the mountain the views open up initially Sgurr An Fhidhleir is a prominent sight to the south, a real spearhead of a hill at this angle, whilst to the east south east Cul Beag dominates. It was at this point the first natives welcomed us with a cautious stare. We didnt think we would bump into a small herd of deer but it was certainly a bonus.
The cloud passed and in its place warming photons bounced of the landscape, it was raining sunshine....
Over the east hump approaching the north side of the mountain the views to the south become obstucted by the huge buttress of Stac Pollaidh's eastern end but evn more spectacular views open up to the North West with the enormous Cul Mor outline becoming the primary focus. The lochan on Cul Mor looks an awesome place to camp (maybe one for the future )
Its seems all i have done so far is harp on about the views which were spectacular but once around the East end the best was yet to come...
Suilven has a grace that is unmatched, and with its morning veil it looked both mysterious and alluring.
The path sweeps around the north of the hill with a simple walk up to the top however i wanted a little excitment so i spotted a route that seems to have been used before that goes directly to the broad gully next to the guardian pinnicle and central peak.
The route up this way was initially simple very few hands out of pockets moments. however as you enter the gully it becomes much more of a scramble until you reach the halfway point. From here the route requires good scrambling ability to reach the summit or optional rock climbing skills if you are going on a more direct route (there are a couple of paths you could choose i just chose to go almost directly up in a straight line only avoiding vertical climbs)
From this section the summit is reached in what felt like minutes (30+ mins really) but that is probably due to the adrenaline. The summit is easy to navigate lots of fun scrambling to be had at the top. but to reach the true summit a large pinnicle stands in the way it has many routes up that i could see but for most a 'bypass' route for non climbers can be reached on the south side by shimmying up a diagonal rock. Technically not hard but requires nerves of steel as the drop on your left is fearsome i imagine the return would be even more scary.
My route was to rock climb directly up and over the pinnicle for me this was best as i prefer to stay away from edges and have a little faith in my climbing ability. on the way back its was the same route but the last 2-3ft need a jump (but onto a safe spot to land on) unless you have confidence in your climbing ability i dont recommend you do this
After savouring the views all around we returned the way we came, sliding on my bum for a good chunk of the way down Picture dont do the mountain justice but i have thrown in a couple of panoramas for you folk to enjoy.
On the way back we bumped into the first few walkers of the day everyone was so polite, sweaty but polite. Stac Polaidh similar to my other report on The Cobbler has immense character and is a very rewarding climb, in my opinion the summit of Stac Pollaidh is harder to reach, less airy maybe but technically more challenging.
Do you have a spare 3 hours while your up here? if so what are you waiting for?
by Tomsie » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:32 pm
by colgregg » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:47 pm
It is quite the most superb mountain. Your pics are good and I'm glad the weather held out for you. Enjoy the rest of your week and say Hello to Quinag for me, I've been home for three days and already missing my new found favourite place.
by lomondwalkers » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:58 pm
by Salahuddin » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:22 am
by Red Peak » Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:37 pm
Pity you had to title your report with a line from such an irritating song
Follows on the heals of Colregs report. Excellent title too.
by Gable Gable End » Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:17 pm
by kinley » Wed Jul 06, 2011 5:24 pm
It took me a few hours to remember which song had that line....and when I did it wasn't worth it!
Great report though
by JTweedie » Wed Jul 06, 2011 5:37 pm
by Cuillin » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:48 pm
sallahuddin wrote:but to reach the true summit a large pinnicle stands in the way it has many routes up that i could see but for most a 'bypass' route for non climbers can be reached on the south side by shimmying up a diagonal rock. Technically not hard but requires nerves of steel as the drop on your left is fearsome i imagine the return would be even more scary.
The slab bypass route does look exposed when you see it from the false summit but in reality you don't feel much exposure. When on the slab you're under a rock roof before moving up into a small chimney which gives you a feeling of protection. The only real feeling of exposure comes when you reverse the route back down onto the slab which has very few holds. That being said, I thought it was a good route when I did it a year ago.
by Alastair S » Mon Aug 22, 2011 1:38 pm
by benandjustine » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:27 am