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Stunning Stoer

Stunning Stoer


Postby Lottie » Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:27 pm

Route description: The Old Man of Stoer and the point

Date walked: 22/08/2010

Time taken: 2 hours

Distance: 7 km

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I had planned to climb Stac Pollaidh this day, but no sooner had I parked up and got out of the car than the rain began and the midges attacked. I’m a wimp. I beat a hasty retreat, which was accompanied by a rapid change of mind and I decided to head on up the narrow road towards Lochinver. After a while the skies cleared and I spotted a signpost for Stoer. A walk there seemed like a good idea.

There is a small car park near the lighthouse which has space for quite a few vehicles, along with a van selling refreshments. According to the refreshment van lady, he place was very, very quiet for a Sunday.

Lighthouse from the carpark.JPG

There are several small paths that run parallel to the coast/cliff. I chose the one that looked the most worn, and that was set back at what I considered to be a sensible distance from the cliff face. It wasn’t too long until I had a nice view back to the lighthouse perched atop the blocky looking sandstone cliffs.

Looking back on lighthouse1.JPG

Looking back on the lightbouse 2.JPG

The walk continues alongside steep cliffs for a while. Then the path drops down into a valley. There are several places to descend and ascend the valley – the further inland you venture, the less steep and muddy crossing it becomes. There looks to be a pebbly beach at the mouth of this valley, but I don’t know it a person can get down to it.

The cliff-top walk.JPG

The valley.JPG

Whilst walking along the cliff-top I occasionally peered (tentatively!) over to see what features I could spot. Steep grassy slopes, sheer rock faces, a cave, gullies, pebbly beach-like areas: all sorts.....a geography teacher’s dream!

The cave.JPG

Grassy slopes.JPG

Peering over the cliff.JPG

Finally the Old Man of Stoer himself came into view, flanked by high, dramatic looking cliffs. The cliffs here reach over 120m high. Then the path drops down to the Point of Stoer affording lovely views to the north.

First view of the Old Man.JPG

Old Man zoom..JPG

Looking back from the Old Man.JPG

I liked being able to stand above the ‘Old Man’ – looking at him from a different perspective! I walked right down to the Point of Stoer, but decided not to hop over the fence to get right to the end. I reckon the lovely grassy slopes of the Point would be an ideal spot for a picnic – but I had no food with me! I was planning on a sausage sandwich back at the car-park.

The Old Man of Stoer.JPG

The Old Man and the Point of Stoer.JPG

Climbing paraphernalia.JPG

The Point of Stoer.JPG

I then headed back along the eastern side of the peninsula with views towards some pretty impressive looking sheer cliff faces. It was a short walk up to the highest bit of the walk, and the trig point at Sidhean Mor. Lovely views from the top – and had it been a clearer day, the views would have been spectacular. I could just about make out the sandstone giants in the distance, with their heads shrouded in cloud.

View to the east.JPG

Trig point.JPG

View towards Assynt.JPG

There is a well worn path leading back towards the parking area. It drops close to a small loch and then passes near Sidhean Beag, where there are the remains of an old WWII radar station. A bit further along the track there are the remains of other buildings connected to the radar station. And finally back to the car-park where there were substantially more cars than earlier – lured out by the clement weather I would imagine.

Path down from the trig point.JPG

Lochs.JPG

Old radar station buildings.JPG

Heading back to the carpark.JPG

The walk took me just over 2 hours, but I didn’t really stop at all other than to take photos. It’s very straightforward, interesting and lots of good views. I loved it.
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Lottie
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Re: Stunning Stoer

Postby icemandan » Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:58 pm

Did this walk last year - it was too wet for Beinn Mor Assynt. Scotland's most remote bacon butty van was there then run by a lady from Devon, as were a number of Germans (who always seem to be drawn to extremities) and a Belgian who had come from Antwerp on a Vespa. Did you get attacked by the skuas?
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Re: Stunning Stoer

Postby Alastair S » Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:15 pm

Nice report Lottie. I did pretty much the same walk in April last year with family. The best bit for me was the view of all the Assynt hills all lined up against the horizon. Looks like you didn't have a great view of these so I've dug out my best photo from a only slightly better day:

Image

Best view bigger
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Re: Stunning Stoer

Postby Lottie » Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:17 pm

icemandan wrote:Scotland's most remote bacon butty van was there then run by a lady from Devon

Interesting......if it's the same lady she told me she was from Gloucester!!! Story was that she had fallen for the charms of a gentleman from Drumbeg. Bet it is her. I don't mind where's she's from - it's the sausage sandwich that counts! :D

icemandan wrote:as were a number of Germans (who always seem to be drawn to extremities)

Yeh - lots of northern Europeans about. Why is that, I wonder?

icemandan wrote:Did you get attacked by the skuas?

Afraid to admit I had to look up skua :oops: Now I know what they are and no, I didn't get attacked - phew!

Alastair S wrote:Looks like you didn't have a great view of these so I've dug out my best photo from a only slightly better day:

Thanks - lovely photo. What I I wish I had been able to see - or even climb! Stoer is an ideal family walk, isn't it?
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