Stac Polly

Route: Stac Pollaidh ridge and circuit

Grahams: Stac Pollaidh

Date walked: 17/08/2009

This is from a walk I done in late Febraury 2008. Having climbed this hill several times in summer I found myself up in the area and seeing fresh snowfall on all the hills couldn't go home without walking something. With very little gear on me I ruled out Coigach which I had my eye on but since I knew this hill plus there is a path to follow all round the hill I opted for this one.

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Stac Polly (zoomed) from near Elphin

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Stac Polly from the car park

From the car park the skies were crystal clear blue and I knew that it wouldn't take long to summit so I decided to walk up and around the western end of the hill which I hadn't done before and this would give me a chance to investigate the northface of the hill and some of the routes up to the ridge. Following the path up to the deer fence I headed westwards and soon I was gaining height quickly as you do on this hill. I couldn't believe how calm it was today but getting up level with the western gable of the hill there was an almighty howling gale and the north side of the hill was at least 2feet under snow! Having stopped for a cuppa, a couple of walkers with a dog passed me and I watched as they folled the path up towards the ridge. They were completely kitted out in full waterproofs etc etc.. and the wind was wipping the snow and and blowing it around as though it was still snowing.

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Being three quarters the way up I decided just to go for it but not to stay long on the summit. However, when I reached the summit on the eastern side there was not a breath of wind and I sat quite comfotably for an hour then spent an hour exploring various crags up the southern face.

The views all round to Suilven, Cul Mor, Cul Beag and Coigach all snow capped was just magical. In the distance I could make out Seana Bhraigh and Beinn Dearg and with binoculars could just make out a bit of An Teallach. I've taken a couple of non hill-walkers up this hill and although they have complained about the initial steep climb, once they were at the ridge they were gobsmacked and away home they were telling everyone that they were a "hill-walker"!!

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Western ridge from the eastern summit

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Cul Beag (zoomed) from the eastern summit

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Coigach from the ridge

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Seana Bhraigh ( zoomed)

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Seana Bhraigh and Dearg group

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Cul Mor from northern face of Stac Polly

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Cul Beag and northern face of Stac Polly

I climbed up so far but having hit ice and thinking about retracing my steps I decided to stay safe and just enjoy exploring the north face lower down. I spent the rest of the day scrambling up and down various parts of the northern crags for the fun of it before wandering over to the small lochan at the western end.Here I watched as two Ravens hassled a Golden Eagle constantly for 15minutes before the eagle flew off and the Ravens returned to their craggy viewpoints. Gradually descending at 4pm most of the snow on the southern face had melted and was in complete contrast to what I had been playing around in all day on the northern face. Back at the car, still glorious blue skies and
walkers just starting of for an evening walk.

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Comments: 1

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Location: Tain
Occupation: Forest Officer
Interests: Hillwalking, Watercolour painting( landscapes ) Fly fishing, Wildlife
Pub: Any after a hillwalk
Mountain: Suilven
Place: Assynt
Gear: Bridgedale socks
Member: n/a
Ideal day out: blue sky day, long 14hr high ridge or similar ie carn eige or beinn alligan..winter walking

Munros: 19
Corbetts: 4
Grahams: 4

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Trips: 6
Munros: 2
Corbetts: 2
Grahams: 1

Joined: Jan 25, 2009
Last visited: Aug 17, 2009
Total posts: 27 | Search posts