On Friday, I ascended Stac Pollaidh for the third time. On the first two occasions, I only proceeded as far as the false top located before the rock tower. Both of these times I was on my own and didn’t have a rope with me, so I erred on the side of caution.
However, on Friday I was accompanied by Kevin and I had a rope (that we didn’t actually need/use).
I was definitely going to the true summit this time .
We made our way up the “tourist” path and before long were making good progress up the hill.
Unfortunately, the cloud was down to around 550m, which meant the top of Stac Pollaidh was in clag, as were the neighbouring Corbetts and Grahams .
Beinn an Eoin and Loch Lurgainn:
We passed a number of people during the ascent – the car park was full.
Ascending path towards Stac Pollaidh:
Ascending towards the col on the ridge of Stac Pollaidh:
It didn’t take long to reach the col. From there, we continued along the ridge towards the summit.
Stac Pollaidh ridge from col:
There are a number of possible routes along the ridge. We traversed the initial pinnacle on the left and then ascended a gully to reach the ridge.
About half-way along the ridge:
My biggest surprise was passing two children, one only four years-old, half-way along the ridge .
IMO, way too risky doing this unroped scramble with such little ones!!!
It was disappointing that all of the pinnacles were in clag. I assume the one below is “Punch and Judy”. I don’t think we saw “Andy Capp”.
Punch and Judy:
After carefully shimmying round a large boulder we reached the false summit.
Approaching the false summit with rock tower to the right:
At the false summit, we put on harnesses and I tied my rope round my back with a view to soloing the rock tower and then dropping the rope down for Kevin to tie-on. We could also use the rope to abseil off, if desired.
Looking down on the rock tower:
The rock tower and summit beyond:
I took the direct route up the rock tower. I think I would grade the direct ascent Mod/Diff – albeit the crux is right at the bottom and after two or three moves it all becomes really easy.
Myself climbing the rock tower:
Myself at the top of the rock tower:
On reaching the top of the rock tower, I had a quick look around for potential anchors to bring up Kevin. However, before I even had a chance to take the rope off, Kevin was up at the top too .
Kevin ascended via the leaning slab, which he thought was fairly easy (Edit: “bearable”).
We then both made our way along to the summit. Disappointing to get no views but great to reach the top .
Kevin at the summit:
Looking back towards the false summit from the true summit:
Myself at the summit of Stac Pollaidh:
On the way back, we opted to descend via the slab. I found the descent, via the slab, much easier than expected – albeit I had to take the rope off my back to fit through the gap – definitely easier without a rucksack if going this way. The slab is probably about a grade 2 scramble.
As we made our way back along the ridge, the clag began to lift .
A view along Loch Lurgainn:
Looking back along the ridge:
Returning along the ridge:
Before descending, we quickly ascended the top to the East of the col.
View from top East of the col:
It didn’t take long to get back to the car. Again, we passed lots of tourists.
Looking back to Stac Pollaidh:
Beinn an Eoin, Sgurr an Fhidhleir and Ben More Coigach:
Stac Pollaidh from A835:
Will definitely come back to do Stac Pollaidh again on a clag-free day .