Thursday, 12 August 2010

Stac Polly August 2010

I don't mind long car journeys, as long i'm driving. I was looking forward to a couple of days walking, climbing and camping. My legs felt ok considering I had just run a 5K race and then confined myself to a car for nearly 6 hours. My objective for today (Sunday) was to get to Inverpolly for around 6pm and to climb Stac Pollaidh (Polly) and then camp at Broomfield holiday park in Ullapool for the night.

In recent years Stac Polly's popularity has exploded and due to the sheer numbers climbing it's craggy slopes has been extensively damaged from errosion. So much so that there has now been an 'official' route path built to the summit to encourage (Herd) walkers to follow to allow the many scars around and up the mountain time to heal.

"The traverse of the ridge from end to end was a sheer delight. There is nothing like it in all Britain, for it consists of a succession of little needles and pinnacles with lateral ridges sticking out on either side, and whose grotesque appearance baffles description", Ben Humble (On Scottish Hills, 1945).

Stac Polly stands only 613M high but is hugely imposing within the Inverpolly landscape. And what it lacks in height and stature, it more than makes up in character, presence and 'wow' factor. It, like many hills in this area, stands in proud isolation from the surrounding boggy peatland, making it look much higher than it actually is. It over looks Loch Lurgainn and is surrounded by other 'giants' like Cul Mor, Cul Beag, Ben Mor Coigach and Suilven.

 Ever since i climbed Suilven, last year, i've wanted to come back and climb this little gem. It's easily accessed from the new purpose built car park on the road below it. As you climb up onto it shoulder you begin to get peeks of the other mountains within the Nature reserve. I've got a huge Colin Prior print of Inverpolly hanging on my living room wall, taken from Stac Polly. Now I was getting the 'live show'. It was awesome.
The new path leads you all the way to the summit so it's pretty much impossible to get lost. It gives you access to uninterupted views all the way across Inverpolly and Lochinver and beyond to Quinag. It takes your breath away, even more so in the dusky evening light. It's a scramble once you reach the summit to work you're way along the various crags to the far end of the ridge. A geologist's heaven. I'll let my photos do the talking here.
It only took me 2 hours to do the return journey and was back at the car for 8pm. I didn't hang about as I was getting eaten alive by the the midges and was getting tired now. It had been a long day. But well worth that long drive. Returned to Ullapool and the campsite for tonight. It was murder putting up my tent as the midges had sensed there was fresh blood on offer and they tucked in!!
The plan for tommorrow (Monday) was drive round to An Teallach and climb its two huge Munros.............

No comments:

Post a Comment