Ascent of Stac Pollaidh

Map for our ascent of Stac PollaidhStac Pollaidh is perfect proof that a great mountain doesn't need great height. At 612m/ 2,008ft Stac Pollaidh is an absolute minnow, but its isolated position, dramatic shape and spectacular views lift it into the top division of mountains. The mountain has a steep grassy base, rising to dramatic sandstone crags. The views in every direction are spectacular, from the Atlantic coast to the west, the watery wilderness of Inverpolly Forest to the north to the surrounding mountains (Suilven to the north, Cul Mor and Cul Beag to the east, Ben Mor Coigach to the south). We start close to Loch Lurgainn, and just to complete the mountain's charms there is an easy walkers route up to the shoulder between the two rocky summits.

Ascent: 1,500ft
Length: 2.5 miles
Last Walked: Autumn 2011

We start from a small car park on the road between the shore of Loch Lurgainn and the lower slopes of Stac Pollaidh.

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Stac Pollaidh seen from the roadCross the road and follow the footpath that climbs up through an area of woodland.
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Lochs north of Stac PollaidhJust before the edge of the woods the path splits in two. Take the right-hand branch. This soon passes through an anti-deer fence and emerges onto the open mountainside. Follow this path as it climbs up and across the slope, heading to the right of the craggy summit. The path then crosses over the eastern shoulder of the mountain, and curves around to the northern side.
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Eventually the path splits in two. The lower branch continues on around the mountain, but our path heads off to the left and climbs up to the shoulder between the two rocky summits.

SuilvenSummer IslesCul Mor from Stac PollaidhBen Mor Coigach range seen from Stac Pollaidh

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It is possible to reach both of the summits, although I stayed on the shoulder. After admiring the view (or scrambling up to the rocky peaks) head back down to the junction we passed at step three, turn left and continue on around the mountain.
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As the path approaches the western end of the mountain it splits, with one branch generally continuing at the same level and the other heading down and to the right. Take this right-hand branch and follow it as it curves around the mountain and descends back towards the deer fence. Soon after passing the fence our path meeting the path we used on the way up. Turn right and follow the path back down to the car park.