Stac Pollaidh (pronounced Stack Polly) has a grandeur, which belies its modest height. Like other mountains in the Assynts, it rises in isolation from an undulating landscape of Lewisian Gneiss and is made of a hard reddish-brown sandstone The hills are often topped by a layer of pale quartzite.. Despite Stac Pollaidh´s great age (many hundreds of millions of years) it owes it´s present shape to the last ice-age. It is it´s isolation that makes it look a lot bigger than it really is. From a distance it looks a very serious proposition, but closer inspection shows it in a much friendlier light! Stac Pollaidh consists of two buttresses running roughly west –east joined by a pinnacled ridge.
It´s west, which is the highest, buttress provides a varied range of 50 trad. rock routes from D – E4 of up to 100m in length.. The crag is south facing dries quickly and catches the sun, when it shines. The views are spectacular, as well as the other Assynt hills the Torridon hills are visible and, of course, the sea is ever present.
The mountain is approached from the south side, on the Achiltibue road which, in turn, is about 8km from the A835 Ullapool Scourie road. The Achiltibue road is single track but there are enough passing places, which are not to be parked in! On the south side of the road there is a carp park and information point directly opposite the path up to the mountain.
There is no red tape
When To Climb
It can be climbed all year round. In winter the ridge scramble is of course more serious with a coating of snow or ice.
There are numerous campsites in the area. Also Ullapool and Lochinver offer a range of hotels, B&Bs and bunkhouses.
The ordinary way up offers a pleasant walk to the col and then grand scrambling with great views to the west summit. From the car park cross the road to the gate and follow the good footpath. Previously the path lead directly to the col above but because of bad erosion the path has been improved and leads one round to the north side. So follow the path from the gate to a fork, take the right fork, through another gate and follow the path eastwards which leads up below the east buttress. The path rounds it and goes, more steeply, to the col, From here one can climb the east buttress or scramble westwards along the ridge to the west summit. About 3 hours from the road with a height gain of 600m. To descend follow the ridge back to the col but instead of returning on the east path, follow the path westwards along a fence. This then leads under the west buttress and eventually joins the original path not far above the gate,
Maps and Books
Landranger map 15. OS map Explorer 439. SMC Northern Highlands Vol. 2. Rock climbing in Scotland