Ben Stack - Thurso

by Richard Wood

Start Point: Low stone stable at NC265437
Grid Reference: OS Sheet 9, NC265437
Time: 3 - 5 hours
View Location: Scalable map
Buy OS Map: Buy map at MapsWorldWide

Introduction

Not particularly high (2365ft/721m) but giving splendid views in every direction, Ben Stack is a wonderful little cone-shaped mountain at the north west end of Loch More.


Click photo for larger image

 

Although the walk doesn't cover much distance and can easily completed in half a day there are a couple of ridges to be negotiated near and at the top. However, even though the route is relatively short - and not of Munro status - scrambling is required and as such isn't really suitable as a family wander.

Ben Stack has a little bit of everything and can be described as a microcosm of all that's great in Scottish mountains. Highly recommended and a must for any trip to the far North West Highlands.

 

Route

  • Park by the low stone stable at NC265437. 30 yards north along the A838 an all terrain vehicle track strikes off up the hill in westerly direction initially.

  • Follow this track until just before a stream above Loch na Seilge and turn left to follow a path south easterly beside wire fence going up the hill.

  • As the fence takes a right angled turn south westerly follow the same line to a rocky hump. Then a short drop followed by an increasingly steep climb towards the summit.

There are sections that feel a little bit exposed but never dangerous and the ridge at the summit could test the nerve of the more nervous walker, particulalry in strong wind. However, the little ridge can be avoided on the south side.

The ridge has 2 summits, the true summit Grid ref NC268423 is to the north west and is marked by a small cairn beside a solar powered aerial (I kid you not). There's a cleft between the two summits, the lower summit (we're only talking 2 metres lower) has the OS trig pillar with a nice little shelter built so you can avoid the wind wherever you're sitting.

Click the photos for larger images

There are two choices for the decent. Either:

  • back the way you came up, giving wonderful views over lochan land and the western seaboard; this is the shortest way back to the start point.
  • Alternatively, pick a route south east making your own way over rough ground to meet the A838 at the south end of Loch Stack. Avoid heading north to soon on this descent as there are some intimidating cliffs above Coire nam Mang.
You then have a 4 mile walk back along the A838 to the start point.

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