Stack - Thurso
by Richard Wood
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.
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.
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
There are two choices for the decent. Either:
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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