Ruadh-stac Beag (Beinn Eighe) - 896m
Friday 2nd September 2016

Weather/Conditions: Dry, sunny afternoon. Bit windy.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 13.6km / 900m / c. 3h 35m
Accompanying: Alone

I began this morning by driving up from Glasgow. I first stopped by Cnap a' Chaolais, then a few hours later found, by pure chance, signs for the old settlement of Daingean in Glen Garry. This is a stunning location in the way it is all described against the features of the ground, but the Commission could perhaps do with clearing up some of the moss and vegetation. This site could be so much more.

From Glen Garry, I drove north toward Lochcarron, rounding the hill to find a Highland scenery of a different sort among the quartzites and sandstones; I then went bouldering in Torridon for an hour or two before the skin gave in and I rounded off the day with a hillwalk.

Ruadh-stac Beag is one of a plethora of tops on Beinn Eighe, another strangely-shaped Torridonian mound of quartzite underlaid by sandstone. As a hill it very much stands alone, despite its connection to the wider mountain of Beinn Eighe.

I've really taken to climbing the Corbetts in the north-west. Their architecture and stature is always breathtaking, and in them I can find another long list of stunning mountains to set foot up on for the first time. Having driven up from Glasgow in the morning, this day was part of that idea. And having climbed Meall a' Ghiubhais a few years previously, I also knew the start of the route quite well.

There is an excellent car park and tracks at Aultroy, and I set off alone with fingertips now somewhat shredded from bouldering in Glen Torridon. The light firmly felt like the middle of the afternoon, and I had just a few hours until everyone would be arriving in Torridon for the weekend.

I walked up the pass between Ruadh-stac Beag and Meall a' Ghiubhais, from where I would leave the path and where the terrain becomes a lot rougher. Having crossed the watershed, and now in the coire below the mountain I had that feeling of being a little out-there, even though there was no logical reason to feel such. The way up to the summit of Ruadh-stac Beag is impressive with cliff bands climbing diagonally to meet the skyline. I nipped up between these, usually always on scree, then gained the plateau from where it was an easy plod to the top.

It was funny though; since leaving the car my head wasn't entirely in it. I think I was going for this hill because I could, but I was so looking forward to meeting everybody. On the contrary I sometimes find that it takes one hill to snap my head into gear, and I think this one did the trick.

Descent was simply by the way I came, with more bashing down scree, crossing the coire outflow of Toll Ban, then joining to meet the path at the high saddle. I took a quick walk back to the car but appear not to have recorded the time (very unlike me) so I'm not sure exactly when I got back.

360° Panorama

Ruadh-stac Beag
Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 3.35pm Aultroy
(1.55) 5.30pm Ruadh-stac Beag
(3.35) c. 7.10pm Aultroy

Written: 2017-08-21