18.8 km/1303 m/08:00 hrs
Corbett: An Ruadh-Stac (No. 64)
Munro (2nd round): Maol Chean-dearg (No. 2)
An Ruadh-Stac is one of those Corbetts that I had wanted to climb for a long time, but somehow I had never got round to it. Because of the rock slabs on the first part of the ascent, which I thought might be too slippery in the wet, I needed to be sure the weather would stay dry.
When the forecast looked good for the NW, I drove up to Coulags, much later than I had planned (on my first day off I always find it a bit of a struggle to get up really early). It was already 11:40 when I started from the car park at Coulags Bridge, but I was still hoping that I could include Maol Chean-dearg as well.
Coire Fionnaraich Bothy.
At a junction marked by a small cairn, a good path leads up to Bealach a’ Choire Ghairbh. On the way up, I spotted a possible descent route in the screes in Coire Garbh to shorten the return, if necessary.
And suddenly there it was – An Ruadh-Stac in all its glory 🙂
Loch Coire an Ruadh-staic and Beinn Damh.
After a lunch break on the banks of a tiny lochan I started the ascent of the E ridge.
There is no obvious line of ascent on the broad ridge, but I came across a few small cairns on my way, indicating what is possibly the best route in less than perfect conditions.
Looking down to Loch a’ Bealach Ruadh Stac.
Loch a’ Mhadaidh Ruadh, and Sgorr Ruadh on the skyline.
Fuar Tholl with the Mainreachan Buttress prominent in the centre.
Higher up the ridge, the terrain becomes more broken.
When I reached the top, the views in all directions were stunning.
Looking across the bealach into Coire Fionnaraich and over to Sgorr Ruadh.
Beinn Damh, Upper Loch Torridon and Beinn Alligin (in clouds).
Beinn Alligin and Liathach under clouds, and Beinn na h-Eaglaise in the centre.
Maol Chean-dearg, the “bald red head”.
An Ruadh-Stac summit cairn with Beinn Damh as a backdrop.
Strath and Loch Carron.
View SW, with Rum and Skye visible on the horizon.
Sgorr Ruadh and Fuar Tholl.
I could have stood there and looked around all day, but I was aware that if I wanted to climb Maol Chean-dearg as well, I’d better get a move on, and so I started the steep descent.
Loch a’ Mhadaidh Ruadh.
It was almost 17:00 when I started the climb up Maol Chean-dearg.
On a flatter section of Maol Chean-dearg’s SE ridge, before the final boulder field.
Maol Chean-dearg summit cairn, with Beinn Alligin on the left.
Descent route over the boulder field.
The shortcut via Coire Garbh starts to the left of the lochan.
When I reached the bottom of the scree slope, I even found a faint track leading back to the main path.
After a quick break by a small burn I returned along the path into Coire Fionnaraich.
Low sunlight over Sgorr Ruadh and Fuar Tholl.
Last look up Coire Fionnaraich.