Hill: An Staonach
Date: Saturday 5th April 2014
Company: Myself, Graeme, Jake, Dave and Penny
Distance: 8.3km, Ascent: 570m
Time: 3Hrs 45Mins
I met up with Graeme, Jake and Dave in the Beinn Eighe car park this morning where a plan was hatched to ascend An Staonach and Ben Sheildaig. We piled into one car and drove round to the starting point on the A896 (point marked 49m on the OS Landranger map).
I parked a few hundred metres along the road from the landrover track that was marked on the map. On reaching the place where the landrover track is meant to start, we could find no landrover track because there is no landrover track.
We therefore crossed trackless terrain to eventually find a "footpath" ascending the hill where the landrover track was marked. It would be a real challenge to drive a landrover up this footpath.
Jake, Graeme and Penny ascending lower slopes of An Staonach:
After crossing a couple of small burns we followed the footpath, which was mostly wet and fairly indistinct in places, up the hill.
Dave, Jake, Penny and Graeme ascending An Staonach:
As the day progressed the showers began to merge into pretty-much constant light rain and drizzle.
Looking back during ascent of An Staonach:
There is a very prominent boulder perched on the edge of the ridge that is visible from quite a distance below. As I approached the boulder I could see Graeme and Penny sitting atop it. Penny is indeed a 'wonder dog'. She climbed up this boulder herself!
Graeme and Penny atop a boulder:
From the interesting boulder we continued up the wide ridge towards the summit. Views were pretty-much non-existent thanks to the low cloud.
After visiting the summit cairn, I also visited another potential summit a couple of hundred metres beyond.
Summit of An Staonach:
Looking back towards summit from cairn beyond summit:
We didn't hang around at the summit; not even long enough for a bite to eat. We returned to the car via approximately the same route.
Rainbow in the mist:
During the return, I spotted a small common lizard. Usually these are fairly fast little critters but as it was quite cold today it was in no hurry to rush off.
Dave and Jake descending An Staonach:
As we made our way back to the car, the weather became increasingly inclement. By the time we reached the car, we had all abandoned any desire to also ascend Ben Shieldaig which we will keep for a nicer day.
Instead we ventured round to the Shieldaig Coastal Bar for a couple of drinks. This is a nice pub, definitely worth a visit.