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Corbett bagging: An Ruadh Stac, Coulags

Written by Fiona

May 31 2023

Located next to the better known mountain, the Munro Maol Chean-dearg, the Corbett An Ruadh Stac is slightly smaller, but I’d say it offers a more rewarding walk. Both the Munro and Corbett are located in a stunning landscape of ancient rock in the Coulin forest between Glen Torridon and Glen Carron.

The route to the two summits also begins at the same place, Coulags in Glen Carron, Strathcarron.

In late 2021, Hubby G and I walked Maol Chean-dearg for the second time. This week, my friend Sophie and I decided to take advantage of a great spell of sunny weather for a a walk of the sibling mountain, An Ruadh Stac.

Coire Fionnaraich bothy.

Hike of An Ruadh Stac

There is an easy to follow path to reach the base of the main climb of An Ruadh Stac. It passes Coire Fionnaraich bothy fairly early on and then winds its way gently uphill alongside the waters of Fionn abhainn.

The time and kilometres passed quickly as Sophie and I walked and talked. I love a walk that is filled with great chat. The views were non-stop amazing and every so often we halted in our tracks to take a photograph, or simply to enjoy the vista.

After around 4km, there is a path junction. A cairn marked the spot where we would turn left (west). This was still on the same route as the walk to Maol Chean-dearg.

At the bealach, just above two spectacular lochs, our route headed south-westerly, while the Munro went north.

Looking up at An Ruadh Stac.
View of Beinn Dàmh.

The vista north showcased the Corbett, Beinn Dàmh in Torridon, which I enjoyed a couple of winters ago, again with G.

Scramble to the summit

Looking up at the steep and rock slabby slopes of An Ruadh Stac, the rest of the hike appeared quite daunting. Except, we had both read about the route and we knew that while it would entail a bit of a scramble, it wouldn’t be too challenging.

The weather was bright and warm and the dry rock proved to be grippy. There were some sections of steep scree but generally the scramble upwards was enjoyable. Again, time passed very quickly as we continued our non-stop chat.

Our pace was steady although we were both nursing injuries and it seemed like we arrived at the top in no time at all. A cairn marks the top at 892m.

Sophie on the summit.

In warm sunshine, we stopped to eat lunch and to survey the fabulous panorama of surrounding mountains and out to the west coast. We could see the Cuillin ridge of Skye, the Applecross mountains, the head of Loch Carron and Loch Torridon.

I say this a lot but the Corbetts often give the best views, especially of the Munros. It was great to see Maol Chean-dearg from An Ruadh Stac and to remember the walk there with G.

The route downhill

Sophie and I retraced our steps on an almost identical route to descend the mountain. We needed to pay attention to where we stepped because there was a lot of loose scree and at times i bum-shuffled down a bigger step but it was mostly straightforwad.

We walked a little closer to the lochs on the way down and then regained the well-trodden path used by both Munro and Corbett baggers in this area.

The walk of An Ruadh Stac included all the best ingredients: Superb scenery, great company, a good path, some rewarding scrambling, few other people and a brilliant day of warm sunshine.

Corbetts bagged: 118

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