Situated next to the most well-known mountain, the Munro Maol Chean-dearg, the Corbett An Ruadh Stac is a bit smaller, but I would say it offers a more rewarding walk. Both 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 starts at the same location, Coulags in Glen Carron, Strathcarron.
At the end of 2021, my husband 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 period of sunny weather to take a walk up the sister mountain, An Ruadh Stac.
An Ruad Stack Hike
There is an easy path to follow to reach the base of the main climb of An Ruadh Stac. It passes Coire Fionnaraich bothy quite early and then meanders gently uphill alongside the waters of Fionn abhainn.
Time and miles passed quickly as Sophie and I walked and talked. I love a walk that is filled with great talk. The views were non-stop amazing and every once in a while we would stop to take a picture, or just take in the view.
After about 4 km, there is a crossroads. A cairn marked the place 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 lakes, our route headed south-west while Munro headed north.
The northern view showed the Corbett, Beinn Dàmh in Torridon, which I enjoyed a couple of winters ago, again with G.
climb to the summit
Looking up at the steep and rocky slopes of An Ruadh Stac, the rest of the hike looked pretty daunting. Except we had both read about the route and knew that while it would be a little difficult, it wouldn’t be too challenging.
The weather was bright and hot and the dry rock proved sticky. There were some steep scree sections but overall the scramble up was nice. Once again, time passed very quickly as we continued our non-stop conversation.
Our pace was steady, even though we were both recovering from injuries and it seemed like we got to the top in no time. A cairn marks the summit at 892 m.
In the warm sunshine we stopped for lunch and to take in the fabulous panorama of the surrounding mountains and west coast. We got to 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 offer the best views, especially of the Munros. It was great to see Maol Chean-dearg from An Ruadh Stac and remember the walk there with G.
the downhill route
Sophie and I retraced our steps by an almost identical route down the mountain. We needed to pay attention to where we stepped because there was a lot of loose scree and sometimes it went down a bigger step, but it was mostly smooth.
We hiked a bit closer to the lakes on the way down and then retraced the beaten path used by Munro and Corbett baggers in this area.
The An Ruadh Stac walk included all the best ingredients: great scenery, great company, a good path, some rewarding climbers, few people and a brilliant day of warm sunshine.
Bagged Corbetts: 118