Stac na Cathaig
Stac na Cathaig, Inverness. Section 9B.
Height – 446 metres. Map – OS Landranger 26.
Climbed - 5 November 2011. Time taken – 1.5 hours.
Distance – 5.5 kilometres. Ascent – 255 metres.
Trip Report Details:
I initially thought of climbing this Sub 2000 Marilyn, located south of Inverness and east of Loch Ness, from the north as it was surrounded by woods on the other sides. However on searching the Scottish Hills web site I discovered a southerly approach which suited my other hill plans. I drove along the narrow single track road on the north side of Loch Ruthven and parked at the entrance to the forest track east of Balvoulin. The gate leading into the forest was locked, apparently due to illegal vehicle use, but there was space at the side for those on foot.
The forest track was followed north with a slight diversion to the idyllic Loch a’Choire and its reflections of the nearby trees and vegetation. It was a beautiful scene and I took several photographs, which can be viewed from the link at the end of this trip report. I dragged myself away from the loch to rejoin the track which came to a junction where I took the right fork.
Here there was another locked gate but as before there was a gap at the side. The track gradually climbed through the forest as I searched for a firebreak to gain access to the open hillside. I eventually located a suitable firebreak which was covered in various grasses, heather and moss but it was relatively easy to walk over, unlike the next section.
Once clear of the forest the ground was rough with a few dips and some sections of wet and tussocky ground. I spotted a stag and even he found it hard going running off in the awkward terrain. However as I neared the summit the ground steepened and the walking was easier. The summit cairn was reached with views of the City of Inverness and the surrounding hills.
I visited the South-West Top before returning to my car by the ascent route. There was now a slight breeze so the reflections in the loch had disappeared.
Photos taken on walk.