Stac Pollaidh Sunset

© Gavin Shaw 2004

~18:30, 9 October 2004. The forecast of  8 October strongly hinted at clear anticyclonic weather on the west coast. I reckoned on Canisp being a fine view point with for the landscape to the south west with the possibility of a decent spot to pitch a tent near the top. My plan made, I headed for the NW Highlands and left the car by Loch Awe to the SE of Canisp around 13:30. The weather wasn't living up to expectations, but nevertheless I made my way slowly up the Allt Mhic Mhurchaidh Gheir towards the lochan at 450m, my last opportunity to fill my water bottles to the brim before making for Canisp's SE ridge. The view opens up at around 740m when the ridge turns more northerly and by the time I reached the top at 847m it stretched SW to Skye, NE to Ben Hope and SE to Ben Dearg (Ullapool) which was just below the cloud base. Sadly the cloud base completely covered the mainland and broke only to the SW over Skye. I pitched the tent about 20m lower than the summit to the SE and set up the camera with a view to the SW, the only vista with some decent light. Eventually as the sun went below the cloud base the light changed from grey to pink and purple and picked out the wet rocks of Cul Mor in reflected orange. The above picture was taken with a 300mm 617 lens across the heart of the Inverpolly National Nature Reserve. On the extreme left of the picture is part of Ben More Coigach, with Cul Mor in front and The Cuillin of Skye behind. In front and just right of The Cuillin, behind Cul Mor is the sharp top of Sgurr an Fhidhleir. The focal point of the picture is Stac Pollaidh in the middle distance, in front of which is Loch Sionascaig and it's native tree covered Eilean Mor. The Summer Isles, and a CalMac ferry, lie in the pink Atlantic and streching across the distant horizon in the middle of the picture is the Trotternish ridge on Skye 95km away.