Old Man of Stoer

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Not to be confused with Old Man of Storr.
The Old Man of Stoer

The Old Man of Stoer is a 60 metres (200 ft) high sea stack of Torridonian sandstone in Sutherland, Scotland, close to villages of Culkein and Stoer and the nearby Stoer Head Lighthouse. It is a popular climbing route.

Geography[edit]

The stack is composed of Torridonian sandstone, and is 60 metres (200 ft) high.[1] It is located in The Minch, a strait in north-west Scotland, separating the north-west Highlands, and the northern Inner Hebrides, from Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides.[2]

Access is normally from the Stoer Head Lighthouse, which is within walking distance of the stack.[1] The lighthouse is on the B869 Lochinver to Unapool road.[3]

The seas around the Old Man of Stoer have claimed a number of vessels. There is believed to be the wreck of a fishing boat in the vicinity of the stack, which sank on 17 February 1953.[4]

Climbing[edit]

On a rocky outcrop, the top of the stack, is a tangle of ropes and carabiners.
Climbing equipment left at the top of the stack.

The Old Man of Stoer is popular with climbers due to its height and approachability.[5] It was first climbed in the 1960s by Tom Patey.[6][7] Along with Am Buachaille and the Old Man of Hoy, it has become something of a legend among climbers.[8]

To gain access to the foot of the stack, a Tyrolean traverse is necessary, which may require a swimmer to put it in place.[9] There are a number of routes of varying levels of difficulty.[9]

In the Channel 4 television programme Hidden Talent, 45 year-old Maggie Reenan climbed the stack after 18 days of intensive training, after her natural aptitude for climbing was discovered.[10][11]

Wildlife[edit]

Northern Fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis) inhabit the stack and nearby sea cliffs.[1] Other wildlife in the area includes the Great Skua (also known by its Norse name "Bonxie") peregrines, pinnipeds and Cetaceans.[12]

Seabirds which can be seen include bonxies, twite, dunlin, guillemots, razorbills, skylarks, and fulmars.[13][14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Ross, David. "Old Man of Stoer". Britain Express. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "North West Highlands". Island of Hoy Development Trust. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "The Old Man of Stoer and the Point of Stoer". Walking Britain. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  4. ^ "Grateful: Old Man of Stoer, North Minch". Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  5. ^ Mellor, Chris. "Stack Rock". UKClimbing Limited. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  6. ^ Robinson, Adrian Henry Wardle; Millward, Roy (1983). The Shell book of the British coast. p. 460. ISBN 9780715381502. 
  7. ^ "The Old Man of Stoer and the point". walkhighlands.co.uk. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  8. ^ Grylls, Bear (2009). Bear Grylls Great Outdoor Adventures. p. 155. ISBN 9781905026524. 
  9. ^ a b "Old Man of Stoer". UKClimbing Limited. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  10. ^ "Hidden Talent". Channel 4. 15 February 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  11. ^ Heritage, Stuart (24 April 2012). "Hidden Talent: my quest to find one". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "Assynt Events 2011". Assynt Leisure Centre. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  13. ^ "Seabirds at Stoer". Crafty Green Poet. 4 July 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  14. ^ "Seabirds at Stoer". Pelagic Birder. 11 July 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 

Coordinates: 58°15′39.51″N 5°22′57.76″W / 58.2609750°N 5.3827111°W / 58.2609750; -5.3827111